Anemia can have a number of causes, and the reason for the anemia is directly related to the symptoms and treatments. Some severe anemia is caused by diseases like sickle cell anemia, or a rare disorder called Autoimmune Hemolytic Anemia.
Other times anemia is temporary and corrects itself. It can be caused by heavy menstrual bleeding, chemotherapy, or even injury. Below are some common symptoms and conventional and natural treatments often used when someone is anemic.
Anemia affects different people in different ways, and those symptoms also vary from disease to disease. This, however, is a list of common symptoms that if several are experienced at the same time should serve as warning signs.
- Fatigue: Being unusually tired for a period of more than a few days may indicate something more than just normal exhaustion.
- Weakness: Feeling unusually weak and lethargic especially if you do not feel sick in other ways is another warning sign.
- Pale skin: Pale skin, especially around the lips and in the face along with the extremities can indicate anemia.
- A fast or irregular heartbeat: Typically, anemia comes with low blood pressure, but a high heart rate as they heart has to work harder to transport the smaller amount of blood throughout the body.
- Shortness of breath, trouble breathing, low stamina and reduced endurance: This is because your body simply does not have enough blood to function.
- Chest pains: Similar to a fast heart rate, this is because the heart is overworked due to blood shortage.
- Dizziness or loss of stability: Typically this is because there is not enough blood to the brain.
- Cognitive problems, including brain fog, difficulty concentrating and trouble getting work done
- Cold hands and feet or other signs of body temperature changes: Extremities farthest from the heart like toes and fingers are where this cold starts, and combined with pale skin indicates a problem.
- Headaches: Chronic headaches also indicate the lack of blood flow to the brain.
Not all of these symptoms are always present in a person who is anemic. However, if someone is experiencing several of them and has a history of bleeding disorders or is experiencing vomiting blood, passing blood through the urine, or bloody bowel movements they should seek medical treatment immediately.
There are several treatments for anemia, and of course this will depend on cause, severity, and other factors. Of course, the first priority of medical professionals is to stop the bleeding if possible, and then to move forward to deal with anemia.
Here are some common treatments, and what they mean.
Transfusion: Blood transfusion is a drastic but often necessary treatment for anemia. Essentially, the patient gets blood from a donor to replace the blood they have lost. Due to the fact that blood is often in short supply, there are limits on exactly when medical professionals can order transfusions.
Oxygen: Because the body’s blood levels are low, parts of the body, primarily the brain, are not getting enough oxygen to function normally, so oxygen is administered to increase the saturation of the blood that still remains in the system.
Iron: Anemia is really lack of iron in red blood cells, and often the best stimulus for the body is to add iron, whether that is through an IV unit of iron or giving the patient Iron supplements vial prescribed pills.
Bone Marrow Transplants: In the case of some diseases like sickle cell anemia, a bone marrow transplant is necessary for the ongoing treatment of the disease, as the patient’s marrow is not producing enough red blood cells on her own.
Erythropoietin: This is a drug containing hormones, and used to treat anemia in a number of cases, especially those following chemotherapy or other medical procedures that can induce anemia.
The listed treatments is by no means exhaustive, and physicians often use a combination of treatments to stabilize a patient suffering from anemia. Some of these come with risks and side effects, and these need to be weighed in an overall treatment plan.
Besides conventional treatments for anemia, there are a number of naturopathic medical treatments that are used as well. The spleen is considered to be a vital part of the blood creation system, and so nourishing the spleen is one key to treating and controlling anemia.
There are a few common treatments as well, and often coupled with conventional treatments can make a large difference to a patient.
- Use Probiotics: Probiotics are essential to good intestinal health, and allow the body to make full use of the nutrition a patient is consuming. This s a first step in treating anemia.
- Eat Iron Rich Foods: Iron rich foods like beets, spinach, and kale can help with anemia, as getting iron from food is more biologically accessible than that taken in supplements.
- Supplements: That being said, there is a place for supplements. Taking things like folate, beet supplements, and ginseng also help with iron production and the patients overall health.
Anemia is a serious condition, and failing to get medical attention in a timely manner can result in serious long-term health effects and even death. Knowing the symptoms, and being educated on the possible treatments changes battling anemia something that can be overcome.