Anemia is no fun. I went through cancer treatments and had severe anemia. Just walking down my hallway to the bathroom made me feel like I could just faint. This is how I found out I was anemic and what I did to overcome it naturally.
What Causes Anemia? The definition of anemia, according to Merriam Webster, is, ” A condition in which a person has fewer red blood cells than normal and feels very weak and tired.” That’s an understatement! There can be multiple causes of anemia which can include things like cancer, iron deficiency, B12 deficiency, blood loss, bone marrow disease, autoimmune disorders (can be life threatening), and even defective hemoglobin. The Mayo Clinic suggests that the most common symptoms of anemia are fatigue, cold hands and feet, chest pain, dizziness, fast or irregular heartbeat, pale skin, and even headache. My biggest issue with anemia was the fatigue. It was so severe that I would faint, have issues walking just a few steps, and feel dizzy even when I was laying down.
Cancer and Anemia: Cancer can easily cause anemia for a few different reasons. In my case, as with most cancer patients, a tumor basically steals nutrients from your body so that it can thrive. You need B12, iron, and folate to produce red blood cells.Any internal bleeding can cause anemia, such as an ulcer or polyps from colon cancer. I was anemic for a long time without realizing why or how severe it was. It was one of the reasons that my cancer was discovered. Surgery after surgery left me even more anemic. Even with blood transfusions, I kept reverting to an anemic state. Also, the part of my intestines that are supposed to absorb B12 are gone. I do have to get monthly injections now. My oncologist at Mercy Cancer and Hematology told me that once they discover a deficiency of B12 that it’s normally a lifelong issue.
How I Treat My Anemia: It’s vital to provide your body with the nutrients it needs to thrive. I shy away from taking pills or anything that isn’t natural after dealing with cancer. Many people believe that spinach is a great source for iron when they are fighting anemia, but it actually contains oxalic acid which interferes with iron absorption. I use organic blackstrap molasses which is one of the only healthy sweeteners to use, drink nettle and dandelion tea, and juice adding wheatgrass three times per day. These are the best natural anemia cures. You can read an article I wrote called Understanding Anemia and How to Combat It, for more tips and advice about anemia. You don’t have to ‘just live with it’ in most cases. Some people do need to get B12 injections or have an issue like sickle cell anemia, but there are natural treatments for most anemic problems.
Always Anemic? I will always have issues with anemia and most people who have it diagnosed do have to keep an eye on it. A Complete Blood Count or CBC test is an easy way to diagnose it if you aren’t sure if that’s the problem. Being anemic is a signal that something isn’t quite right with your body, so do pay attention and find out why you are anemic instead of just treating the symptoms.