Iron deficiency anemia can be an important fact of women’s health and it is often overlooked. We need to address anemia to heal many root causes of disease among women. Blood nourishes and moistens the organs, sinews, ligaments, and tendons. When there is not enough blood, this causes many women’s health issues.
Anemia impacts women’s health on many levels. Have you experienced brain fog, heart palpitations, forgetfulness, depression, anxiety, unexplained pain? Or, have you had trouble conceiving and trying to get pregnant? Many of these symptoms can be a sign of iron deficient anemia and this needs to improve.
Did you know that untreated anemia can cause inflammation in the body? And, inflammation is the cause of many women’s health concerns, including infertility.
How do you know if you have iron deficient anemia?
In traditional Chinese medicine, the term blood deficiency links to iron deficient anemia. Even if you get bloodwork, sometimes, your numbers may be within range. But, a close look may show you are headed in the wrong direction. This means the signs are there, but it hasn’t reached a level where labs are detecting it.
What are signs of anemia or blood deficiency in women’s health?
Basic signs of anemia and blood deficiency are:
- Pale complexion
- Pale tongue instead of a pink tongue
- Pale sides of the tongue
- Poor memory
- Brittle nails or ridges
- Pale lips
- Heart palpitations
- Numbness of the limbs
- No period, light menstruation, irregular menstruation
- Dry skin or lack of moisture
What can you do to improve and get rid of anemia?
There are many ways to improve anemia and blood deficiency. Understand that it took time to get to this point, so, it will take time to improve it. But, the reward will be great health.
Understand the specific level of anemia or blood deficiency that you are experiencing.
The first place to start to heal with your food and dietary plan. Review your diet to see where you can add in more nutrients. Eat nutrient dense food that will build up your blood and help with circulation as well. Many times a three-day food journal is great to get started. From there, add in food recommendations to improve your anemia or blood deficiency.
Specific foods to improve anemia symptoms
- Vegetables: Think about eating the rainbow and really stick to that. Some examples are: beets (for blood), peppers in all colors: yellow, red, green; spinach, kale; squash; broccoli; zucchini; Also, based on your weight and activity level, make sure you are getting 8-10 servings of vegetables each day.
- Fruits: Same with the rainbow theme here. All berries in all the colors: strawberries, blackberries, blueberries; cherries; apples; bananas; kiwis;
- Fats: Make sure to cook with a high heat oil. For example, do not use olive oil to cook. You will want to add that at the end of cooking or to you salads or cooked vegetables and sauces. Coconut oil, sesame oil, canola, avocado oil.
- Proteins: Eat easiest to digest for you. We’ll cover digestion and gut biome in another blog. Chicken, pork, salmon, tuna, low-mercury fishes, buffalo, beef, lamb (in winter), legumes, and clean soy products. And, always eat organic and free-range.
- Carbohydrates: healthy carbs are good for you. Grains, rice, quinoa, millet, not processed carbohydrates.
These are some samples of foods that help to boost your blood. Diet and nutrients are a very big topic in health. Unfortunately, our food has taken a backseat in the western paradigm of healthcare. It’s time to focus on nutrition and food as medicine. The most important way to improve your health is through diet and digestion. Doing so can improve hormone function, reduce inflammation, and improve fertility.
Patient Case Study, Female, 39 years old, infertility
This patient came with her main health concern being infertility and irregular menstrual cycles. She tried to conceive for over two years. Her doctor recommended hormone therapy to try to induce regular periods. Then, it was recommended that she start IVF.
After a thorough initial evaluation of her diet, we determined that she was not getting enough nutrients. She had sensitive digestion, so we started her treatment plan with food therapy. We recommended specific foods that focus on blood building and nourishment. We added breathing exercises in addition to the food recommendations. A month later, we added an herbal formula to support her blood. Within two months, she had a menstrual cycle within 30 days of her last menstrual cycle. In addition, she also felt a lot more energy and her brain fog was gone. She decided to stay focused on her food and nutrition. As her digestion also improved, we added in some supplements to support specific fertility functions including increased egg quality. This patient conceived naturally within 5 ½ months of beginning her treatment plan and gave birth to a healthy baby girl.
Food and nutrition therapy is the first step that you can start immediately. But, this healing journey can be overwhelming. Consult with someone who has the training and experience to help you to improve your health so you thrive.
If you would like to learn how to improve your health and hormones and improve your fertility health, sign up for a free health discovery call with Dr. Gina Terinoni.
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