Irony of Anemic Condition: Easy Anemia Home Remedy

Photo-1: The Anemic Baby

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Photo-2: Anemia is Also Popularly Known as Lack of Blood

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What is Anemia and Scope of this Hub !

Anemia is a widely prevalent health condition associated with lack of blood, general weakness and poor health. As per an estimate by World Health Organisation (WHO) between 1993 and 2005, in 69 countries of the world, children in the age group 0-5 years suffered from severe anemia . one may have a look at the below to have an idea of the prevalence of anemia among pregnant and non pregnant women around the world. Anemic conditions make people weak, fragile and vulnerable to various other health risks. In countries like India, where highest number of maternity deaths occur every day, anemic conditions of women during pregnancy has been identified as the prime cause of such deaths.

As seen from Figure-2, Anemia is popularly known as lack of blood. While a condition like anemia may be hereditary, more often than not, it is a condition caused by loss of blood and the inability of the body to recover the loss owing to poor diet with little iron content. During pregnancy, most women become vulnerable to loss of blood due to increased demand of blood for a growing fetus.

This hub is not written for the scientific community, but with a motive to generate awareness on some common types of anemic conditions which are easily preventable through suitable diet management and home remedies. Therefore, the scope of the hub avoids too much of science (it is also because of the inability of the hub author to get into the science of it), rather discusses some essential broad issues although some effort is made to touch upon a few technical issues. For more details in such technical issues, one may go through hubs written by esteemed fellow hubbers in the automated links on the topic.

Table: Number of Countries with Public Health Significance of Anemia all over the World (1993-2005)

Public�health problem
Preschool-age children (0-5 Years)
Pregnant women
Non-pregnant women (15-50 years of age)
 
 
 
 
 
Number of countries
Number of countries
Number of countries
None (<5 %)
2
0
1
Mild (5-19.9%)
40
33
59
Moderate ( 20-39.9%)
81
91
78
Severe (>39.9 %)
69
68
54
Source: de Benoist B et al., eds. Worldwide prevalence of anaemia 1993-2005. WHO Global Database on Anaemia Geneva, World Health Organization, 2008.

Different Types of Anemia

Anemia is of various types; some having life threatening and longer term implications. Available literature suggests that all different types of anemia can be classified into three major groups. Those are;

TYPE-1: Blood loss related anemia: Generally women in the fertile age group with excessive menstrual bleeding and women opting for multiple pregnancies suffer from such type of anemia. This type can also occur due to disproportionate loss of blood due to some diseases such as piles, gastritis and frequent use of some anti inflammatory drugs like aspirin etc. However, blood loss in such conditions may be slow and result in anemic conditions over a fairly long period of time. The red blood cells (RBC) that are the vehicles of transportation of oxygen in the body get reduced in number in this type of anemia. Red blood cells are produced in the bone marrow with the help of vitamin B12. We get enough vitamin B 12 from our usual diets. But if the digestive system is defective, the body may fail to absorb vitamin B12 from the food. Such a condition leads to less amount of RBCs created and is called vitamin deficient anemia.

TYPE-2: Blood is Produced Adequately, but has Defective or Inefficient RBCs

There are types of anemia caused due to problematic blood cells with lack of required amount of minerals and vitamins and if the red blood cells (RBC) do not function in a desired manner. As many may be aware, RBCs contain hemoglobin and hemoglobin with iron in its nucleus increases the oxygen carrying capacity of the RBC many folds. For a normal adult male, the hemoglobin count should range between 140-180 grams in a liter of blood and for women, the range is between 120-160 grams. During pregnancy, this count usually does down substantially. If the blood contains less amount of hemoglobin then the oxygen carrying capacity of blood declines and the person makes desperate attempts to get oxygen through short breaths. Such a condition may also be called Iron deficient anemia . At times there are problems in the hemoglobin as well, especially in persons having sickle cell disease. The hemoglobin in such persons contain some genetic mutant that harms the RBCs itself. The blood cells get deformed and the circulation of blood does not happen normally. This is a condition called the sickle cell anemia.

Photo-3: Hemoglobin and the RBC

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Figure-4: Symptoms of Anemia

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TYPE-3: Iron Deficiency Anemia:

While the above two types also indicate lack of iron content in the blood, sheer lack of iron supplement in the body may also result in anemia. Therefore, it is classified as a separate type of anemia.

Common symptoms of anemia are shown in Figure-4.

The descriptions made above are not a comprehensive overview of anemia. The bottom line is, a person can be anemic for several reasons and the cause needs to be addressed in the treatment of the health condition. Still, evidences suggest that all over the world, prevalence of anemia can be reduced to a great extent through suitable diet management. One may visit a doctor or do a blood test in order to assess whether she has anemia. A prompt for such a visit or test may come from the symptoms as shown in Figure-4. In most cases, a sustainable remedy (not a quick remedy) is achieved easily through traditional ways, by modifying our lifestyle and not through pills. One should go for pills only when the body is not in a position to recover from the condition by itself. In the next section, I have presented some easy ways to address the issue at home.

Some Simple Home Remedy Tips to Deal with Anemic Conditions

TIP-1: Provide Adequate Nutrition for the Body:

Most anemic conditions can be countered with adequate nutrition intake into the body. The trick is to take enough iron rich food along with food with adequate vitamin C. This is primarily because, in most plant based iron foods (especially for vegetarian people), the type of iron (non heme) available is less suitable for human body to absorb. Vitamin C substantially increases the iron absorbing capacity of the body. Also try to correct the problems associated with the digestive system (if possible) with the advice of your physician. Usually, fiber rich food such as whole grains enhance the efficiency of the digestive system. In Table-2 and Table-3 we have given a list of foods with highest levels of Iron, Vitamin B-12 and Vitamin C content.

Table-2: List of Top-10 Food items rich in Iron content

(click column header to sort results)
List of Top-10 Foods with Highest Iron Content (both Veg and Non Veg)  
Amount of Iron in 100 Grams of Serving  
List of top 10 sources of Iron from Fruits and Vegetables  
Amount of Iron in 100 Grams of serving  
Oysters, Shrimp
28 mg
Sun dried tomatoes
9 mg
Animal and Poultry liver
23 mg
Dried Apricots
6 mg
Pumpkin seeds
15 mg
Fresh Parsley
6 mg
Cashewnuts
6 mg
Spinach (raw)
3.5 mg
Meat
3.7 mg
Mature Coconut
3.3 mg
pulses and beans
3.7mg
Olives
3.3 mg
Wholegrains
1.5mg
Raisins
3 mg
Dark Leafy, green vegetables
3.6 mg
Palm hearts
3 mg
dark chocolates and cocoa
17 mg
Sprouted lenthils
3 mg
Tofu (Soya paneer)
2.7 mg
Swiss Chard
2.3 mg
Source: Website of Health Aliciousness

Table-3: Vitamin C and B12 rich Food items

List of top 10 Vitamin B12 Sources of Food
Contain B12 as % of Daily Dietary Requirement per 100 grams of Serving
Vegetarian Sources of Vitamin B12
Contain B12 as % of Daily Dietary Requirement per 100 grams of Serving
Clams
1600%
Fortified Soy milk
50%
Lamb Lever
1430%
Whet Powder
40%
Whitefish Eggs
950%
Fortified Tofu
39%
Octopus
600%
Top Vitamin C Sources
Contain Vitamin C as % of Daily Dietary Requirement per 100 grams of Serving
Mackerel
320%
Green Chili Peppers
400%
Crabs
200%
Guava
380%
Goose egg
120%
Fresh Parsley
220%
Beef
100%
Bell Peppers
206%
Lamb Mutton
70%
Broccoli
150%
Duck egg
60%
Mustard Leaves
120%
Source: Website of Health Aliciousness

The comparisons presented in Table-2 and Table-3 are clear. It is estimated that the daily iron requirement for an average adult is around 18-20 mg that can be availed from either 70-80 grams of oyster or around 600 grams of spinach. Similarly, in case of Vitamin B12, it is either around 8 grams of lamb lever or around 250 grams of fortified tofu. People who are completely vegetarian are more likely to get vitamin B12 or iron deficiency. Fruits like Guava may give more vitamin C compared to expensive Broccoli. So, one need not spend a lot of money to fight anemia. What one really needs is some awareness on benefits of some daily use items in right balance.


Healthy Food Choices for the Anemics

Iron utensils are beneficial for anemic
Iron utensils are beneficial for anemic | Source

Take this Quiz on Anemia

Some other considerations in Anemia

One needs to avoid items that may hinder iron absorption in the body. For example, coffee and tea should be avoided as they reduce iron absorption. Medicines like antacids also reduce iron absorption. Cooking food in iron pots especially the foods with salt and citrus on iron utensils adds significantly to the iron content of the food. Some people also believe that regular body massage also helps blood circulation and is beneficial for the anemic. Vitamin B12 consumption also adds additional benefit. As the Table-2 and Table-3 suggests some of the foods like fish and meat contain multiple requirements for anemic conditions. Having a balanced lifestyle with these food items surely helps in anemia.

The hub was written with a motive to put things in simpler way. Readers are requested to write their comments in the comments box. If you have really read this hub, you may also like to answer the quiz.

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Comments 12 comments

purnimamoh1982 profile image

purnimamoh1982 2 years ago Author

What possibly are the cheapest sources of iron? If anyone can write a hub around the topic; would be great.


purnimamoh1982 profile image

purnimamoh1982 3 years ago Author

Thank you very much Hawksbread for the note. Glad that you found this hub useful.


Hawksbeard profile image

Hawksbeard 3 years ago from Mesa, AZ

Nicely done! My teenage daughter has been low on iron so this article came a particularly good time for us. Thanks!


purnimamoh1982 profile image

purnimamoh1982 3 years ago Author

I had been a little less frequent in hubpages now a days due to my health conditions. When I opened my account today, I found this hub on the top of my hubs. Thanks a lot for your support in making this hub popular.


purnimamoh1982 profile image

purnimamoh1982 3 years ago Author

Thanks wrenfrost for your comment. Your kind words are really inspiring.


wrenfrost56 profile image

wrenfrost56 3 years ago from U.K.

This was a very interesting read, I could tell that a lot of research went into it. Well written and insightful, I had no idea that there was more then one type of anemia. Rated up :)


purnimamoh1982 profile image

purnimamoh1982 3 years ago Author

thanks my cook book for your comment. I am glad that you found the information useful.


My Cook Book profile image

My Cook Book 3 years ago from India

Good hub dear with great information. The information is useful and thank you for a great share.


purnimamoh1982 profile image

purnimamoh1982 3 years ago Author

Thanks richamor for stopping by.


richamor profile image

richamor 3 years ago

Deep explanation, thank you


purnimamoh1982 profile image

purnimamoh1982 3 years ago Author

Thanks shelley for your comment. I am not an expert on this issue, still I though we need to have some basic ideas on common health issues. That's why this hub. I have also a couple of hubs on other health related problems with natural and home remedies. I hope you like those as well.


Shelley Watson profile image

Shelley Watson 3 years ago from Mesa, AZ

Nice article! Lots of great information.

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