Friday, 29 January 2010

Taking Iron to resolve Anaemia

I will discuss anaemia in further detail later but first a quick word about iron supplements. Many people dislike taking them or find them impossible to digest as they are known to cause constipation. This can vary from mild to severe constipation. This is unacceptable to a large number of people as they may have underlying digestive problems including symptoms of Iritable Bowel Syndrome. So here are some suggestions about different forms of iron supplementation designed to bring up your haemoglobin levels withut causing nasty side-effects.

1. Try taking Spatone. This is water from a natural spring in the UK which has high levels of iron. It is very gentle and the fact that it is merely 'water' means it is free from artificial ingredients and certain chemicals which can cause stomach upset. Many midwives recommend this particular product during pregnancy. You can dissolve it in more water or fruit juice. It has a slightly metallic taste but is not unpleasant and comes in convenient sachets to take daily.

2. You may be aware that increased amounts of Vitamin C can sometimes aid in the digestion and assilimation of iron. One reason for this is that Vitamin C in a medium to large dose (1000mg upwards), can act as a natural laxative. Many fruits are rich in fibre and water content, taking a good amount of this on a daily basis will counter-act constipation.

3. Most iron tablets or capsules contain Ferrous Sulphate. The ingredient of Sulphur is a major contributor to constipation. Sulphur is a mineral in the body and necessary. But Sulphur in supplement form can be very tough to digest - the liver has terrible trouble with it as it exists naturally in the body and in foods, only in trace amounts not concentrated amounts. Switch your iron supplement and look for Ferrous Gluconate instead, which is far easier to digest and assimilate. I often recommend one excellent product Salus-Haus Floradix. Salus-Haus also do an Iron tonic that is yeast-free (suitable for women who suffer Candida) as well as an Iron tonic suitable for women who are breastfeeding. It also in liquid form and has other vitamins and nutrients added in.

4. Some people may even feel nausea after taking iron. For people who cannot digest iron at all - I recommend the Cell Salt Ferrum-phos 6x. These little tablets are made of milk sugar and are taken by dissolving in the mouth, on or under the tongue and are ingested through absorption over the mucous membranes and not the stomach. You take them 2-3x daily (or follow directions on container). They assist the body in making use of and assimilating any iron already included in one's diet. In other words, the uptake and procesing of iron which has been already digested, improves and becomes more efficient. Thus raising haemglobin in the blood. This method may not be as fast or as strong for some people with very low iron levels which need to be addressed immediately but it is a solution over time for people who have given up on the usual recommendations. If a person suffers from congestion and constipation- part of their underlying condition anyway is connected with poor assimilation of nutrients (for whatever reason) and taking this simple remedy is right for them.

5. Many people with reduced blood haemoglobin levels are deficient in B12. And when iron supplementation does not work, B12 injections are offered as a treatment. Having an adequate supply of B-vitamins nourishes many different bodily functions. Taking iron but being low in B-Vitamins will affect how quickly you recover from anaemia. Another common accompanying deficiency is Copper. Supplementation with this mineral can help raise iron levels. How to tell if you may be low in Copper? You sometimes get electric shocks when touching metals and surfaces.

6. If you have assimilation problems and digestive issues - this affects all uptake of nutrients. Without addressing these issues, you may continue to suffer bouts of anemia and all iron supplementation acts only as a temporary solution. One important factor in anaemia is to avoid tea and coffee in your diet which deplete iron in the body.

7. What are your food sources for Iron? The best solution is often to look to your food. Dried fruits such as apricots, raisins and sultanas. This is a good source for people keeping an eye on weight-loss and who experience severe bloating as a result of constipation as a result of iron supplementation. Also leafy green vegetables such as spinach, cabbage, lettuce. Nuts and seeds (in particular pumpkin seeds). And wholegrains such as wheat and millet.

8. Some cases of anaemia also have accompanying health issues such as decreased blood pressure,and low energy as well as poor digestion and chronic underlying illnesses. Homeopathy can provide solutions in the treatment of anemia while at the same time addressing issues leading to its development. I would recommend seeking out help from a professional homeopath if all else is failing.
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