A Guide for Treating Anemia
Treating anemia is not always an easy thing to do. Before we get into the treatment methods, however, we are going to take a closer look at what anemia entails. Anemia is a condition in which the body’s red blood cell count is lower than what it should be. This can be a dangerous condition to have because the primary job for these cells is to deposit oxygen to areas all over the body.
Symptoms of Anemia
The effects of having anemia are usually made apparent by interfering with one’s everyday life. A few common symptoms of anemia include an overall feeling of weakness or fatigue, dizzy spells, recurring headaches, trouble focusing, and shortness of breath. One may also sport a pale skin tone and have cold hands and feet as a result of anemia. Extreme cases of anemia, particularly those which go untreated for a long period of time, can cause loss of balance (due to dizziness), ringing in the ears, uncontrollable muscle spasms, anxiety, and depression.
Types of Anemia
For some, treating anemia may be a simple process, while for others it could be more complex. The determining factors are usually the severity of one’s condition and whether one wishes to use medical or alternative treatments. There are two primary types of anemia: iron deficient and megalobastic, or vitamin deficient. When one is diagnosed with having iron deficiency anemia, the usual treatment method is to take iron tablets every day. If iron tablets are not sufficient, or if one cannot or prefers not to take pills, then a change in diet could be the best way to go about treating anemia. Eating plenty of foods that are high in iron can give the body a tremendous iron boost and help to stabilize the production of red blood cells. The amount of iron-rich foods one has to consume will depend on how strong the body’s deficiency is. It should be noted that regardless of how severe one’s anemia is, high-iron foods must be consumed regularly and on a daily basis in order to keep the condition stabilized. Liver, beets, lentils, whole grain foods, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and most other leafy green vegetables are great examples of iron-rich foods.
Those who suffer from megalobastic anemia, or a deficiency in one or more vitamins, are often prescribed or advised to take a vitamin supplement. The most common vitamin deficiencies are in Vitamin C and B-12. If the exact cause of the anemia is discovered (such as a deficiency in one particular vitamin or mineral), then the patient may be offered a number of options, such as vitamin injections or oral vitamin supplements. If injections are chosen, they are generally administered on a regular basis, such as monthly or bi-monthly. It is not uncommon for this form of treatment to be administered throughout the life of the patient. A pill or liquid form of vitamin supplement can be a very handy form of treatment; however the patient does have to remember to take the supplement on a daily basis, sometimes more than once each day. Those who are forgetful may find a lapse in anemia symptoms. This form of treatment is available whether the deficiency lies in a single vitamin or in multiple vitamins.
If one prefers to stick to an all-natural or alternative method of treating megalobastic anemia, they may make dietary changes, as mentioned earlier with iron deficient anemia. By adding foods to one’s diet which contain the necessary vitamin(s), they can help to naturally neutralize the deficiency. One must remember that as these foods are digested, more must be consumed in order to keep the body’s vitamin level from dropping. This is not always an easy or convenient method of treating anemia, however it is an option for those looking for a non-medicinal approach.
If you suspect that you have anemia, do not try to treat yourself without the aid of a doctor. The symptoms of anemia overlap with many other conditions which must be ruled out before proper treatment can be administered.