Anemia is a condition where your body doesn’t get enough healthy red blood cells, in other words when they don’t carry enough hemoglobin, or when these cells don’t do what they are supposed to do. Red blood cells are responsible for bringing oxygen to our body and removing carbon dioxide from it. If these processes don’t work properly, we get poisoned by carbon dioxide. The causes for this can vary, and so can the treatment.
We at Bright Side prepared a checklist of anemia symptoms and ways to treat them.
Signs of anemia
The causes of anemia can be very different. Of course, we all get tired and fatigued every now and then, but if most of these symptoms can be applied to you, it’s worth checking it out.
1. Pale skin and inside of the lower eyelids
When our body doesn’t get enough oxygen or suffers from a reduced number of red blood cells, our skin changes color and we look very pale. This applies not just to the face but the entire body, especially the hands, the inner part of the lower eyelids, and the tongue.
2. Irregular heart rate
Low levels of hemoglobin make the heart work harder than normal to pump blood through our system, it has to work extra hard trying to give us enough oxygen which could result in an irregular heartbeat.
If our organs don’t get the right amount of oxygen, our body has to work much harder to produce enough energy for everyday functioning and this makes us feel very tired and fatigued.
4. Problems with concentration
All of our organs need oxygen to function well and the brain is no exception. If the oxygen level is lower than what is needed, we can’t think clearly and suffer from poor concentration and focus.
5. Nail thinning
6. Cracks on the corners of your lips
Most of us get dry or cracked lips sometimes from wind, sun, or cold temperatures, but anemia causes specific areas of cracking, which affects the corners of the lips.
7. Unusual cravings for non-nutritive substances
Scientists don’t have an explanation yet for why anemia causes these weird cravings, but the most common ones are cravings for dirt, chalk, or ice.
Natural treatment for anemia
There are many types of anemia and the treatment will differ depending on what caused this condition.
1. Improve stomach acid levels.
When our stomach doesn’t produce enough acid, our body cannot break down the food to the required degree and this might cause the malabsorption of minerals and vitamins, including iron and vitamin B12. You get enough nutrients with your food and supplements but it just does not get into your system.
Ways to improve the low acid levels:
- apple cider vinegar, dilute a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar in a cup of water and drink 15 minutes before a meal
- ginger helps to stimulate digestive juices
- fermented food also improves digestion
Low acid levels can also get to the point of giving you something called a leaky gut, because food doesn’t get digested properly and it irritates the gut lining.
2. Heal leaky gut.
Leaky gut is a condition in which the small intestine lining gets damaged. When this happens, undigested food particles and toxins can get through the intestines and into the bloodstream, causing various health issues including anemia. Most of the time leaky gut is caused by an unbalanced diet, therefore, the best way to fix it is to change what you eat.
- eliminate food sensitivities
- include healthy fats in your diet, such as fish and oil
- eliminate processed food
3. Eat fermented foods.
Fermented food is loaded with probiotics, which are good bacteria that help our digestive system work well. These bacteria are known for healing the gut lining, in other words fixing what we have discussed in points 2 and 3. Examples of fermented foods include:
- raw cheeses
4. Eliminate food sensitivities
Food sensitivities can irritate the digestive system and be responsible for causing leaky gut. Avoiding any food intolerances will help to get it healed.
5. Increase folate intake.
Folate is a form of vitamin B9 and plays an important role in many functions in our body, including building healthy red blood cells.
- green vegetables
- citrus fruits
- whole grains
6. Increase B12 intake.
Vitamin B12 is also an essential element of healthy red blood cells. Vegetarians, vegans, and pregnant women may be at higher risk of a vitamin B12 deficiency.
Food high in Vitamin B12:
7. Increase iron intake.
Iron is one of the elements that is essential for our body to function properly. It’s a key mineral for red blood cell production and its deficiency is very likely to cause anemia. There are 2 ways to increase iron intake — through supplements and food.
- red meat
- lentils and beans
Disclaimer: We are certainly not qualified to give any diagnosis. But if these symptoms apply to you, maybe it’s a good idea to see a doctor and get yourself checked.
Do you know any more natural remedies to treat anemia? Did you find this article useful? Share it with your friends and family.