What is Anemia?
Anemia is a condition in which the blood is deficient in the body. This deficiency of blood is caused due to the deficiency of iron which is an essential component of the protein complex, hemoglobin, present in the blood.
In anemic persons, the count of hemoglobin in the blood goes down. Hemoglobin is composed of heme, which is an iron complex, and a protein named globin. If iron is lacking in the diet, then heme will not be formed and so also hemoglobin. The main function of hemoglobin is to carry oxygen to different parts of the body. Hence in absence of hemoglobin, the blood will not be able to provide oxygen to all parts of the body, which will lead in a characteristic weakness.
Why is Anemia caused?
The root cause of anemia is generally deficiency of iron in the diet. However, there are many other ways in which loss of blood can take place from the body. The following are some of them:-
- People with hemorrhoids (i.e. piles) often lose great amounts of blood if there are open sores. If the loss is beyond acceptable limit, then the person would suffer from anemia.
- Internal hemorrhages can occur in the body leading to loss of blood, and thus causing anemia.
- Hemolysis is a condition in which a breakdown of the red blood corpuscles takes place. People suffering from hemolysis will be anemic. Such anemia is called as aplastic anemia.
- Chronic diseases like cancers cause anemia, especially when the person undergoes treatments by radiotherapy and chemotherapy.
- Deficiency of vitamins in the body – especially folate and vitamin C – is also responsible in causing anemia. This anemia is called as vitamin deficiency anemia.
- There is a hereditary type of anemia called as the pernicious anemia. People with this condition are not able to absorb vitamin B 12 in their bloodstream effectively. Hence vitamin loss occurs.
What are the Symptoms of Anemia?
There are many ways in which anemia can be observable from the outside. The following are some of the most common symptoms of anemia:-
- People with anemia will have a pale appearance of skin due to the loss of blood. There will be discoloration of the nails and the lips.
- Anemic people are not able to work for long hours. Fatigue is very common.
- There will be restless and breathlessness occasionally.
- At the same time, the heartbeat will be quite rapid. Minor activities can raise the heartbeat excessively.
- Insomnia is commonly observed.
- Anemic people will constantly feel giddy and nauseated.
- In some cases there could be digestive problems like indigestion, constipation and flatulence.
How can Anemia be avoided?
There are many ways to prevent anemia. The following are some of the main preventive methods:-
- A healthy diet, rich in iron, must be consumed. Whole grain cereals, legumes and pulses are good sources of iron. Nuts and dry dates also contain iron. Among the meats, organs such as kidney and liver contain iron in them.
- Anemia that is caused due to deficiency of vitamins can be avoided by a proper intake of vitamins in the diet. The food must be properly balanced and contain the proper amount of nutrients. Consult a diet chart for better guidance.
- In order to prevent anemia conditions that are linked with pregnancy, women can take multivitamin pills and other nutritional supplements at the advice of the doctor.
- Anemia caused by vitamin deficiency can be aggravated by smoking. Smoking interferes in the proper absorption of several vitamins in the body. Hence these vitamins – especially folate and vitamin C which are water soluble – are flushed out of the body without getting assimilated.
- Since pernicious anemia is hereditary, in order to avoid it you must consult with the doctor if you have a patient of pernicious anemia in your family.
How can Anemia be controlled with Simple Home Remedies?
There are various dietary guidelines that can be followed to control anemia. Some of them are given below:-
- Apples are very good for anemia as they have high iron content. They should be eaten regularly; preferably after every meal.
- Beetroot is also a very good source of iron. Apart from iron it contains various other minerals that are protective in function to the body.
- Figs must be eaten regularly, at the rate of three to four per day.
- Organ meats like kidney and liver must be included in the diet.
- Citrus fruits like oranges, lemons, etc. must be eaten in excess. They should be eaten at regular intervals and not all at once.
Other methods to control anemia are as follows:-
- Cold water bath is known to have beneficial effects in anemia. A person with anemia must have at least two cold water baths a day.
- Flushing out the bodily toxins is necessary. This can be achieved by massages from professionals.
- For about ten minutes every day, the anemic person must breathe deeply.
- Anemic people must not lead a lazy lifestyle even though anemia tends to make people lethargic. They must indulge in light exercises to keep the circulation healthy.
- Yoga has positive effects in anemia. The preferable asanas are paschimottasana and shavasana. These bring the body into a relaxed state of equilibrium and facilitate circulation of blood.