Given the frenetic
pace of modern Western life, it can seem almost normal to feel
fatigued, weak, or short of breath. But these symptoms are never
normal; they always point to a disorder of some kind. For millions
of Americans, that disorder is anemia.
Every cell in the
human body gets a large portion of its energy from oxygen. In
a healthy person, cells receive an adequate supply of oxygen,
thanks to a substance called hemoglobin, which transports oxygen
through the blood. Without sufficient hemoglobin, the cells
don’t get enough oxygen; without enough oxygen, the brain,
the muscles, and all the other tissues begin to slow down. The
anemic person feels weak and tired at first and then may experience
several other symptoms, including headaches, difficulty concentrating,
and a series of illnesses that are the result of a suppressed
The body needs iron
to produce the necessary amount of hemoglobin, and the vast
majority of anemia cases are caused by a deficiency of this
mineral. Iron deficiency most often results from a poor diet,
especially one that’s high in junk food, or from long-term
or repeated dieting. There are many other ways a person can
end up with a deficiency of iron, however. Blood loss for any
reason, including surgery, trauma, gum disease, hemorrhoids,
polyps, cancer of the colon, bleeding ulcers, and heavy menstrual
periods, can produce an anemic state. So can an increase in
the body’s need for iron, which usually happens during
pregnancy. Iron deficiency can also be caused by an inability
to absorb certain nutrients, as can happen with folic acid and
vitamin B12. In rarer cases, deficiencies of vitamins A, B2,
B6, and C, as well as of copper, may lead to anemia. The elderly
often lose their ability to absorb these nutrients, as do people
with certain digestive disorders like Crohn’s disease
or ulcerative colitis. Usually, iron deficiency is caused by
a combination of these factors.
In rare cases, anemia
is the result of a hereditary blood disorder, in which red blood
cells are destroyed prematurely. Thalassemia, sickle-cell disease,
and spherocytosis are all very serious and sometimes fatal forms
of anemia; people with these diseases must be under lifelong
medical care. Anemia can also be caused by an inability to absorb
and vitamin B12 at all. This condition can easily be treated
with sublingual B12, with regular injections of vitamin B12,
or by improving stomach acid levels.
If you suspect that
you have anemia, it’s likely that you can be cured with
simple home treatments and supplementation. It’s important,
however, that you see a doctor for an official diagnosis. The
symptoms of anemia can mimic those of other disorders, so you’ll
need to get a thorough physical examination. If you are diagnosed
with anemia, don’t let your doctor stop there. Make sure
he or she explains the specific cause of your problem so that
you’ll know how to address any underlying disorders and
prevent a recurrence.
** All of these prescriptions
below have been proven effective; level of effectiveness depends
on the individual. Please consult your doctor when taking any
and all supplements.
Super Prescriptions – Anemia
Prescription # 1 Iron
- LifeSource Product
Take 50 to 100 mg of a well-absorbed form of iron, such
as iron citrate, gluconate, glycinate, or fumarate, one
to two times daily. Also, labels that state iron chelate
are generally well absorbed. Avoid the use of iron sulfate
(ferrous sulfate), which is poorly absorbed and can cause
digestive upset. Note: Supplement iron only if you have
Prescription # 2 B12
- LifeSource Product
Take 1,000 to 2,000 mcg of B12 daily, preferably in the
methylcobalamin form. Sublingual is very absorbable, or
your doctor may use the injection form to start. Note:
Supplement this higher dose of B12 if your doctor has
diagnosed a B12 deficiency.
Prescription # 3 Folic
acid - LifeSource
Take 800 to 1,200 mcg of folic acid daily. Sublingual
is very absorbable, or your doctor may use the injection
form to start. Note: Supplement this higher dose of folic
acid if your doctor has diagnosed a folic acid deficiency.
Prescription # 4 Spirulina
- LifeSource Product
Take 2,000 mg daily, as it has been shown to help improve
anemia by stimulating the bone marrow production of red
Prescription # 5 Yellow dock (Rumex crispus)
Take 1 capsule or 20 drops of the tincture form with each
meal. It contains iron and improves iron absorption.
Prescription # 6 Vitamin
C - LifeSource
Take 250 to 500 mg with each dose of iron. It provides
an acidic environment for enhanced iron absorption.
Shortness of breath after mild exertion
Pale skin, lips, and nail beds
Cessation of menstruation
poor diet, especially one that’s deficient in iron,
folic acid, or vitamin B12. This category includes eating
disorders, such as anorexia nervosa and bulimia.
Acute blood loss (most often from menstruation, surgery, or
Chronic blood loss (commonly from bleeding ulcers, colon disorders,
gum disease, or bleeding hemorrhoids)
Inherited blood disorders
An inability to absorb vitamin B12 or folic acid
Poor digestion and absorption—particularly, low stomach
changes are of utmost importance for the anemic person. If you
adhere to the following suggestions for several weeks but still
feel tired, consult your doctor. There may be an underlying
disorder at work, or you may have something other than anemia.
meals so that you get plenty of iron. The best source of this
mineral is organic calf’s liver. Green leafy vegetables
(except for spinach), leeks, cashews, cherries, strawberries,
dried fruits, figs, kelp, and eggs are all excellent sources
as well. If you’re a vegetarian and can’t eat calf’s
liver, include one or two servings of green leafy vegetables
at every meal.
molasses is also rich in iron, so take a spoonful of it every
day. Blackstrap molasses can usually be found next to the pancake
syrup at your grocery store. Make sure to read the label carefully,
as you don’t want molasses that’s been sulfured.
yeast is a good source of iron, folic acid, and B12, so add
1 tablespoon to cereals, salads, or juices daily.
Vitamin C will help your body absorb and retain iron. When you’re
eating foods that are high in iron, have some citrus fruits
alongside them or take supplemental vitamin C.
food in cast-iron pots and pans. The food will absorb some of
the mineral from the cookware. This strategy is especially helpful
for vegetarians, who have difficulty meeting iron requirements.
have a digestive disorder that prevents you from absorbing food
properly, juice the vegetables that are suggested here and drink
several glasses daily. Juices don’t require much digestive
work from the stomach and the intestines, and their nutrients
are easily passed into the bloodstream.
Foods to Avoid
eat spinach, rhubarb, tomatoes, or chocolate. These food are
high in oxalic acid, a substance that inhibits your body’s
ability to absorb iron.
dairy products, coffee, and black tea are other iron-blockers.
Eliminate them from your diet.
removed from your body through the bowels, so ear your fiber
or take fiber supplements separately from iron sources. Avoid
raw wheat bran entirely: it’s a strong laxative that could
well deplete an entire day’s supply of iron.
milk, which may cause hidden bleeding in the intestinal tract.
This is particularly true with children.
women—and, increasingly, men—become anemic as a
result of following fad diets. If you truly need to lose weight,
don’t starve yourself; instead, restrict your consumption
of fats and sugars, while eating lots of foods with high nutritional
density, such as vegetables, fruits, soy products, and whole
Please consult your Doctor before taking any supplements.