Anemia Homeopathic treatment

Anemia describes the condition in which the number of red blood cells in the blood is low. For this reason, doctors sometimes describe someone with anemia as having a low blood count. A person who has anemia is called anemic.Commonest blood related disorder / ailment / condition is anaemia. It is not a disease in itself but arises as an effect of disease or failure of function in the body. The first and foremost clinical examination done for every patient will be for this complaint only since anaemia will be an invitation for any disease with weakened body stamina or immune function. One can feel a sinking stamina with anaemia.

Blood is comprised of two parts; a liquid part called the plasma and a cellular part. The cellular part contains several different cell types. One of the most important and most numerous cell types is the red blood cell. The other cell types are the white blood cells and platelets. Only red blood cells are discussed in this article. The purpose of the red blood cell is to deliver oxygen from the lungs to other parts of the body.

Red blood cells are produced through a series of complex and specific steps. They are made in the bone marrow (inner part of some bones that make most of the cells in the blood), and when all the proper steps in their maturation are complete, they are released into the blood stream. The hemoglobin molecule is the functional unit of the red blood cells and is the protein structure that is inside the red blood cells.

Even though the red blood cells (or RBCs) are made within the bone marrow, many other factors are involved in their production. For example, iron is a very important component of the hemoglobin molecule; erythropoietin, a molecule secreted by the kidneys, promotes the formation of red blood cells in the bone marrow.

The following are some key points summarizing anemia and red blood cells:

· Preventing anemia and having the correct number of red blood cells requires cooperation among the kidneys, the bone marrow, and nutrients within the body. If the kidneys or bone marrow are not functioning, or the body is poorly nourished, then normal red blood cell count and function may be difficult to maintain.

· Anemia is actually a sign of a disease process rather than a disease itself. It is usually classified as either chronic or acute. Chronic anemia occurs over a long period of time. Acute anemia occurs quickly. Determining whether anemia has been present for a long time or whether it is something new, assists doctors in finding the cause. This also helps predict how severe the symptoms of anemia may be.

· Red blood cells live about 100 days, so the body is constantly trying to replace them. In adults, red blood cell production occurs in the bone marrow. Doctors try to determine if a low red blood cell count is caused by increased blood loss or from decreased production in the bone marrow. Knowing whether the number of white blood cells has changed also helps determine the cause.

· In the United States, 2%-10% of people have anemia. Other countries have even higher rates of anemia. Young women are twice as likely to have anemia than young men because of regular menstrual bleeding. Anemia occurs in both young people and in old people, but anemia in older people is more likely to cause symptoms because they typically have additional medical problems.

· In general, there are three major types of anemia, classified according to the size of the red blood cells:

1. If the red blood cells are smaller than normal, this is called microcytic anemia. The major causes of this type are iron deficiency anemia and thalassemia (inherited disorders of hemoglobin).

2. If the red blood cells size are normal in size (but low in number), this is called normocytic anemia, such as anemia that accompanies chronic disease or anemia related to kidney disease.

3. If red blood cells are larger than normal, then it is called macrocytic anemia. Major causes of this type are pernicious anemia and anemia related to alcoholism.

Incidences of anemia–

Commonly vulnerable persons are:

  • Women – usually have more incidences than males. They suffer commonly during the period of puberty / menstruation / pregnancy / breastfeeding
  • Elderly people – commonly suffer more with symptoms than with young due to lack of tolerance, resources, reduced oxygen carrying capacity of haemoglobin and reduced restoration / re-establishment of blood cells.
  • Babies suffer especially when they are born premature and take less food
  • Persons who are devoid of or avoid good nutritious food
  • Persons who suffer with chronic diseases / ailments, especially stomach ulcers, cancer, septic conditions, infections
  • Persons who are in prolonged treatments with antibiotics, anti-coagulants, Non Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs) such as aspirin, ibuprofen, etc.

Causes of anemia

Many medical conditions cause anemia. Common causes of anemia include the following:

Anemia from active bleeding: Loss of blood through heavy menstrual bleeding or, wounds can cause anemia.Gastrointestinal ulcers or cancers such ascancer of the colon may slowly ooze blood and can also cause anemia.

Iron deficiency anemia: The bone marrow needs iron to make red blood cells. Iron plays an important role in the proper structure of the hemoglobin molecule. If iron intake is limited or inadequate due to poor dietary intake, anemia may occur as a result. This is called iron deficiency anemia.
Anemia of of chronic disease: Any long-term medical condition can lead to anemia. The exact mechanism of this process in unknown, but any long-standing and ongoing medical condition such as an infection or a cancer may cause this type of anemia.

Anemia related to kidney disease: The kidneys release a hormone called the erythropoietin that helps the bone marrow make red blood cells. In people with chronic (long-standing) kidney disease, the production of this hormone is diminished, and this in turn diminishes the production of red blood cells, causing anemia. This is called anemia related to chronic kidney disease.

Anemia related to pregnancy: Water weight gain during pregnancy dilutes the blood, which may be reflected as anemia.
Anemia related to poor nutrition: Vitamins and minerals are required to make red blood cells. In addition to iron, vitamin B12 and folate are required for the proper production of hemoglobin. Deficiency in any of these may cause anemia because of inadequate production of red blood cells. Poor dietary intake is an important cause of low folate and low vitamin B12 levels. Strict vegetarians who do not take sufficient vitamins are at risk to develop vitamin B12 deficiency.



Pernicious Anemia: There also may be a problem in the stomach or the intestines leading to poor absorption of vitamin B12. This may lead to anemia because of vitamin B12 deficiency known as pernicious anemia.
Sickle cell anemia: In some individuals, the problem may be related to production of abnormal hemoglobin molecules. In this condition the hemoglobin problem is qualitative, or functional. Abnormal hemoglobin molecules may cause problems in the integrity of the red blood cell structure and they may become crescent-shaped (sickle cells). There are different types of sickle cell anemia with different severity levels. This is typically hereditary and is more common in those of African, Middle Eastern, and Mediterranean ancestry.

Thalassemia: this is another group of hemoglobin-related causes of anemia. There are many types of thalassemia, which vary in severity. These are also hereditary, but they cause quantitative hemoglobin abnormalities, meaning an insufficient number of hemoglobin molecules is made.
Alcoholism: Poor nutrition and deficiencies of vitamins and minerals are associated with alcoholism. Alcohol itself may also be toxic to the bone marrow and may slow down the red blood cell production. The combination of these factors may lead to anemia in alcoholics.

Bone marrow-related anemia: Anemia may be related to diseases involving the bone marrow. Some blood cancers such as leukemia or lymphomas can alter the production of red blood cells and result in anemia. Other processes may be related to a cancer from another organ spreading to the bone marrow.

Aplastic anemia: Occasionally some viral infections may severely affect the bone marrow and diminish production of all blood cells. Chemotherapy (cancer medications) and some other medications may pose the same problems.
Hemolytic anemia: The normal red blood cell shape is important for its function. Hemolytic anemia is a type of anemia in which the red blood cells rupture (known as hemolysis) and become dysfunctional. This could happen due to a variety of reasons. Some forms of hemolytic anemia can be hereditary with constant destruction and rapid reproduction of red blood cells. This destruction may also happen to normal red blood cells in certain conditions, for example, with abnormal heart valves damaging the blood cells.

Other less common causes of anemia include medication side effects,thyroid problems, cancers, liver disease, other genetic disorders, lead poisoning, AIDS, and bleeding disorders. It is noteworthy that there are many other potential causes of anemia that are not included in this list and these are only some of the more common and important ones

Symptoms of anemia:

Because a low red blood cell count decreases oxygen delivery to every tissue in the body, anemia may cause many signs and symptoms. It can also make almost any other underlying medical condition worse. If anemia is mild, it may not cause any symptoms. If anemia is slowly ongoing (chronic), the body may adapt and compensate for the change; in this case there may not be any symptoms until the anemia becomes more severe.

shortness of breath
palpitations (feeling of the heart racing or beating irregularly)
looking pale

Symptoms of severe anemia may include:

chest pain, angina, or heart attack
fainting or passing out
rapid heart rate
Some of the signs that may indicate anemia in an individual may include:

Change in stool color, including black and tarry stools (sticky and foul smelling), maroon-colored, or visibly bloody stools if the anemia is due to blood loss through the gastrointestinal tract.
rapid heart rate
low blood pressure
rapid breathing
pale or cold skin
yellow skin called jaundice if anemia is due to red blood cell breakdown
heart murmur
enlargement of the spleen with certain causes of anemia

Diagnosis of anemia –

Other than history of complaints (disease history and anaemia clip image005 Anaemia treatment history) and physical examination of the patient with pulse, blood pressure, colour of the mucous membrane of mouth (especially under the tongue), colour of conjunctiva of eye (especially in lower part) and colour of the nails, analysing the blood count remains fundamental. It can provide lots and lots of information regarding complaints/ disease and plan of treatment. Advanced automatic blood counting machines give accurate, readily readable values for quick diagnosis. The essential tests to diagnose anaemia and to rule out other differential diagnosis are:
Blood – Tc, Dc, ESR, Hb%, RBC’s WBC’s, PCV (packed cell volume), MCH (mean corpuscular haemoglobin), MCHC (mean corpuscular haemoglobin concentration), MCV (mean corpuscular concentration), Reticulocytes, platelets, Serum ferritin, Bleeding time, Clotting time, etc.
Urine – sugar, albumin, deposits, bile salts and bile pigments
Stool – ova, cysts and for occult blood
Barium meal x-rays – to rule out stomach and intestine disorders
Gastroscopy / Colonoscopy – to rule out stomach and intestine disorders
Biopsy – in extreme condition, bone marrow biopsy can be done to diagnose / rule out Aplastic anaemia and other bone marrow disorders.
Whole body CT or MRI to rule out any pathology
Rule out bleeding gums, piles, peptic ulcer, unnecessary drug intake, etc.

Self Care Measure:

Anemia is not a disease, it’s a good news. However, anemia can be an indication of some serious illnesses and that’s a very bad news. So, you need to check first with your doctor and ensure that you don’t have hemolytic anemia, sickle cell anemia or sideroblastic anemia. These types of anemia occur due to malfunctioning of your body which can be treated through proper medical intervention only. If everything is all right but you are still diagnosed with anemia, it is due to nutritional deficiency. You suffer from deficiency of iron, vitamin B 12 or folic acid. You should understand that your red blood cells count has gone really low and they can’t now carry enough oxygen to your body parts. Your hemoglobin, which carries oxygen to your various body parts, may also have reduced to such levels that may pose risk to your health. Therefore, you need to supply essential nutrients to your body so as to treat this nutritional deficiency anemia. Here are some home remedies for anemia of such type.A balanced and nutritious diet can go a long way in reversing anemia. 

Red meats, egg yolks, clams & liver are some of the richest sources of iron.
However, there is hope for vegetarians too. Dietary iron is obtained from:

Spinach and other dark leafy vegetables
Dried beans
Parsley (herb) is one of the richest source of iron among plants
Nuts, seeds
Dried fruits (apricots, peaches, raisins, and prunes)
Fortified cereals
Fortified soy products
Brewer’s yeast
Cooking in iron pots and pans can also increase the amounts of iron consumed.

Vitamin C can enhance iron absorption in the body. So, a diet rich in vitamin C consisting of fresh fruits and vegetables (amla, guavas, limes, oranges, tomatoes, cabbages, etc.) should be maintained as well.

Exercises in moderation can improve blood circulation. However, an excess is additional stress which can be harmful in severe anemia. So, discuss with your physician before starting any regimen.


Homemade Wheatgerm Iron Tonic for Anemia
Till now you have known that you have to give full attention to your diet to fight off anemia resulting from deficiency of iron, folic acid, B vitamins and some other nutrients. Along with a balanced diet, you can use herbs and other plant portions to treat your anemia. Wheatgerm is one of them. It is a portion of wheat kernel which is removed while processing refined flour. Wheatgerm is a powerhouse of nutrients, main being iron and zinc. Why not use wheatgerm for anemia then! Here is a recipe for making a homemade iron tonic with wheatgerm. This is particularly beneficial for vegetarians who cannot get some first rated nutrients sourced from animals.

Beetroot-Apple Juice for Anemia

Apple is rich in iron along with many other health friendly components. On the other hand, beet is high on folic acid as well as fiber and potassium. Its most nutrient rich part is just under its peel. So, if you plan to have beets, you may cook it in a microwave oven or just roast it on gas stove with its peel still on it. After it gets cooked, peel the beet and have it. While you can always have an apple or two in a day, when you mix with beet with apple, your chances of fighting off anemia doubles up.

Spinach for Anemia

Just half cup of spinach daily is what you need to cure your anemia. This dark green leafy vegetable is high on Vitamins A, B9, E and C, iron, fiber, calcium and beta carotene. Just half a cup of boiled spinach has 3.2 mg of iron which is about 20% of daily iron requirement for a woman! So, include spinach in your daily diet. However, never forget to boil spinach,even if for a minute because spinach also has oxalic acid in it which interferes with the absorption of iron by body. Boiling the leaves can reduce its oxalic acid levels.

Tomatoes to Cure Anemia
Just having more iron is not sufficient. You should be able to absorb that iron too. For this, among other foods, you can have tomatoes for best results. Tomatoes are rich sources of Vitamin C and lycopene. Vitamin C is needed by your body to absorb iron.

Parsley for Anemia
Parsley, also known as rock celery, is perhaps the most popular culinary herb used worldwide. Apart from various other beneficial components, parsley is very high on iron and folic acid. A 100 g of parsley contains 5.5 mg of iron which means half a cup of fresh parsley or 1 tablespoon of this dried herb can meet 10% of your body’s daily requirement of iron! Not only this, its vitamin C helps your body to absorb iron well.

Eating Liver for Anemia
The iron that we get from animals is called heme iron. Our body absorbs this dietary iron better than the non heme iron which we get from plant based foods. It can absorb anywhere between 15-35% of the heme iron and that is a good number. Organ meat like liver, is a powerhouse of iron which is the most important nutrient that your body needs when suffering from anemia. Organ meats are much higher in nutrients than the muscle meats. Liver can provide you anywhere between 16 to 85 percent of your daily iron requirement depending upon what liver you are eating- calf, pork or chicken. Liver of chicken is one of the best sources of iron. Raw chicken liver has 9 mg iron while beef liver contains about 5 mg of iron. Liver is also a very good source of B vitamins, especially B12 as well as copper, phosphorus and zinc. However, it is also important to eat organ meats of those animals which are raised on fresh pastures and are not treated with hormones, antibiotics and commercial feed. So, if you eat non vegetarian foods, you should include eating liver to increase iron content in your blood and to get rid of anemia. However, if you survive on vegetarian foods only, there are many more options like legumes which we discuss next.

Wholegrains, Legumes, Nuts for Anemia
As you now know, your body can get two types of dietary iron- heme and nonheme- from two sources namely animals and plant based foods. Heme iron is found in animals, particularly red meat, fish and poultry. Nonheme iron can be found in both animals as well as plant based foods. Vegetarian sources of nonheme iron are vegetables, grains, lentils and beans. Whole grains, legumes as well as nuts are good vegetarian sources of iron and folic acid. However, you need to have balanced vegetarian diet if you intend to source your iron from plant based foods because heme iron which you get from animals can be absorbed well by your body without depending upon other dietary factors. Absorption of nonheme iron, however, depends upon other foods too that you eat. So, take a balanced diet and also avoid certain other foods. Here are some tips for you.

What to have for getting iron from vegetarian diet?
• Have legumes like kidney beans, lima beans, green peas, chick peas and pinto beans all of which are good sources of iron.
• Have nuts like peanuts, almonds and walnuts. Half a cup of walnuts can give you 3.75 mg of iron.
• Have pulses and wholegrain cereals.
• Have lots of fruits and vegetables as there vitamin C and organic acids keep iron in a reduced form so that nonheme iron is absorbed better by your body.
• Do not have tea, coffee, and cocoa with meals as polyphenols in them inhibit the absorption of nonheme iron by the body.

Raisins Remedy to Treat Anemia
Raisins are an excellent source of various nutrients including calcium, potassium, sodium, protein, fiber and iron. A 100 g of these dried grapes can provide you with 1.88 mg iron. Many traditional medicines use raisins to treat anemia. You too can have them.


Homoeopathic Treatment:

Homeopathy is one of the most popular holistic systems of medicine. The selection of remedy is based upon the theory of individualization and symptoms similarity by using holistic approach. This is the only way through which a state of complete health can be regained by removing all the sign and symptoms from which the patient is suffering. The aim of homeopathy is not only to treat anemia but to address its underlying cause and individual susceptibility.

Caring for blood count is essential for life since whole life / health relies on it. With clear-cut causes like accidental bleeding, heavy menstruation, pregnancy, poor nutrition, the person can be treated accordingly with the prescribed essential supplements in the form of foods / tablets / tonics / injections and in case of critical condition blood transfusion may be a must. No one can deny this principle. But using supplements (in the form of tablets / tonics / injections) continuously without regular nutritious food to maintain blood counts / haemoglobin is not acceptable. In general, 50 per cent of anaemic patients can be cured with diet alone, 30 per cent may need supplements and medicines and 20 per cent may need blood transfusion and medicines.

Even though well substituted, if the cell activity is not capable of absorbing the same, the substitute will go waste and the cell will continue to be less active or diseased. Actually, everyone needs stimulation for good activity. Homeopathic medicines can tackle the complaint or disease without persistent usage by treating the root cause. Anaemia is an ongoing process of chronic fatigue. Complaints will creep up with time when not attended properly. So it is better to analyse the cause and treat the condition right to the requirement. To distinguish from other ways, Homeopathy can end the endless episode of anaemia by targeting reality. More specific the treatment is, the more effective the treatment will be.

Homeopathic Remedies(medicines) for Anemia

Aletris Farinosa:- Chlorosis. "The China of the uterine organs." Great tonic for woman not only increase blood but also weakness , Tired dull, heavy,confused feeling. Debility of females from protracted illness; no organic disease. Power and energy of mind and body are weakened. 

Calcarea carbonica:- Almost any of the deeper acting constitutional remedies may be of use in anaemic and debilitated conditions, and especially are the Calcareas useful. Thus we have Calcarea phosphorica as the remedy for the "green sickness," chlorosis of young girls, with a complexion like wax, alabaster lips and ears, a bright eye, and when they smile or laugh it is a sickly one. The face sometimes has a true greenish hue or a sallow one. In such cases the menses are apt to be too early and then calcarea phosphorica is well indicated for this condition. Calcarea carbonica is indicated by the psoric, scrofulous or tubercular diathesis and the general symptoms of the drug, by disgust for meat, craving for sour and indigestible things, swelling of abdomen, vertigo and palpitation ;on going upstairs. The patient is in a state of worry. Constantly imagining calamities. 

Ferrum metallicum:-  It is a great homoeopathic remedy like allopath homeopath also use iron but in non toxix non materialistic doses , but it will not cure every case of anaemia proper careful individualization is necessary. When the patient has an appearance of full bloodedness or plethora, which is followed by paleness or earthiness of the face and puffiness of the extremities, then Ferrum will benefit. When Ferrum is indicated the mucous membranes are pale, more so than with Cinchona, and there is apt to be an anaemia murmur in the veins of the neck. The patient is easily exhausted. Vomiting of food after eating may occur. The patient is constantly chilly and perhaps has an afternoon or evening fever simulating hectic fever. In very stubborn cases sometimes Ferrum phosphoricum may serve better than Ferrum metallicum. Schuessler recommends first Calcarea phosphorica, then Ferrum phosphoricum. 

Helonias:- An excellent remedy in anaemia and chlorosis. It suits especially anaemia from prolonged haemorrhage in women enervated by indolence and luxury, or such as are worn out with hard work; they are too tired to sleep and the strained muscles burn and ache A characteristic modality is that the patient is better when the attention is engaged, hence better when the doctor comes. This anaemia is associated with disturbances in the urinary and sexual organs. Tired,anaemic, backachey females need Helonias,

Natrum muriaticum:- This is one of our best remedies in anaemic conditions. There is paleness, and, in spite of the fact that the patient eats well, there is emaciation. There are attacks of throbbing headache and dyspnoea, especially on going up stairs, constipation ands depression of spirits, and consolation aggravates. With these symptoms there is much palpitation, fluttering and intermittent action of the heart. The hypochondriasis in these cases is marked. Scanty menstruation is frequently an indicating symptom. Kali carbonicum is one of the most important remedies in anaemia, weak heart, sweats backache, especially with female complaints.

Pulsatilla:- Pulsatilla is the great antidote to Iron, and hence is indicated in the anaemic condition produced by large or continued doses of it. The system is relaxed and worn out; the patient is chilly and suffers from gastric and menstrual derangements. Thus the symptoms resemble closely those calling for Ferrum. The cause of the anaemia must be sought for, and if the case comes from allopathic hands it is safe to infer that much Iron has been given and Pulsatilla will surely be the remedy. The Pulsatilla patient feels better in the open air. Dizziness on rising, absence of thirst, and the peculiar disposition will lead to the remedy. 

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About Dr. GS Makkar

Dr. GURPREET SINGH MAKKAR is a dynamic homeopath from India(pb). He is an ardent student of classical Homeopathy. He is a registered doctor degree holder (B.H.M.S.) from Sri Guru Nanak Dev Homoeopathic medical college(S.G.N.D Barewal Ludhiana,PUNJAB, India.
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