Find below answers to common questions, validated by doctors. Please note that any decision must be made in consultation with a doctor.
Anemia/Low Hemoglobin: Blood disorder with lower than normal red blood cells which carry oxygen from lungs to all body parts.
Frequent feel of weakness and extreme tiredness even while doing normal activities.
Skin looks pale/white and eyes slightly yellowish. Shortness of breath and and poor concentration.
Quite often, body/limbs feel cold when touched. Loss of appetite and fever for more than 2 weeks.
In severe anemia, people may face palpitation, pain, tiredness in legs and get irritated by light.
Autoimmune Disease: In rare cases, your immune system- which normally fights against diseases- attacks your own healthy body cells and can affect almost any part of the body. Symptoms may include extreme tiredness, inflammation, yellowish eyes or dropping hemoglobin for more than a week.
When to see a doctor (General Physician / Hematologist):
Persistent fatigue, breathlessness, pale skin or any other symptoms of anemia.
If you have headaches or dizziness at least 4 times in a week, do not postpone seeing a doctor.
Heavy blood loss in women during monthly menstruation period cycles.
Green wheat grass: Having a small glass of wheat grass(jwaar) juice works as a miracle.
Coconut water: Drink lots of nonalcoholic fluids like coconut water- at least thrice a day.
Eat iron rich food like carrots(gaajar), raisins(kishmish), grapes(angoor), pomegranate(anaar).
Have one glass of juice extract from beetroot(chukandar), carrot(gaajar) every day.
Copper water: Fill a genuine copper glass with water and cover it overnight. Drink it in the morning.
Yoga/Pranayam: Gradually do exercises to promote blood flow. Suggested daily routine: Click here
Lifestyle: Avoid heavy lifting and ensure stress free schedule till hemoglobin returns to normalcy levels.
Including Munakka(Currant) and Anjeer(Figs) in your diet is also very helpful.
Sprouts: Soak them overnight and having them in the morning for a few weeks is known to improve hemoglobin levels.
Vitamin B12 is lacking in most vegetarian diets. Iron / Folic acid tablets and vitamin supplements are usually prescribed.
Iron is absorbed twice as efficiently when taken with foods high in Vitamin C (oranges, lemon, guava).
Avoid having Calcium and Iron supplements together and take them after a gap of few hours.
If hemoglobin is low or dropping, steroid injections or tablets are given for a few months to stimulate red blood cell production.
To reduce the risk of osteoporosis caused by long term use of steroid medication, Calcium or Vitamin-D supplements are usually given.
In extreme cases, blood transfusion is done- in which blood is given through an intravenous (IV) line in one of your blood vessels. It requires careful matching of donated blood with the recipient's blood.
Tests for detection:
Blood tests: Complete blood count (CBC) which measures the following
Haemoglobin and other key blood parameters.
TLC(Leukocytes): White cells which are usually much less numerous than red cells.
MCV, MCH and MCHC: Generally used to determine the type and severity of anaemia.
Lymphocytes: As a general rule, low lymphocyte count may indicate a viral or chronic infection.
Eosinophils: An increase is usually due to severe skin or chronic fungal infection.
Platelet count: Platelets function to stop blood loss from wounds by promoting blood coagulation.
Coombs test direct: Used to test for autoimmune hemolytic anemia- a condition of low red blood cells(RBCs) count caused by body immune system breaking down.
Reticulocyte count: Specifically done for autoimmune checks. Measures the number of young red blood cells in your blood. Higher retic count and positive Coombs direct test confirms autoimmune hemolytic anemia.
Bilirubin (Total and Direct): To check if jaundice is present or not.
Serum iron and serum ferritin tests: To check iron levels in the body.
ESR and other body tests: To find out if you have some chronic infection or not.
Nutritional or vitamin deficiencies: Especially iron, protein and Vitamin B12.
Prolonged stress with insufficient fluid/water intake over time.
Reaction to some prescription medicines or excessive exposure to pollution.
Heavy blood loss during monthly cycles is a common cause among women.
Excessive fluid loss from diarrhea. Depression, diabetes or hypoglycemia(low blood sugar).
Is it contagious:
No. Anemia is not contagious.
How to prevent it:
Make sure you are not stressed frequently for many days. Politely say 'no' if too much work is given.
Have food rich in iron. All green vegetables like spinach, broccoli etc. help improve haemoglobin level.
Do not take antacids for a long time as it cuts into iron content in the body.
Focus on eating healthy food. Take a glass of milk every day. Avoid junk food and don't skip meals.
Avoid excessive dieting/over-exercising and regular sittings at 1 place for more than an hour.
Have annual health checkup especially if you are more than 30 years old.
Periodic cleansing of body sweat enables skin to breathe and maintain good immunity levels.
Explore some other "Health, Personal and Emergency Care" results below