Anemia refers to a condition where your body is deficient in red blood cells and/or hemoglobin. There are various forms of anemia, the most common of which is iron deficiency anemia, which often affects women during pregnancy. Other types include B12 deficiency anemia (also known as pernicious anemia and is more common in the elderly and those with intestinal disorders such as celiac disease), aplastic anemia (a rare, life-threatening disease that may result from chemotherapy to treat cancer, pregnancy, or lupus), hemolytic anemia (caused by autoimmune disease or certain medications such as antibiotics), and sickle cell anemia (an inherited form of anemia that results in defective hemoglobin).
Possible causes of anemia include:
- certain medications that cause stomach bleeding
- diseases such as Crohn's, celiac, cancer, or rheumatoid arthritis
- poor diet
- immune system dysfunction
- testosterone deficiency
- an eating disorder such as anorexia or bulimia <link to BULIMIA NERVOSA>
- kidney or liver disease
- surgery to the stomach or intestines
Possible signs and symptoms of anemia include difficulty in thinking, fatigue, frequent infection, headaches and dizziness, menstrual irregularity, numbness in your extremities, pale skin, and even shortness of breath. Untreated, anemia can lead to irregular heart beat, congestive heart failure, nerve damage, decreased brain function, and possibly death.
The treatment your doctor will prescribe will of course depend on the underlying cause of your anemia. It may include blood transfusions, medications that suppress the immune system or encourage more blood cell production, and of course supplements of iron, vitamin B12 or other vitamins or minerals.
Once you have seen your doctor and are following their advice, natural health care can be an excellent complement when dealing with anemia. For anemia due to lack of folate, iron or vitamin B12, working with one of our nutritional counsellors can be very helpful in outlining the best diet for you.
Acupuncture and TCM can help with some of your symptoms and side effects from medications, but should only be used for anemia once you are following a proper diet plan and advice from your doctor.
Also make sure to get your blood checked regularly.
Contact us for a FREE consultation on how natural therapy can help you improve your health and manage your anemia.
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