Anemia & its Fast Friend

Many people suffering from chronic kidney disorders (wherein a person has 20-50% of normal kidney function) fall prey to anemia. As the CKD progresses, the anemia worsens (so they go hand in hand).

Let’s first really understand a basic of what these little beans in our body do for a living. These cute beans help in removing all the wastes from our bodies; in addition to that they also produce a hormone called erythropoietin (EPO). It then prompts the bone marrow to make red blood cells, which then carry oxygen throughout the body (couldn’t help but get really get into it)! So the cycle that goes is dysfunctional kidneys, make low EPO not prompting the bone marrow enough to make a good amount of red blood cells, and lo! The body then doesn’t get the very very important oxygen.

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So as I was saying in my previous blog, before anything shows on your face, a lot has happened already inside our body.

A person with CKD undergoes hemodialysis (it’s a process in which the blood is purified outside the body) which leads to losses of other important minerals like iron, vitamin B12 etc found in food and important in preventing anemia.

The signs and symptoms immeasurably remain the same in a person having CKD along with anemia but there could be certain complications that the person might face like an irregular heartbeat or the heart not being able to pump enough blood to nourish our blood.

Obviously like any other non communicable diseases (like diabetes, CVD’s), the first step is always looking at what you are eating. What you eat and the way you eat are the torchbearers of how comfortable your life would turn out to be!

  1. Supplements: these small pills are the easy peesy way to cure anemia in a jiffy. Ofcourse, before embarking on a pill popping journey consult your health specialist ( not your mom in this case atleast!) as he/she would be adept at giving the supplement in accordance to your renal condition.
  2. Red bell peppers- Its a low sodium potassium coloured veggie that makes you feel happy releasing feel good, do good hormones. They contain a good amount of Vit.C( essential in absorbing any amount of iron), Vit.A and folic acid as well.
  3. Cabbage- these crispy leaves are a good source of vit.b6, folic acid, Vit.K as well as fiber. They are low in cost and are hence forth easily available. Bam !!!!
  4. Apples- these red crunchy fruits do more good to you than you think. Always eat apples with peel to derive maximum benefit. These fruits provide good amount of fiber, and help in the absorption of dietary iron till an extent.
  5. Carrots- these crispy veggies are available almost the entire year and helps in increasing immunity, the blood flow of the body and when taken in safe amounts can reduce the high creatinine levels in the body.
  6. Chicken- this food is a good source of protein in the diet. The amount of protein required by a person varies in accordance with if the person has gone through dialysis or is going through one. It also doubles up as a care taker of the iron requirements of the body.
  7. Cheese- in about all the diary products that are available, cheese is the only product that could easily fit into your diet and take care of the protein needs till some extent.

There are many other fruits and vegetable that a person having CKD along with anemia can consume. The perfect plan and the perfect diet for every individual would vary according to the biochemical parameters, the age, weight, height, if the person has diabetes or not and so on. Your dieticians and doctors work with you to give you the most comfortable life that they possibly can. So, just listen to them, and follow the plan that they give you!

Anemia As We Know It!!

Now probably we are at a stage where we have heard the word anemia in all sorts of phrases and not just the medical sense.

Even though the numerous medical jargon’s tend to make our life difficult in a lot of ways, but somewhere, they are really required to actually make us sit and look up like really what they are.

Anemia is not just pallor or the pale color of your skin, even though that one little word helps us in defining it or maybe even noticing it, but has a deeper connection directly linking it to your well being per se. Medically, defined as the decrease in the number of red blood cells in the body. (RBC’s are our hero’s, and help in delivering a very important element i.e. oxygen to all parts of the body. Life really is difficult without it.)

The symptoms could be very slow setting or might set in at an unimaginably fast pace. Feeling weak, tired, (if you are reading this at the end of a very hard day, don’t worry, you are simply tired! Not anemic! Yay!!) , not being able to give your 100% while exercising are just simple generalized symptoms and the signals that the body is trying to give you. A fast setting in anemia might just make you feel dizzy (which you could be for a 100 other reasons as well, but here we do need to see the frequency as well), or a feeling of losing consciousness.

Its rightly said that your face is the mirror to your soul, or maybe whatever is happening in your body is immediately reflected on your face, but in this case a lot might have already happened inside the body till the time it actually reflects on your face.

So, getting to the point, it is very important that we listen to our body signals. The basic signals that a body gives during an anemic stress is a feeling of breathlessness, weakness, getting tired very easily, not being able to concentrate on work or studies, increased thirst and of course the color of our skin turns pale.

Now, a person could get anemic due to various reasons the major being loss of blood during a surgery, an accident, hookworm infestations and menstruation (especially in the case of women).  Diagnosis of anemia in men is based on haemoglobin (it’s our iron containing oxygen transporter) of less than 13 to 14 g/dL, while in women, it must be less than 12 to 13 g/dL. Further testing is then required to determine the cause.

The most common sort of anemia is iron deficiency anemia, in which a person is deficient in iron. So most people turn to iron pills, which do give results but for some, create bowel issues. But, instead of focusing on short and quick results, the only thing that would help us in the long run would be to turn towards our mother nature.

Nature has a cure for almost every imaginable disease. Instead of popping pills lets focus on the dietary aspect of your life. Is the food that you eat really rich in the important vitamins and the minerals that are really required for the proper functioning of the body?

Let’s look into it in the upcoming sections of the blog!!