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How to prevent Anemia September 23, 2018

Posted by Farzana Naina in Anemia, Health, Well being.
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How to Prevent Anemia

Three Methods: Know the Symptoms and Risks for Anemia Avoiding Iron or Vitamin Deficiency Anemia Dealing With Other Types of Anemia Community Q&A

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Anemia is a medical condition in which healthy red blood cells dip below normal limits. Anemia prevents your body from carrying adequate oxygen to your tissues and can make you feel weak and tired. There are many different kinds of anemia, including iron-deficiency anemia or sickle cell anemia that require different types of treatment. Anyone can get anemia, though women, strict vegans, people with poor diets, and people with chronic diseases are at a higher risk. Depending on the type of anemia, you can prevent and may even be able to cure anemia through diet or by taking supplements.

Be aware of your risk. Iron and vitamin deficiency anemia are two of the most common forms of anemia and are caused by either a shortage of iron or Vitamin B12 and folate in your body. Almost any person can get iron or vitamin deficiency Anemia, so being aware of your risk can help you prevent it. The following conditions may cause a shortage of iron, vitamin B12, or folate and lead to anemia:

Vegans who don’t eat animal products or people with a poor diet

Excessive blood loss from heavy menstrual bleeding, surgery, or other trauma

A gastric ulcer

Cancer, especially intestinal cancer

Polyps or other diseases, such as or Crohn’s or celiac disease, of the digestive tract

Prolonged use of aspirins or NSAIDS


Insufficient iron, vitamin B12, or folate consumption in your diet

Identify the symptoms of anemia. The signs of anemia don’t show up immediately, or they may be mild. Be aware of these symptoms:





Numbness or coldness in your hands and feet

Low body temperature

Pale skin

Rapid or irregular heartbeat

Shortness of breath

Chest pain



Treat underlying conditions. In some cases, you may have a medical condition that requires more than eating well and increasing nutrients. If you have an underlying condition that predisposes you to anemia, get treatment instead of trying to prevent anemia on your own.

See your doctor to discuss treatment options, including nutritional therapy.

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Ingest iron supplements. To ensure that you’re getting sufficient iron, consider taking over the counter iron supplements. You can take this as a single supplement or part of a multivitamin, which may lessen your risk for developing anemia.

You need anywhere from 8-18 mg of iron per day to keep your iron at normal levels. Consider taking slightly more if you are anemic or concerned about developing it.

Women require more (up to 15-18 mg), because of menstruation. Pregnant women need at least 27 mg and lactating women 9-10 mg.

You can get iron supplements at most pharmacies and health food stores.

Eat a diet rich in iron. Make sure that you get enough iron through nutritious, whole foods. Eating iron-rich foods can help prevent anemia.

Meats and shellfish are an excellent source of iron. Red meats, such as lean beef or beef liver and shellfish, such as clams, oysters and shrimp are excellent choices.

Beans and legumes, such as lentils and green peas are high in iron.

Leafy greens, such as spinach, kale, and collard greens contain high amounts of iron.

Consider eating iron-fortified cereals for breakfast or a snack as a way to get more iron in your diet.

All of the iron-rich animal products also contain Vitamin B12, which can also help prevent anemia.

Increase your Vitamin C and folate intake. The presence of vitamin C and folate can help the body absorb iron more efficiently. Incorporating more foods containing Vitamin C and folate or taking a supplement for these nutrients can help minimize your risk for anemia.

Foods such as peppers, kale, broccoli, citrus fruits, strawberries, pineapple, and spinach contain Vitamin C.

You can get folate through many of the same foods including citrus fruits and dark, leafy greens. You can consume additional folate through bananas, fortified breads and cereals, and legumes.

Consider taking Vitamin C and folate supplements or a multivitamin to help you get enough of these nutrients. Getting them through whole foods is preferable, but in some cases this is not possible.

Consume foods containing vitamin B12. Consume whole foods that contain Vitamin B12, which is found naturally in animal and soy products. Making sure you get enough Vitamin B12 may not only help you prevent anemia, but can also help your body absorb iron more efficiently. Consider incorporating some or all of the following foods into your diet:

Fish: try salmon, trout, and tuna

Shellfish: try clams and oysters


Dairy products: try cheese and yogurt

Fortified cereals

Soy products: try soy milk, edamame, and tofu

Take B12 and folate supplements. If you’re having trouble getting enough B12 or folate through food, consider taking pill supplements or getting a shot from the doctor. This may help you get plenty of Vitamin B12 and prevent you from developing anemia.

It’s very difficult to get enough B12 through supplements alone, so supplements should ideally be taken in conjunction with a diet high in vitamin B12.

You need .4 mcg to 2.8 mcg of B12 per day, depending on your age and if you are pregnant or nursing.

You can get B12 supplements at most pharmacies and health food stores.

Folate, which is a B vitamin, is often combined with B12 in the same supplement. You can also find stand-alone folate or take it as part of a multivitamin.

Adults generally need 400 mcg. Pregnant women and lactating women will need more. The dose varies with younger ages.

Get a B12 prescription. Your doctor can supplement Vitamin B12 with a gel or injection. You will need a prescription for both, so make an appointment with your doctor to discuss your options.

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This is a good option if you are struggling to get B12 through food or over the counter supplements or you have a severe vitamin B12 deficiency.

Cook using iron pots and pans. There is some evidence that using cast iron cookware can increase your iron intake. Consider investing in a cast iron skillet to help boost the amount of iron you consume in your diet.

Small amounts of iron leach into food as it cooks, giving you a healthy, if small, dose of iron that doesn’t affect the taste of your meals, This can be a useful trick if you don’t like eating red meat.

A good cast iron skillet will last the rest of your life, so it’s worth the small investment.