Do You Have Tired Blood?
Many people, especially from older generations, are familiar with the expression of having tired blood. While your blood cells are not capable of feeling tired or awake, this saying is actually referring to a medical condition known as anemia. It is one of the most prevalent conditions around the world, affecting up to 1.62 billion (equal to about 24.8% of the world’s population) people each year. This faction of the population is not restricted to under developed countries. In highly developed countries like the United States, it is estimated that around 3.5 million people suffer from acute, or chronic anemia each year.
There are many forms of anemia, all of which, involve the blood’s ability to transport and exchange oxygen. Red blood cells, or hemoglobin, are responsible for the delivery of oxygen within the body, and when they are damaged, missing, or weakened, people can experience extreme issues with fatigue, weakness, and a rapid heartbeat, to name just a few of the common symptoms.
What Causes Anemia? What Does Diet Have to Do With It?
There are many diseases and conditions that can lead to a person developing some form of anemia. At times, a person can be genetically predisposed to developing it. Women of child bearing age, or those who are menstruating, are particularly at risk for developing temporary or recurring bouts of anemia. Women who are pregnant are also at an increased risk for developing anemia due to the increased demands on the body’s blood supply. The elderly, regardless of sex, are also at increased risk of developing anemia due to the natural degeneration that occurs with age.
One seriously compounding factor that can make the severity of anemia worse is diet. The most prevalent forms of anemia that people suffer from can often be treated with the addition of an iron supplement. A nutrient poor diet can even be the reason a person develops anemia. For some demographics, it is the lack of access to nutrient rich foods, or the ability to ingest them, that leads to developing anemia.
How Supplements Can Help
Despite anemia being such a widespread condition, for most people, a single supplement, a combination of supplements, or simple dietary changes are all it takes to cure it. Iron is one of the building blocks for hemoglobin, however, it can be difficult to add a sufficient amount through a basic supplement. The foods that are high in iron can be difficult to incorporate into a healthy diet for many reasons, which include pricing, availability, digestion issues, and practicality. Supplements, both liquid and tablet form are typically less expensive and more convenient than including iron rich foods into a diet as a way of treating anemia.
While simple iron supplements are the least expensive and widely available, they are often the poorest quality option. In order for the body to be able to use the iron from a supplement it needs to be made available in a form the body can easily absorb, and it also needs to be accompanied by at least vitamin C, which increases the body’s ability to do so. The baseline iron supplement comes in a hard to digest formula, which can often cause unwanted digestive side effects such as nausea and constipation. It is a good idea to choose a supplement that focuses on being nutrient dense with a high bio availability to ensure you are getting not just iron, but other nutrients needed to ensure your body can make the most of the supplement, without having to excrete, or waste the majority of it.
Do You Need Something to “Wake Up” Your Blood?
For many people, anemia can go undiagnosed and untreated for many years. In some instances, people expect and ignore signs of anemia, especially for women who are menstruating. You may wish to speak with a doctor if you’ve experienced signs of anemia, which include:
- fatigue that is persistent and cannot be accounted for
- pallor (loss of skin tone), or yellowing of the skin
- difficulty breathing, such as shortness of breath, especially upon exertion
- fast, irregular heartbeat
- frequent dizziness
- pain in the chest
- cold extremities, or sometimes numbness
While these symptoms can often be caused by other conditions, persisting occurrences of them may be good reason to have your doctor run some basic lab tests to see if there are signs of anemia, or severe vitamin deficiency.
There are also certain conditions that lead to a person developing anemia, if you have a medical condition such as: rheumatoid arthritis, hypothyroidism, lupus, diabetes, kidney disease, or any form of chronic disease that causes an increase in inflammation in the body, interferes with the bones, or the function of the spleen and kidneys. A significant vitamin deficiency can also lead to a form of anemia called pernicious anemia. When your body does not have enough B-12 and folate it requires a more complex supplement to help correct the problem. It is important to keep in mind that supplementation has become a necessity to ensure that your body is getting all the nutrients it needs. With changes in agricultural practices and varying lifestyles, eating your vegetables is often no longer enough. A complex, easy to absorb, and nutrient dense supplement is quickly becoming one of the most recommended over the counter medicines by physicians worldwide.