Saturday, October 25, 2008

Anemia : symptoms, causes and prevention


Anemia is a disease in which your blood can't deliver enough oxygen to your body, muscles and organs due to low number of red blood cells or little hemoglobin amount inside them or other causes. Some types of anemia are congenital or hereditary meaning you are born with it such as thalassemia, other and most types are aquired mainly due to bad eating habits or unhealthy behaviour.

Symptoms of Anemia:

Anemia symptoms may include pallor (in the nail beds and inner sides of lips mainly), easy fatigability, anorexia (lost appetite), palpitations and shortness of breath.

Prevention :

The congenital type can be prevented by gene councelling and avoiding consanguinity.

What about aquired types of anemia like Iron Deficiency Anemia, the most common anemia in the world? This type is obviously due to deficiency of iron intake, or maybe iron absorbtion mechanisms or maybe due to increasing body requirements more than normal as in adolescence and preterm babies which need more amounts than normal people.

Folic acid and Vitamin B12 deficiencies cause other types of anemia too. It's important to get enough supply of these subtances for your body to function properly and to prevent anemia and alot of other diseases.

To prevent these disorders you have to eat food rich in iron such as lean meat, beef liver [cooked] ,green leafy vegetables, eggs, lentils, Bran cereal (fortified cereals) and spinach when boiled.

Fresh fruits and vegetables, vegetable oils are great sources of iron and alot of essential vitamins for your body.

Vitamin C helps your body to absorb more iron, orange and lemons, strawberries, fresh fruits and tomatoes are good sources of vitamin c. Don't forget to choose cereals labelled "enriched" or fortified with iron.

Supplementations with multivitamin tablets and iron are important and prescribed by doctors during pregnancy and other conditions requiring more iron and vitamins and in people with bad eating habits and low iron levels in their blood.

It's important to mention that adult women need more iron as they lose iron in menstrual blood, so they should consider eating more iron containing fod during this period.

Good nutrition is the key to prevent many diseases that can be easily prevented just by choosing what you eat carefully.

Most Anemias can be easily treated these days, so if you are complaining of one or more of it's symptoms you can go to the doctor and make some tests to make sure you prevent/treat anemia early if it was diagnosed.