A condition in which there is a reduction in the number of circulating
red blood cells per cubic millimeter, the amount of hemoglobin per
100 milliliters, or the volume of packed red cells per 100 milliliters
of blood. It exists when hemoglobin content is less than that required
to provide the oxygen demands of the body. It is not possible to state
that anemia exists when the hemoglobin is less than a specific value.
If the onset of anemia is slow, the body may adjust so well that there
will be on functional impairment, even though the hemoglobin may be
less than 6 gm/100 ml of blood. Anemia is not a disease; it is a symptom
of various diseases. Anemia is classified on the basis of mean corpuscular
volume and by etiological (causes) factors.
Anemia may result from excessive blood loss, excessive blood cell
destruction, or decreased blood cell formation.
Pallor of skin, fingernail beds, and mucous membranes; weakness;
vertigo (dizziness); headache; sore tongue; drowsiness; general malaise
(feel bad); dyspnea (shortness of breath); tachycardia (fast beating
heart); palpitation (discernible forced heat beat); angina pectoris
(pain in the chest radiating to left arm or neck); gastrointestinal
disturbances, amenorrhea (no menstrual flow); loss of libido (no interest
in sex); slight fever; irritability; constipation; difficulty concentrating.
Possible causes include: drug use. hormonal disorders, surgery, infections,
peptic ulcers, hemorrhoids, diverticular disease, heavy menstrual
bleeding, repeated pregnancies, liver damage, thyroid disorders, rheumatoid
arthritis, bone marrow disease, irradiation, and dietary deficiencies.
Excessive aspirin usage in the elderly may cause internal bleeding.
Treatment is specific to the cause. If excessive blood, stop the
flow of blood. Chronic loss of blood usually produces iron-deficiency
anemia. Due to excessive blood cell destruction: treatment of specific
hemolytic disorder. Due to decreased blood cell formation: replacement
therapy to combat the specific deficiency (iron, vitamin B12, folic
acid, ascorbic acid. Disorders of the bone marrow; marrow-stimulating
drugs are given with antibiotics and possibly transfusions. See the
doctor for diagnosis and treatment.
Herbal Medicine Formulas
Folk Medicine Formulas
- Medicinal Herbs Online
Raw liver extract, 500 mg. twice daily or 2 cc injectable twice a
week, contains all the elements needed for red blood cell production.
Blackstrap molasses, 1 tbsp. twice daily for adults; for children
and babies add 1 tsp. to milk, contains iron and essential B vitamins.
Iron (ferrous gluconate), as prescribed by the doctor (Caution, an
excess of iron can be toxic to the immune system). Folic acid, 800
mcg. twice daily, is a readily absorbable form of iron. Vitamin B12,
2,000 mcg. 3 times daily (injections are the most effective), is essential
in red blood cell production. Vitamin B complex with extra pantothenic
acid, 50 mg. of each 3 times per day, are important in red blood cell
production. Pyridoxine (vitamin B6), 50 mg. 3 times per day, aids
red blood cell production. Vitamin C, 3,000-10,000 mg. daily, is important
for iron absorption. Brewer's Yeast, as directed on the label, is
rich in basic nutrients. Copper, 2 mg. daily, and Zinc, 30 mg. daily.
Raw spleen concentrate, use as directed on the label, is available
in health food stores. Vitamin A plus beta-carotene, 10,000 IU vitamin
A daily, 15,000 IU beta-carotene per day, are important antioxidants.
Vitamin E emulsion, 600 IU daily, is an important antioxidant.
- Angelica, European
- Anise seed
- Barberry bark
- Bearberry leaves
- Burnet saxifrage
- Chamomile flower
- Clover, red
- Colic root
- Dandelion, root
- Dong gui
- Garlic bulb
- Ginger, Jamaica
- Grape, Rockie mountain
- Juniper berries
- Nettle, stinging
- Raspberry, red, leaves
- Sacred bark
- St. John's wort
- Walnut, black, leaves
- Wild plum bark
- Yellow Dock root
Excess serum iron has been linked to cancer. Use iron with caution,
and only under a doctor's supervision. The diet should include: blackstrap
molasses, broccoli, egg yolks, leafy greens, legumes (peas, but not
beans), parsley, prunes, raisins, rice bran, turnip greens, and whole
grains. Fish eaten at the same times as vegetables containing iron
increases iron absorption. Include foods with a high vitamin C content
to aid iron absorption. Avoid bran as a fiber. Foods that contain
oxalic acid, which interferes with iron absorption, should be eaten
in moderation or omitted. These include: almonds, asparagus, beets,
cashews, chocolate, kale, rhubarb, soda, sorrel, spinach, Swiss chard,
and most nuts and beans. Additives found in beer, candy bars, dairy
products, ice cream, and soft drinks interfere with iron absorption,
as do tannins in tea, polyphenols in coffee, lead found in various
products, and cadmium from smoking. Have a complete blood test to
determine if you have an iron deficiency before taking iron supplements.
Excessive iron can damage the liver, heart, pancreas, and lymphocyte
(B-and T-cell) activity.