What is iron deficiency anemia?
Iron deficiency anemia is a condition when the level of RBCs (Red Blood Cells) in a body is lower than normal, it means that there is not enough mineral iron in the body.
It is one of the most deficiency burdens, more than 12% of people in the world are suffering the anemia and it is the most prevalent nutritional deficiency in the USA. There are many people who are in this condition do not realize. In fact, each body contains just a little amount of iron, only 3-5g, and average needs to receive only 8-18mg daily. Yet it is a trace nutrient and plays an important role in the body. It is critical for producing a protein name Hemoglobin. Hemoglobin then carries oxygen to body’s tissues to help maintain many body functions. So the lack of iron means lack of oxygen and body will not function well.
What are the causes of iron deficiency anemia?
The main reason of the anemia is the insufficient iron intake or inadequate. People usually don’t take much notice of their daily diet and eat not enough food having iron or sometimes fail to absorb iron.
Another reason is the internal bleeding when suffering conditions such as stomach ulcer and colon cancer or bleeding in the stomach caused by frequent using pain relievers like aspirin.
And other common causes involving women are pregnancy or blood loss due to menstruation. Women seem easy to suffer iron deficiency anemia because of heavy menstrual bleeding or blood loss during childbirth.
*High-risk groups:
- People with poor diet, especially vegetarian
- Women of childbearing age, having heavy menstrual periods
- Pregnant women, breastfeeding women
- People who often donate blood
- Infants and children, especially prematurely born
- People who undergone major surgery or physical medical conditions
What are the symptoms of iron deficiency anemia?
- Common fatigue, weakness, dizziness, lack of energy, lethargy.
- Sensitivity to cold, cold hands and feet.
- Pale skin.
- Shortness of breath.
- Carvings to eat nonfood items such as dirt, clay or ice.
- Fast or irregular heartbeat.
- Tongue swelling or soreness.
- Brittle nails or dry nails.
- Non-reason anxious feeling.
- Losing hair.
- …
Although those symptoms are almost mild and not many people realize, if the anemia is untreated, it can lead to serious consequences such as rapid or irregular heartbeat, pregnancy complication (affect heart or lungs), delayed growth in infants and children or even death.
Therefore, people should do tests regularly and follow suitable treatments and home remedies to be healthier.

If you are mildly anemic, the iron deficiency treatment you should take is increasing iron level in your body. Most people come to see the doctor and take the iron supplements. However; there are several drawbacks of this way because it does not suit everyone. There are some cases that the iron tablets discomfort stomach, cause constipation or black stools because of the side effects.
If you are in those cases, you can try these natural iron deficiency treatments, most of them are dietary changes.
1. Iron-rich meals
Top iron-rich food:
 Red meat (beef…)
The need of red meat of everyone is different and depends on sex and age. Men need 8mg per day. Women under 50 need 18mg per day while women older than 50 need 8mg per day, especially the pregnant ones need 27mg per day.
 Dark green, leafy vegetables (spinach, kale, collard…)
These vegetables can be steamed, chopped and added to a salad or blended into a smoothie for serving.
 Dried fruits (dried apricot, prunes, raisins…)
 Nuts-dried nuts (raisins, prunes, dates, peaches…)
 Iron-fortified cereals and bread
Breakfast is the great time to load up iron so it is a really good habit to have cereals and bread for breakfast.
 Tofu-vegetable delight-beans (kidney, garbanzo, white…)
 Fish (tuna, sardine, mackerel, haddock…)
 Eggs
 Poultry (turkey, chicken, duck…)
 Chocolate
Different foods contain different iron rate and iron from meat, poultry and seafood can be absorbed better than iron from vegetable sources. Anyway, your diet should be closely monitored and include all major food groups to make sure the balance.
2. Iron absorbing assistants
Iron is one of the hardest nutrients to digest. Therefore; besides eating food rich in iron, you should eat food rich in vitamin C, B12, folate… because they can help to facilitate the iron absorbing process.
Top foods highest in vitamin C are citrus fruits (oranges, grapefruits, tangerine…), dark green leafy vegetables (kale, spinach…), kiwifruit, broccoli, berries (strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, blueberries…), cooked tomatoes…
3. Prevent the inhibitors
While some dietary factors can enhance the iron absorption, the others make it hard to absorb iron. You should not consume a large amount of these foods and drinks containing those inhibitors:
 Tea and coffee
 Milk
 Walnuts and almonds
 Wholegrain cereals (although wholegrain cereal is a good source of iron, it contains phytic acid which prevents body from absorbing iron from other foods)
Besides keep away from eating these too much, you should keep away from bad habits like smoking as well to make the iron deficiency treatments effective.
These iron deficiency treatments are natural and you can do it at home. Yet they can only treat slight anemia, if you are in severe cases, you have to follow other treatments in the hospital like the blood transfusion. To prevent those harsh burdens, you can take the natural iron deficiency treatments as ways to improve healthy in daily life.

Author's Bio: 

Posted by Huyen My, a health and beauty expert at VKool.com and AllRemedies.com