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Anaemia is a type of iron deficiency anaemia that happens when the body doesn’t have enough iron to make healthy red blood cells. Many things can cause it, but most often, it is caused by not eating enough or losing too much blood.
People who don’t get enough iron usually get iron supplements by mouth or iron treatment through an IV. People who don’t get enough iron are told to prioritise iron-rich foods in their diets to get more iron.
You can buy an Anaemia profile home testing kit to check for anaemia at home.
Lack of iron in the diet, high monthly flows, internal bleeding from the stomach or intestinal ulcers, piles, oesophageal or significant intestine enlargement, some malignancies, and the side effects of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medicines can all lead to anaemia.
Pregnant people who have certain medical conditions like Crohn’s disease, have bariatric surgery, have heavy periods, or eat a vegan diet are more likely to get iron deficiency anaemia.
People with iron deficiency anaemia need to eat a healthy mix of heme and non-home iron-rich foods like meat, poultry, seafood, iron-rich vegetables, nuts, seeds, and beans. It’s also essential to eat foods that help the body absorb iron and avoid foods that might get in the way.
People who don’t get enough iron can eat watercress, curly kale, spinach, collard greens, dandelion greens, Swiss chard, citrus fruits, red and yellow peppers, and broccoli.
Oxalates are also found in some dark, leafy greens. Oxalates can stop iron from being absorbed. Instead of just eating vegetables, a person should try to get iron from many different foods.
They also need to eat more nuts and seeds like pumpkin seeds, cashews, pistachios, hemp seeds, pine nuts, and sunflower seeds.
More proteins include meat, fish, lamb, beef, deer, liver, shellfish, perch, oysters, shrimp, sardines, tuna, salmon, halibut, and haddock. More Beans and pulses like kidney beans, black-eyed peas, soybeans, chickpeas, pinto beans, peas, black beans, and Lima beans are also good.
People with an iron deficiency should eat more iron-fortified cereals, bread products, orange juice, rice, pasta, fermented and sprouted grains, and legumes. They are sprouting and fermenting to break down anti-nutrient compounds that make it hard for the body to absorb iron.
Tea and coffee, milk and most dairy products, meals that may contain tannins, like grapes, corn, and sorghum, and feeds that contain phytates or phytic acids, like brown rice and whole-grain wheat products, and meals that contain oxalic acids, like peanuts, parsley, and chocolate, can stop iron from being absorbed into the body.
Even though eating iron-rich foods can help raise iron levels in the blood, most people with iron deficiency need to take iron supplements to get to a healthy level of iron.
Only a few people don’t absorb iron well, but they may still need IV iron treatments. The person’s specialist will tell them what treatment will work best for them. Still, the following things can help a person get as much iron as possible:
If a person tries to change their diet, but their iron levels are still low, they should talk to a specialist or dietitian, who may suggest a supplement.
Health professionals often recommend ferrous salts such as ferrous fumarate, ferrous gluconate, and ferrous sulphate. Your doctor will determine the best type and amount of iron for you based on your needs.