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Anemia: How A Functional Nutrition (Functional Medicine) Approach Can Help?


Anemia is the most common blood condition which is caused by low levels of red blood cells in the body. 25-30% of the total population suffers from anemia. It occurs more frequently amongst underdeveloped countries. This popular ailment causes several symptoms like fatigue, weakness, and dizziness. 

What Is Anemia? 

Anemia occurs when red blood cells are depleted from the body. This shortage results in the lack of transportation of oxygen and carbon dioxide from the lungs to the rest of the body. There are several reasons you may experience a low red blood cell count.

  1. Your Body Isn’t Making Enough– Your body for some reason is not producing enough red blood cells to keep up with the demand. This is also considered low hemoglobin. You may experience lower levels of a certain nutrient like iron, which is the most common type. Or perhaps your body is expending red blood cells at a rapid rate and unable to maintain healthy levels.  
  2. Blood Loss-Blood loss will result in lower levels of red blood cells. If you are experiencing internal or external bleeding the body will need to replace those lost cells. You may experience temporary anemia until levels are replaced and stable. When women experience their monthly menses some encounter this temporary illness. 
  3. Your Body Kills Off Healthy Red Blood Cells- You may experience an autoimmune condition where the body attacks red blood cells mistaking them for foreign invaders. The immune system’s job is to protect the body but unfortunately, this puts it in jeopardy. Examples of this are Autoimmune hemolytic anemia (AIHA), or immune hemolytic anemia.

 What Are The Symptoms?

There are multiple symptoms people experience with varying levels of severity. Some of the most common symptoms are:

  • Fatigue
  • Headaches 
  • Weakness
  • Dizziness
  • Cold Limbs
  • Brittle or spoon-shaped nails
  • Pale or yellowish skin
  • Brittle hair
  • Changes in sense of taste
  • Shortness of breath
  • Ringing in your ears
  • Chest pain
  • Restless leg syndrome

Different Types of Anemia

With more than four hundred different types of anemia, this illness affects a large portion of the population. Over 1.6 billion people worldwide are anemicAnemia is the most common blood condition which is caused by low levels of red blood cells in the body. . Though it is most common in underdeveloped regions, advanced areas still struggle with this illness. These are some of the most common anemic conditions: 

  • Iron Deficiency
  • Vitamin Deficiency
  • Pernicious 
  • Aplastic
  • Hemo- lytic
  • Sickle-cell

There are some forms caused by certain situations. For example, pregnancy anemia or anemia associated with inflammation or bone marrow disease. There are also many rare forms of anemia like Congenital Dyserythropoietic Anemia. This form causes jaundice-like symptoms and missing fingers and toes from birth. 

Can It Go Away On Its Own 

Sometimes it may resolve on its own depending on the situation. If it is a type of anemia related to a situation like pregnancy or menses then one’s red blood cell levels should resume to normal after. Then there are people who require more care. Some patients are able to reverse their symptoms through healthy dietary and lifestyle changes.

Others may need additional support like medication to manage their symptoms. Taking vitamins and supplements is a great starting place to help support the body.  It is important to talk to your mental care provider about any of the symptoms you are experiencing. If left untreated it

Contact Us Today

If you have questions about anemia or want to learn alternative approaches to support your efforts towards health please contact us. Dr. Melvin Mashner, DC, Psc.D. known as The Gut Authority, practices in Pensacola, Florida along with three other locations. His team provides guidance and nutritional counseling programs to help their clients restore their own health. Please contact our office today!

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