Anemia, one of the more common blood disorders, occurs when the level of healthy red blood cells (RBCs) in the body becomes too low. This can lead to health concerns because RBCs contain haemoglobin, which carries oxygen to the body’s tissues. Anemia can cause a variety of complications, including fatigue and stress on bodily organs. Anemia can be caused by many things, but the three main bodily mechanisms that produce it are:
- Excessive destruction of RBCs
- Blood loss
- Inadequate production of RBCs
Among many other causes, anemia can result from inherited disorders, nutritional problems (such as an iron or vitamin deficiency), infections, some kinds of cancer, or exposure to a drug or toxin. A blood test or a blood smear examination needs to be done in order to determine iron levels. Good sources of iron would be green leafy vegetables, apples, beans, raw liver extract, black strap molasses, chlorophyll, raw cocoa and seeds. Certain food combinations can inhibit or promote absorption of iron. Drinking coffee or tea (including iced tea) with a meal can significantly lower the amount of iron absorbed. On the other hand, vitamin C helps the body absorb iron.
Dr Melissa Brown, Naturopath