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Anemia

December 14, 2016

 

Iron deficiency is the most common nutritional disorder worldwide and accounts for approximately one-half of anemia cases. [1] Iron deficiency anemia is what the name suggests, it is an inadequate intake or storage of iron in the body.

"Bone marrow in the center of the bone needs iron to make hemoglobin, the part of the red blood cell that transports oxygen to the body's organs. Without adequate iron, the body cannot produce enough hemoglobin for red blood cells. The result is iron-deficiency anemia." [2] Without an adequate amount of iron in the body, the body loses vital energy due to the lack of oxygen in the body.

Iron deficiency anemia is typically caused by:

  • An iron-poor diet

  • Pregnancies (due to the high metabolic demands)

  • Menstruation

  • Certain drugs, foods, and caffeinated drinks 

  • Endurance training

  • Frequent blood donations

 

Individuals on a plant based diet are especially at high risk of iron deficiency anemia, not because of the plant based diet but because of the lack of education in consuming the adequate amounts of food for proper nutrition.

 

Foods high in iron:

  • Legumes: lentils, soybeans, tofu, tempeh, lima beans

  • Grains: quinoa, fortified cereals, brown rice, oatmeal

  • Nuts and seeds: pumpkin, squash, pine, pistachio, sunflower, cashews, unhulled sesame

  • Vegetables: tomato sauce, swiss chard, collard greens,

  • Other: blackstrap molasses, prune juice

 

These foods are great for iron intake, however, It’s not about how much iron you consume, but how well you absorb it.

So paying attention to make sure you’re absorbing your iron is just as important as making sure you’re taking in enough.

Initially, iron deficiency anemia can be so mild that it goes unnoticed. Many of the symptoms can be mistaken for other conditions or simply attributed to lifestyle changes. But as the body becomes more deficient in iron and anemia worsens, the signs and symptoms intensify. Coupled with a body that does not absorb iron well, this can become a very dangerous situation and fast!

Iron deficiency anemia signs and symptoms may include:

  • Extreme fatigue

  • Weakness

  • Pale skin due to the lack of oxygen in the blood

  • Chest pain, fast heartbeat or shortness of breath

  • Headache, dizziness or lightheadedness

  • Cold hands and feet

  • Inflammation or soreness of your tongue

  • Brittle nails

  • Unusual cravings for non-nutritive substances, such as ice, dirt or starch

  • Poor appetite, especially in infants and children with iron deficiency anemia [4]

 

I can testify to this condition.A few months ago, my energy level was decreasing rapidly. One day I took my an iron supplement and went on with my daily duties. I was not on the road for 5 minutes, when I began to feel very dizzy, disoriented and could not breathe. I pulled into the parking lot of the local health food store and purchased a bottle and took the recommended dosage immediately. This feeling continued into the next week and drove me to tears because it felt as if I was dying.

 

I was taking the iron supplements in abundance, coupled with other natural supplements and nothing seemed to help. Eventually, it was determined that my body was not absorbing any of the iron that I was taking and subsequently I began a 10 day colon and liver detox.

 

Iron deficiency is a serious matter. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms singly or a combination of, please see a medical professional.

"For the life of the flesh is in the blood..." Lev. 17:11

 

Blood represents life. Blood carries nourishment, strength, and warmth to every part of the body, and carries away all that harms and destroys. It is vital to keep the blood well oxygenated and clean.

 

[1] http://www.aafp.org/afp/2013/0115/p98.html

[2] http://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/understanding-anemia-basics#2

[3] http://www.nomeatathlete.com/iron-for-vegetarians/

[4] http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/iron-deficiency-anemia/symptoms-causes/dxc-20266514

 

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