Iron-Deficiency Anemia: Dealing With It Naturally
What Is This Condition?
During my sophomore year at the University of Nebraska--Lincoln, I had spent the entire year sick and unwell. I had no idea what was wrong with me and why I was sick all the time. I was tired, fatigued, and lost weight. I wasn't eating very well, either. My parents and one of the NCO's at the ROTC building (I was an Air Force cadet at the time) were concerned about me. My mom decided to put me on vitamins, thinking that it was an Iron deficiency problem and couple of weeks later, getting into the second semester of my sophomore year, I was much better. I had been anemic.
What is Iron-Deficiency Anemia? This condition is when your body doesn't get enough Iron. Iron is especially important for us because it creates hemoglobin--which is part of our red blood cells. Hemoglobin helps carry oxygen through our bodies and without Iron, we have smaller and fewer blood cells. The fewer blood cells that we have, the harder it is to get oxygen to us. It's a chain reaction! Let's face it, we need Iron in order to live properly; otherwise, we would all be miserable. Let's get into some of the causes, shall we?
What Are Some Causes?
- Not getting enough iron. This was my problem. I didn't have a diet where I needed to get my iron into my body, thus leading to my anemia. This can happen with small children, teens, and pregnant women: people who need a lot of iron in their diets. I was in my late teens (almost twenty) when I was struck with this condition, Of course, my small size didn't help my condition either (I'm 4'9'') and, being small, I needed (and still need) a lot of vital nutrients.
- Heavy menstrual periods. Every month is a month that we don't look forward to when it comes to our periods, ladies. When it comes to our cycles, there are some of us that have to keep an eye on the blood flow. If we have heavy blood flow from our cycles, we can lose a lot of iron that way.
- Internal Bleeding. This can be caused by cancer, ulcer, or, even, aspirin. Bleeding inside the body can cause this iron deficiency to occur.
If You Had Anemia, How Did You Handle It?
Ways of Handling It
I handled my anemia with vitamins made for teenagers. Why? Due to my short stature of four-foot-nine, my body is comparable to that of a teenager. Of course, taking vitamins and/or iron pills can be risky, especially if one is prone to overdosing. That's the GMC way of handling anemia. There are easier and more natural ways of handling this condition. For example:
- Orange Juice. An eight-ounce glass of this every day can help you with anemia. The Vitamin C in it helps your body absorb the iron from other sources of food that you eat. So go check that pantry!
- Cereal. Cereals like Special K and Total help increase folate in our systems. Folate is a form of Vitamin B and it occurs naturally in foods that we eat. Eating a bowl of Special K or Total can help increase the production of healthy blood cells.
- Raisins. These contain plant-based Iron. A little bit more difficult to absorb Iron but another source of the vitamin.
So those are some natural ways of handling it. What are other ways natural of treating this condition?
Did You Know...?
- According to National Institutes of Health, men between the ages of nineteen and fifty years should be taking in 8 milligrams of Iron daily. Women between the ages of nineteen and fifty years should be taking in at least twice that amount of Iron (18 milligrams) daily. Pregnant women, on the other hand, should be taking in 27 milligrams of Iron, and adults (men and women) over the age of fifty-one should take in 8 milligrams of Iron daily.
- Consumption of dairy products, like milk, has a tendency to decrease Iron absorption. If you want to get more Calcium into your system, beans, peas, soybeans, etc. are good sources.
- Are you a coffee drinker? I know I am. If you have Iron-Deficiency Anemia, you might want to cut back on the caffeine intake. The caffeine disrupts the absorption process of Iron and decreases the ability to properly absorb Iron.
- Sugar consumption eliminates the Vitamin B in our system, thus worsens Anemia. So cut back on the beer and the wine and other beverages that have a lot of sugar in them.
To Sum It Up!
Iron-Deficiency Anemia is when our bodies don't get enough iron, thus causing the production of blood cells to decrease and causing us to not get enough oxygen into us. Iron Deficiency can be caused by heavy menstrual periods, not getting enough iron in our diets, or from It can be treated in a number of ways. You can go the traditional way (GMC or doctor's prescriptions) and take vitamin supplements, like I did, or you can go the home-made route (and inexpensive route) and dig through your pantry for cures!
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