Anemia is a medical condition characterized by red blood cell or hemoglobin deficiency, which often leads to pallor or weakness.
While the condition also refers to the decreased ability of the blood to carry oxygen, it must be considerable before a person’s pallor becomes pronounced. Also, new symptoms may arise, depending on the cause of the anemia.
Causes and Epidemiology
The causes of anemia vary, depending on the type. According to Mayo Clinic, iron deficiency anemia is due to lack of iron in the body. In physiology, iron is needed of the body to yield sufficient hemoglobin for the red blood cells. Iron supplementation also happens in pregnant women, as well as conditions like blood loss from heavy menstrual bleeding, use of over-the-counter pain relievers, ulcer, and cancer. Another cause of anemia is vitamin deficiency, such as vitamin B-12 or cobalamin. As per the publication, cobalamin is essential in the production of healthy red blood cells and lack of the vitamin adversely impacts red blood cell production.
Anemia stands as a usual and multifactorial condition among the elderly, according to the United States National Library of Medicine – National Institutes of Health. As per the publication, the prevalence of the condition heightens with age and goes more than 20 percent in people who are 85 years and above. Also, anemia is one of the illnesses in 48 percent to 63 percent of nursing home residents, though the incidence of the condition is not highly sorted in older adults.
According to the World Health Organization, anemia is most common in preschool-age children, followed by pregnant women and then non-pregnant women. Men are the least affected by the condition while school-age children and the elderly are just moderately affected.
Signs and Symptoms
Anemia presents a number of signs and symptoms. According to Health Line, the symptoms of anemia include general fatigue, weakness, pallor or pale skin, shortness of breath, dizziness, bizarre cravings, headache, brittle nails, fast or irregular heartbeat, cold hands and feet, tongue swelling or soreness, and tingling or crawling sensation in the legs. As per the American Society of Hematology, the symptoms of the condition can be initially unnoticeable, until a routine blood test is performed.
While pharmacological treatment can be done to manage anemia, home remedies are also available.
Eating spinach is one remedy for anemia. According to Top 10 Home Remedies, spinach is high in iron, vitamin B12, and folic acids, nutrients that are beneficial to a person with anemia. As per the publication, a half cup of spinach gives nearly 35 percent of a person’s daily iron values and 33 percent of a person’s folic acid value. An alternative is spinach soup. To prepare, as per the publication, a cup of blanched spinach is pureed by adding little water. Next, a teaspoon of olive oil is heated in a pan and some chopped garlic cloves and onion are sautéed until it becomes brown in color. Then, the pureed spinach and salt are added and cooked on low heat for five to ten minutes.
Beetroot and apple juice are two other agents for anemia. According to Rapid Home Remedies, apple is high in iron, together with other health friendly components. Then, beet is also rich in folic acid, along with fiber and potassium, which are mostly found in the peel. As per the publication, combining the duo boosts the person’s ability to combat anemia. This can be done by mixing apple juice, beetroot juice, and honey.
Anemia is not as severe as tuberculosis; however, it also needs proper medical attention, as it may be a presentation of a more serious underlying medical condition.