Anemia is diagnosed as any condition in which our body does not produce enough healthy red blood cells. Red blood cells are essential for our body’s wellbeing. They carry hemoglobin that contains iron molecules. The main function of these iron molecules is to carry adequate oxygen from the lungs to the rest of the body.
Anemia is classified as:
1. Anemia caused by blood loss
- Gastro intestinal bleeding
2. Anemia caused by decreased or faulty red blood cells
- Iron deficiency or lack of vitamin B12
- Neoplasms of the bone marrow
3. Anemia caused by the destruction of red blood cells
- Genetic conditions like sickle cell anemia
- Infections like malaria
- Certain auto immune diseases
Anemia can also be classified based on the size of red blood cells:
- If the cells are small, it is microcytic anemia
- If the cells are large, it is macrocytic anemia
- If the cells are normal sized, it is normocytic anemia
Classification of anemia on the basis of amount of hemoglobin can also be:
- Normochromic: Red blood cells with normal hemoglobin content
- Hypochromic: Red blood cells with low hemoglobin content
- Hyperchromic: Red blood cells with high hemoglobin content
The symptoms of anemia vary according to the type of anemia, the underlying cause, the severity and any underlying health problem.
Symptoms common to different types of anemia include the following:
- Paleness of the skin
- Fast or irregular heart beat
- Shortness of breath on excertion
- Chest pain
- Tiredness in the body
- Poor ability to exercise
- Loss of consciousness
- Increased thirst
- Poor concentration
- Leg cramps
AYURVEDIC VIEW AND TREATMENT OF ANEMIA ACCORDING TO CHANDIGARH AYURVED CENTRE
Anemia is known as Pandu roga in Ayurveda, it is linked with the Paachaka Pitta dosha. Paachaka Pitta is responsible for the proper assimilation of the digested food. If this does not happen, then the minerals in the food, especially iron, do not pass out into the blood properly. As a result, the quality of the blood deteriorates and this leads to anemia.
The ailment of anemia manifests due to imbalance or distortion of all the three doshas Vata, Pitta and Kapha dosha.
Therefore, Anemia is classified into the following five types:
- Anemia due to distortion of the Vata dosha
- Anemia due to distortion of the Pitta dosha
- Anemia due to vitiation of the Kapha dosha
- Anemia due to vitiation of all the three doshas
- Anemia due to intake of nonnutritive substances
Anemia that results from insufficient dietary intake can be corrected by taking iron rich diet and iron supplements. Whereas if the cause is due to improper functioning of the liver and the digestive system, then ayurvedic formulations should be used.
Ayurvedic formulations used in Anemia are:
- Punarnava Mandoor
- Aarogya Vardhini Vati
- Loha Asava
- Triphala Churna
- Navayasa Loha
- Saptamrita Loha
- Prawal Panchamrita Rasa
- Giloy Satva
- Kalmegha Asava
- Hepatomed Syrup
- Amalaki Rasayan
- Dhatri Rasayan
- Mix one cup apple juice, one cup beetroot juice and one teaspoon honey. Stir well and have this juice twice a day.
- Soak one teaspoon sesame seeds in water for two hours. Then strain and crush the seeds to get a paste. Add honey to this sesame seeds paste and mix well. Have this paste twice a day.
- Soak two dry dates in a cup of milk overnight. Eat the dates in the morning on an empty stomach.
- Eat one or two tomatoes every day. You can include them in your salad, sandwiches or just eat them separately. Drink a glass of tomato juice every day. Add tomatoes while making your dishes. Raisins are an excellent source of iron. A 100 g of these dried grapes provide with 1.88 mg.
DIET AND LIFESTYLE
- Iron rich food should be taken, particularly those with green leaves (green onion, coriander, spinach), dried organic fruit (apricot, figs and grapes), almonds, molasses, honey.
- Adding black cumin to deserts made of sugar obtained from sugarcane.
- Fresh apple juice, pomegranate juice should be taken. Fruit juices should be consumed on an empty stomach.
- Apples are very good for anemia as they have high iron content. They should be taken regularly, preferably after every meal.
- Beetroot is also a very good source of iron. Apart from iron it contains various other minerals that are protective in functioning of the body.
- Figs must be eaten regularly.
- Citrus fruits like oranges, lemons etc. must be eaten in excess.
- Deep breathing should be done for about ten minutes every day.
- Cold water bath is known to have beneficial effects in anemia.
- Yoga has positive effects in anemia. The recommended asanas are paschimottana asana and shava asana. These bring the body into a relaxed state of equilibrium and facilitate circulation of blood.
- Avoid tea, coffee and carbonated drinks as they hamper absorption of iron.
- Expose yourself to the morning sun.