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How to overcome anaemia

In order to overcome anaemia, you have to know two things:

First, what kind of anaemia do you have?

Second, why do you have it in the first place?

Once you know the answers to these questions, overcoming anaemia isn’t that difficult in most cases.

I want to be very clear that anaemia is very common, much more common than your doctor will tell you.

In fact, I’d say that fully 50% of my clients have some form of anaemia or mild nutrient deficiency.

The consequences of not dealing with this can be profound because the nutrient deficiencies that cause anaemia are associated with serious illnesses such as chronic fatigue syndrome, dementia and some cancers.

In the previous article, I said that anaemia can be caused by deficiencies in the following nutrients:

  • Iron
  • B12
  • Folate
  • B6
  • Copper

(Or any combination / all the above)

Because the symptoms of these different anaemias can be similar, the only way you can know which one you have is to run the proper testing.

An blood test is the best starting point, followed by organic acids and possibly a hair test and serum copper analysis.

Ideally the blood test should include a full iron panel, as well as B12 and folate

Once you know which anaemia you have, it’s easier to track down the cause.

Why do you get anaemia?

The cause is likely to be different for different people.

For example, my friend Jo developed iron deficiency anaemia when she was pregnant.

Some women develop iron deficiency anaemia as the result of heavy menstrual bleeding, where too much iron is lost.

Of course, not consuming enough iron in your diet, or for that matter, inadequate B12, folate, B6 and copper can lead to deficiencies in these nutrients.

We also know that poor digestion plays a significant role.

For example, H. pylori infections has been shown to cause both iron deficiency anaemia and vitamin B12 deficiency, and is associated with folate deficiency, too.

It is believed that in some people, H. pylori reduces stomach acid levels, preventing the release of minerals like iron from food.

When this happens, iron cannot be properly absorbed in the intestine.

The same cells that produce stomach acid also produce a substance called intrinsic factor, which is needed for B12 absorption.

You can see how damage to the stomach caused by H. pylori may lead to deficiencies in these two key nutrients.

You may have several possible anaemia ‘causes’ going on at the same time:

  • Perhaps you have H. pylori and your diet doesn’t contain enough nutrients?
  • Maybe you’re not getting enough greens in your diet and thus not enough folate?
  • Or you may be losing a lot of blood with your menstrual cycle, have H. pylori and be struggling to eat a healthy diet?
  • Finally, perhaps you might be vegetarian or vegan and lacking B12 in your meals?
  • Copper deficiency can result from low intake, and/or poor absorption in the digestive system.

Ultimately, the cause of your anaemia is going to be individual and unique to you.

Anaemia causes checklist

Poor quality diet, or a diet lacking in specific nutrients:

Low grain or grain free diets can lack vitamin B6

  • Vegetarian and vegan diets can lack vitamin B12
  • Diets low in green leafy vegetables can lack folate
  • H. pylori (you need to check this)
  • Low stomach acid (either from H. pylori or other causes – for example, stomach acid declines with age and this can definitely cause anaemia)
  • The use of antacid medications, especially proton pump inhibitors (PPIs)
  • Stomach ulcers
  • Gastrointestinal bleeding
  • Gluten intolerance and coeliac disease
  • Heavy menstrual bleeding
  • Regular blood donation
  • Frequent nosebleeds (I’m not kidding)

If you’re anaemic, or have the common symptoms of anaemia, it’s really important to get a check-up to see what’s going on in relation to all of these.

How to overcome anaemia

Once you know the type of anaemia you have and what’s causing it, the next job is beat it.

However I can’t stress the importance of knowing the cause first. How can you resolve a symptom if you don’t know what’s causing it?

Here is a basic checklist for overcoming anaemia:

  • Optimise your diet and ensure you’re getting optimum levels of iron, B12, folate, B6 and copper
  • Get checked for H. pylori and eliminate it if you have it
  • Get checked for more serious complications such as ulcers
  • Consider getting advice on gluten intolerance and coeliac disease
  • Carefully restore nutrients such as iron, B12, folate, copper and B6 using high quality supplements *
  • Get help to resolve heavy menstrual bleeding, which is often a sign of hormonal imbalances that can be corrected
  • Take a break from giving blood if you are a regular donor

* It’s really important to use high quality products for the right length of time, at the right dose, and in a form that you will absorb, followed by re-testing to check that the levels have been improved or optimized.

I highly recommend you do this under supervision. Iron and copper can be very toxic at high levels, and folate supplementation can cause major problems if not done carefully. Each person’s supplement protocol is unique to his or her needs, and the wrong products and dosage can be at best a waste of money and at worst, outright dangerous.

Would you like some help in regaining your zest for life?

I realize all this can be a little confusing.

Where do you start? What do you do?

First, getting the right tests and importantly, accurate interpretations, is important.

Then, creating the right healing programme and maintaining it for the right length of time, is crucial.

If you’re feeling confused, yet you’re tired, lethargic, pale, struggling to sleep, achy and so forth, we can help.

The best starting point is an initial case review and consultation.

You complete our online forms and submit them, and complete a food diary.

You get a pretty graph of where your priority areas lie (digestion, circulation, hormones, liver, and so on).

We then run a 60 min consultation to provide a set of specific recommendations and advice on your diet, lifestyle and any lab testing we think could be helpful for you.

You’ll leave the consult feeling less confused, empowered and clear on the action steps that will help you regain a level of energy and health you crave.

Learn more about the case review and consultation here.



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