The first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem, right? (wink wink) I know that’s true for anemia! Women are so good at finding reasons to explain away their fatigue that they don’t get tested for anemia (which, btw, is only a $14 test through my lab) and sometimes don’t treat it if it doesn’t look "that bad"! Wrong move! Fortunately it’s standard to test for anemia 2-3 times during pregnancy but that’s not the case if you are just losing a lot of blood during your period! So when should you suspect you may be anaemic?
If you have heavy periods or any other source of blood loss
If you are pregnant
If you had a hemorrhage after childbirth
if you have Crohn’s or Celiac’s disease, IBS or leaky gut
If you take proton pump inhibitors
If you are easily out of breath
if you are pale
If you are always tired
If you have heart palpitations or a racing pulse
Difficulties with concentration or memory
Feeling lightheaded or dizzy
There are several types of anemia:
Iron deficiency anaemiaThalassaemiaAplastic anaemiaHaemolytic anaemiaSickle cell anaemiaPernicious anaemiaFanconi anaemia
I don’t know how to treat the genetic anemias, but, iron deficiency anemia, which is the most common type world wide? Definitely! And pernicious anemia? Yes!! If either of those two are making it so that even brushing your teeth requires you to breathe as hard as a Californian climbing Mt. Everest, I can help!
Iron deficiency anaemia is simply solved by getting more iron, right? Mmmmm…yes but if you’re anemic because you’re losing blood you need to stop the blood loss, too. How about I make my next blog post about heavy periods and for this one we’ll just cover how to resolve the anemia? Ok now, ready for THE list of all lists on how to resolve anemia?
1st tip: Avoid constipating and tummy troubling iron supplements made of ferrous sulfate i.e. don’t buy cheap crap from the drug store.
2nd tip: Get a food based supplement like Floradix Iron & Herbs (vegan) or Energizing Iron from Enzymatic Therapy. They’re both effective and for the majority of people, non constipating.
3rd tip: Take your iron supplement (a double dose if your anemia is pretty severe) in the morning with food but take it 3 hours away from major calcium sources such as dairy products or your multi or Prenatal Vitamin. Calcium and iron compete for the same receptor sites on your cells so calcium decreases the absorption of iron.
4th tip: Make sure you get Vitamin C and Vitamin B12 at the same time you take your iron because these two vitamins increase the absorption of iron. Floradix contains both, Energizing Iron contains B12 but not Vitamin C so if you’re taking it, just make sure that you eat something high in vitamin C with it such as strawberries, bell peppers or oranges at the same time.
5th tip: If you are on Proton Pump Inhibitors (PPI’s), see if there are workable alternatives. PPI’s inhibit the absorption B12.
If you’re following those 5 tips religiously and your anemia is still not improving, read on!YOU MAY HAVE AN ABSORPTION PROBLEM. What does this mean, you may ask? Well, there are a few things that could be preventing you from breaking down and/or absorbing your iron.
1. Low Stomach acid.
If your stomach acid is low you don’t break down you food and won’t have a chance to absorb the nutrition. Low stomach acid can be caused by:
A sluggish thyroid
A diet high in red meat and processed foods
Stress (of course)
Coffee and cigarettes
Drinking too many carbonated beverages, chlorinated water or iced water
SOLUTION: Take 1-2 capsules of HCL (hydrochloric acid) or 1 TBSP of Apple Cider Vinegar with every meal.
2. IBS, Crohn’s or Celiac’s disease, or leaky gut
I know people always roll their eyes at the gluten-free craze but truthfully but if you have Celiac’s disease, IBS, or Crohn’s disease whether you’re diagnosed or not, eating gluten causes a leaky gut. If you have a leaky gut either from one of the above-mentioned diseases or otherwise, food is not broken down or absorbed the way it should be and one of the results is anemia.
SOLUTION: If you have symptoms, get tested for leaky gut and/or Crohn’s, IBS, and Celiac’s and treat properly.
In the mean time, cut gluten from your dietuntil you can be retested for anemia.
3. Not converting your B12.
This can happen if you have a very common gene mutation you may have heard of called MTHFR. This particular gene mutation makes it so you don’t convert your B vitamin intake into a useable form. You could be getting plenty of B12 but your body can’t use it.
SOLUTION: Whether or not you’ve been diagnosed with MTHFR you can safely take a methylated form of B12 called Methylcobalamin instead of the typical un-methylated form called Cyanocobalamin and see what happens!
This anemia is caused from low vitamin B12 and B9 and shows up as an elevated Mean Corpuscular Volume (MCV) on your Complete Blood Count. I bet you can guess from the tips mentioned above what to do to address this!
Find alternatives to PPI’s
Test for leaky gut, Crohn’s, Celiac’s, or IBS and treat if necessary
Take methylcobolamin instead of cyanocobalamin
Last thing! Add a folate or methylfolate (B9’s) to the mix as well.
Blood building after blood loss:
Regardless of the type of birth you have, you can hemorrhage which can 100% leave you anemic. For a speedy recovery and quick rebuilding of the blood after a hemorrhage I recommend drinking a whole bottle of liquid chlorophyll or consuming a whole container of Green Magma in 4 days in addition to taking a double dose of your iron supplement of choice every morning until your hemoglobin is back where it should be.