If diagnosed anemic, what next?

“You look pale!

You appear weak, tired and without stamina almost always....”

How many of us have heard this at some point of time in our life? Every mother almost always ends up feeding their kids using the above statements as a norm. Even when we step into a doctor's clinic, we find the physician checking the eye pallor followed by reprimanding us for not eating on time. The next logical step this preliminary assessment ends up in is a blood test.

So the dreaded blood report flags “anemia”; which is basically low levels of hemoglobin, an iron-rich protein in the blood. There are different types of anemia, some which are inherited while others are nutrition-deficiency related. In broad terms, anemia generally refers to iron-deficiency condition, and when diagnosed as anemic, the first step is to identify the cause. Now how can one do that?

  • Study the family history and try to understand diagnosis or prevalence of inherited conditions like hemoglobinopathy or thalassemia
  • Identifying symptoms for gastrointestinal ulcers
  • Check the medication history to track intake of any nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like aspirin, ibuprofen, etc.
  • Note for any excessive bleeding during menstruation
  • Peruse your daily diet regimen, to check for intake of a balanced diet.

If identified as nutrition-deficieny fueled, the anemia can be easily treated with iron-supplements and dietary modifications. Changes in food pattern would need cutting down on intake of empty calorie foods like refined flour, sugar, fast food, chocolate, coffee, soda, etc. All of these hamper absorption of iron in the body, leading to development of a state of anemia.

What is under your control? Your food habits!

Increase intake of bright-orange colored foods like pumpkin, green leafy veggies, as they are known to benefit the spleen which produces the red blood cells in your body. In case of green leafy diet, ensure the spinach, broccoli, etc. are steamed before consumption as raw spinach has oxalic acid which reduces iron absorption.

A healthy digestive system is a need even for the supplements and the diet to work well. This calls for intake of probiotics, which maintain gut health. Homemade yogurt is the best here.

Include iron-rich foods in diet which include seafood, lean meat, fortified grains, nuts, etc.

Diet and supplementation apart, reducing anxiety and stress can have miraculous effects on your body! Fear will fatigue your body more....Fight your anemia with wise choices! Happy Learning!