Anemia

Anemia: Condition vs Disease2014-11-01 14-59-47.287

Good Morning GlobalMusic4 Life fans! It’s a cloudy and crisp day out and I have been very over dramatic and ill. Everything that goes in seems to want to come out! A bad reaction to a strong medicine, I believe. Ugggh. I was thinking about a good topic for this week and I have done some research on Anemia. You always hear people self-diagnosing themselves as if it was a cold but it is something very serious. Let’s look at it briefly. I am not a doctor but we can discuss the basic facts.

First, is Anemia a medical condition or a disease? Well in a way it is both. It can be a condition stemming from different diseases and maladies within the human body. It can also be a disease in and of itself like sickle cell anemia.

Anemia is a condition in the body where there is a short supply of hemoglobin. Hemoglobin is a very important protein in red blood cells. It transports oxygen from the blood to the cells of the body. It can cause dizziness, shortness of breath, irritability, headaches, fatigue and chills. It affects 3.5 million Americans.

The three main causes of Anemia are: blood loss, lack of healthy red blood cell production (sickle cell syndrome)and high rates of red blood cell destruction ( for example with cancer)

Causes that are common include:

  1. Heavy period
  2. Pregnancy
  3. Ulcers
  4. Colon polyps or cancer
  5. Inherited disorders like sickle cell anemia or Thalassemia
  6. Aplastic Anemia ( can be inherited or acquired)
    1. Can be from radiation therapy
    2. Poison
    3. Some medicines
    4. Certain infections
    5. Inherited
    6. Unknown
  7. G6PD deficiency ( causes hemolytic anemia, 1 in 10 African American males may have it)
  8. Low vitamin B12 or low folic acid/folate ( a B vitamin used to make and maintain new red blood cells, particularly important for early moms.
  9. Low Vitamin C : Helps body absorb iron

Common treatments:

  1. Increase oxygen intake
  2. Raising red blood cell production
  3. Raising hemoglobin levels
  4. Increase iron levels through medicine, diet
  5. Chelation ( used to combat lead poising in kids)
  6. Antibiotics
  7. Hormones ( to combat heavy menstrual cycle)
  8. Synthetic Erythropoietin to stimulate red blood ell creation
  9. Bone marrow donations
  10. Blood transfusions

Food that helps combat Anemia:

  1. Leafy green vegetables like spinach
  2. Red meat and liver
  3. beans and tofu
  4. dried fruit like prunes and raisins
  5. chicken and fish
  6. fortified foods
  7. Citrus, strawberries, cabbage, broccoli

 

Note: too much iron and folate are bad for you. Remember I always preach balance! Read the daily recommended amounts on nutritional levels.

Common types of Anemia:

  1. Sickle cell ( genetic)
  2. Pernicious Anemia ( low b 12)
  3. Iron deficiency anemia ( the most common)
  4. Aplastic Anemia ( rare: low red blood cell count)
  5. Hemolytic ( red blood cells are broken up, can be like Thalassemia which is inherited vs

Leaky heart valves and other medical conditions

  1. Idiopathic anemia ( unsure of one singular case)

Can one totally avoid anemia?

Sometimes we have the symptoms of what we think is anemia and worry ourselves over nothing. Chills and headache could mean the flu. One cannot totally avoid anemia however with the right diet and a good annual physical with blood work can help you find out early if there are any problems.

I believe the key to being healthier longer is a well-balanced diet and exercise. I am trying to do it but it will be awhile before I undo years of bad behavior. I know I will never be perfectly fit or perfectly knowledgeable. My goal is to aim for it as good as I can get. Being better not perfect is the goal.

 

Do you know of anyone with anemia? Have you ever been told you are anemic? Tell me about it!

I am at MsMelissa@melissaweblog.com

 

Eat your veggies!

 

Love and light,

Melissa

 

 

 

 

 

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