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What is the treatment of Anemia?

By  ,  National Institute of Health
Jan 08, 2013
4.8 / 5(4 Ratings)

Treatment for anemia depends on the type, cause, and severity of the condition. Treatments may include dietary changes or supplements, medicines, or procedures.

Goals of Treatment

The goal of treatment is to increase the amount of oxygen that your blood can carry. This is done by raising the red blood cell count and/or hemoglobin level. Another goal is to treat the underlying condition or cause of the anemia.

Dietary Changes and Supplements

Low levels of vitamins or iron in the body can cause some types of anemia. These low levels may be due to poor diet or certain diseases or conditions.

To raise your vitamin or iron levels, your doctor may ask you to change your diet or take vitamin or iron supplements. Common vitamin supplements are vitamin B12 and folic acid (folate). Vitamin C is sometimes given to help the body absorb iron.

Iron

Your body needs iron to make hemoglobin. Your body can more easily absorb iron from meats than from vegetables or other foods. To treat your anemia, your doctor may suggest eating more meat—especially red meat, such as beef or liver—as well as chicken, turkey, pork, fish, and shellfish.

Nonmeat foods that are good sources of iron include:

  • Spinach and other dark green leafy vegetables
  • Peanuts, peanut butter, and almonds
  • Eggs
  • Peas; lentils; and white, red, and baked beans
  • Dried fruits, such as raisins, apricots, and peaches
  • Prune juice

Iron is added to some foods, such as cereal, bread, and pasta. You can look at the Nutrition Facts label on a food to find out how much iron it contains. The amount is given as a percentage of the total amount of iron you need every day.

Iron can be given as a mineral supplement. It’s usually combined with multivitamins and other minerals that help your body absorb iron.

Vitamin B12

Low levels of vitamin B12 can lead to pernicious anemia. This type of anemia is often treated with vitamin B12 supplements.

Good food sources of vitamin B12 include:

  • Breakfast cereals with added vitamin B12
  • Meats such as beef, liver, poultry, fish, and shellfish
  • Egg and dairy products (such as milk, yogurt, and cheese)


Folic Acid

Folic acid (folate) is a form of vitamin B that’s found in foods. Your body needs folic acid to make and maintain new cells. Folic acid also is very important for pregnant women. It helps them avoid anemia and promotes healthy growth of the fetus.

Good sources of folic acid include:

  • Bread, pasta, and rice with added folic acid
  • Spinach and other dark green leafy vegetables
  • Black-eyed peas and dried beans
  • Beef liver
  • Bananas, oranges, orange juice, and some other fruits and juices


Vitamin C

Vitamin C helps the body absorb iron. Good sources of vitamin C are vegetables and fruits, especially citrus fruits. Citrus fruits include oranges, grapefruits, tangerines, and similar fruits. Fresh and frozen fruits, vegetables, and juices usually have more vitamin C than canned ones.

If you’re taking medicines, ask your doctor or pharmacist whether you can eat grapefruit or drink grapefruit juice. This fruit can affect the strength of a few medicines and how well they work.

Other fruits rich in vitamin C include kiwi fruit, mangos, apricots, strawberries, cantaloupes, and watermelons.

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