Healthy circulation in your body is dependent on what's circulating; healthy red blood cells are crucial. Anemia occurs when red blood cell production is diminished, which often results from iron deficiency or anemia. Here is a look at this condition, and five of the best herbs and supplements for aiding and assisting those with iron anemia.
Red blood cells are one of the primary blood cells, responsible for transporting oxygen throughout the body. Without sufficient red blood cell count, organs and tissues in your body won't receive sufficient oxygen. Iron is crucial to the production of red blood cells. If your body is not taking in or absorbing sufficient amounts of iron, red blood cell count can diminish, leading to iron anemia.
Prominent symptoms of iron anemia are fatigue, shortness of breath, heart palpitations, and a pale complexion. Other symptoms can occur as well. Anemia isn't usually severe, but it can become intense and cause complications if left untreated.
You should see your healthcare provider if you or a loved one experience what could be anemia symptoms. Untreated iron anemia could lead to complications such as heart problems, pregnancy complications, and growth issues in children.
Cause of Iron Anemia
Your iron intake - good or insufficient -- affects your risk of developing iron anemia one way or the other. Even so, a variety of other things can cause it, too, such as pregnancy and menstruation in women, and, for men, issues related to gastrointestinal bleeding (e.g. stomach ulcers, or a reaction to common NSAID medications). Nutritionally, both iron intake and other nutritional factors must be considered, when addressing iron anemia.
Herbs and Supplements to Aid with Iron Anemia
Iron intake and absorption is its own area of nutritional concern, especially for those at risk for iron anemia. The following herbs and supplements have potential to help the body deal with iron anemia. These should be taken into consideration after speaking with your healthcare provider.
Vitamin C supplementation is worth considering for many reasons, but in this case it is magnified because vitamin C enables the body to effectively absorb iron. Taking a vitamin C supplement should be done after consulting your healthcare provider, since it could potentially interact with particular medications.
Ferrous fumarate is a form of iron common to iron supplements, and it is one of the forms which the body can most easily absorb. Because it's so readily absorbed, a smaller dose is ideal. This form of iron is contained in some combination supplements designed for pregnant women, often with folic acid (vitamin B9) and other nutrients which work against anemia.
Vitamin B12 is a crucial vitamin that works alongside folic acid and other nutrients to help the body absorb iron. Vitamin B12 directly contributes to red cell production. It also contributes to the health of cellular DNA.
Stinging nettle is a potent herb, and is packed with iron. Not only this, but stinging nettle contains vitamins which support iron absorption, including vitamins A, C, and K. This combination of natural substances in stinging nettle could make it a key contributor for people needing a hand up in battling anemia.
Spirulina is an algae that contains a varied combination of vitamins and minerals which can protect against cell damage. These include carotenoids, antioxidants, zinc, and iron itself. A quality spirulina supplement has the potential to help the body mitigate against iron anemia.
Treating iron anemia requires serious consideration of your nutritional intake. Know where you stand with it? If you or a loved one has or are at risk for iron anemia, talk to your healthcare provider about these herbs and nutrients when you discuss your diet. Step up and take care of your health.