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Alternative Medicine, Nutrition, and Anemia

Anemia is the most common form of blood disorder and is caused by a deficiency of red blood cells and/or hemoglobin (the protein that helps red blood deliver oxygen to cells). This results in a reduced ability of the blood to supply enough blood to the cells of the body. Anemia occurs most often in women of childbearing age, due to menstruation and childbearing, although it may occur in men and postmenopausal women. Anemia in men or postmenopausal women is generally the result of some other health problem such as ulcers or even colon cancer.

Generally, an individual suffering from anemia experiences weakness, fatigue, and/or a general feeling of being unwell; however, a severe case of anemia may result in shortness of breath, sweatiness, heart palpitations, or even heart failure (the heart is working harder to pump more blood in an effort to supply oxygen to the cells of the body).

There are many types of anemia and treatment is based upon the cause and severity of the anemia. Iron or B vitamin deficient anemias are most common and generally treated with iron and vitamin supplements such as vitamin c, folic acid, and vitamin B-12. Severe acute cases of anemia may be treated with blood transfusions, however due to the potential danger of other health problems associated with blood transfusions, physicians generally try to limit the use of blood transfusions as a treatment option for anemia.

A variety of sources indicate that the following micronutrients, supplements, and/or herbs may potentially be helpful for this condition. However, it may be wise to consult with your physician prior to taking nutritional supplements and this is certainly recommended for individuals with a diagnosed condition, particularly those who take prescribed medication.

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