Anaemia is a very common blood disorder and is related to hemoglobin levels in the blood. It is important to understand the exact role of hemoglobin in order to fully understand this condition. The blood circulating in our bodies contains red blood cells. These red blood cells contain hemoglobin molecules that combine with oxygen to be transported to the various organs and tissues of the body. If your red blood cells have insufficient hemoglobin, they cannot transport the require amounts of oxygen to the rest of the body. As your body is starved of the oxygen it requires, you become listless and your energy levels decrease. There are several types of anaemia based on the root cause of the problem and so a definite diagnosis is essential. Anaemia can aggravate existing ailments or it can increase your risks of succumbing to a variety of illnesses. Anaemia can generally be treated and prevented through dietary changes.

Anaemia Picture

Symptoms of Anaemia

Most people who experience symptoms of anaemia simply attribute it to to normal everyday fatigue and think no more of it. As the deficiency becomes more severe, the individual may experience a feeling of loss of energy and dizziness, inertia, and their ability to focus and concentrate will be affected. With the further progression of this condition, the body is forced to increase cardiac production in order to meet the body’s oxygen requirements. This could induce palpitations and mild symptoms of a heart attack and claudication of the legs. Individuals may experience dyspnea –unusual shortness of breath. Sometimes there are clear signs of anaemia such as jaundice, bone deformities, or leg ulcers. Anaemia symptoms in women may be more obvious as compared to anaemia symptoms in men.  

Those who experience tiredness without exertion appear paler in complexion, become short of breath, noticeable hair loss, or an increase or worsening of existing heart problems should seek medical advice to find out whether they are anemic. Please note that in chronic anaemia which is long standing, sometimes the body adjusts to the lower levels of oxygen, in which case the individuals does not notice any difference. The symptoms of anaemia are not restricted to anaemia alone but it is safer and more prudent to study the symptoms closely.  The symptoms would include those listed below.

  • Chest pain
  • Dizziness, particularly when standing or during physical activity
  • Listless  or fatigue
  • Difficulty in concentration
  • Regular headaches

Other forms of anaemia may have different symptoms like:

  • Constipation
  • Difficulty in paying attention on one’s thoughts
  • Tingling sensation especially in the extremities

Impaired neurological development in infants can lead to chronic anaemia. Children with anaemia often exhibit poor academic performance and an inability to concentrate for even short periods. In rare cases, the individual may experience swelling of the legs, heart burn, unusual sweating, vomiting, and sometimes blood in the stool. These symptoms tend to be more common in women as compared to men. Severe anaemia can cause accelerated heart rate which indicates a hyperactive circulation, a murmur, or an even an enlargement of the heart. Pica is the consumption of unusual non consumable materials like hair, grass, paper, chalk, and flakes of wall paint. This condition is most common in children and may be an indication of iron deficiency, although it is known to occur in persons who have regular levels of hemoglobin in the blood.

Causes of Anaemia

Many different parts of the body make red blood cells, but most of the work is done in the bone marrow, which is the soft tissue in the hollow of the large bones.  Healthy red blood cells last between ninety and one twenty days and then they are removed from the body as waste while the bone marrow manufactures the replacement red blood cells.  Hemoglobin is the protein that carries oxygen in the red blood cells to different parts of the body, and which gives the red blood cells their red colour.  People with anaemia have less hemoglobin in their blood and this can be detected by their unusually pale complexion. Anaemia is thought to be caused by one or more of the following:

  • Poor diet especially during pregnancy
  • Chronic diseases like cancer and colitis due to ulcers
  • Failure of the immune system, which allows the destruction of the blood cells. (hemolytic anaemia)
  • Affliction of the bone marrow by leukemia or multiple myeloma.  
  • Genetics – the inheritance of forms of anaemia like thalassemia
  • Internal blood loss as in heavy menstruation, or ulcers in the stomach
  • Stomach or intestine surgery that inhibits the body’s absorption of folic acid, vitamin B 12, or iron
  • A hypoactive thyroid that produces insufficient thyroid hormone
  • Failure of the kidneys
  • A deficit in the required level of testosterone
  • Medications that do not quite agree with the system of the individual

After considering the individual causes, it can be summarized that the three main reasons for anaemia are:

  • Overwhelming destruction of red blood cells
  • Inadequate production of red blood cells
  • Constant loss of blood due to any medical condition

Anaemia has many preventable causes, but it can also have causes such as hereditary blood disorders that cannot be prevented. However, the most common causes for anaemia include a nutritional deficiency such as a lack of vitamins or iron, and the intake of a drug or toxin. A healthy diet is a strong preventive measure and regular check ups will keep you updated and aware of your health status.

Remedies for Anaemia

Blood tests are necessary to confirm a diagnosis of anaemia. These tests can determine the levels of vitamin B 12, vitamins and minerals, and folic acid in the blood. They can also detect the red blood count and the hemoglobin level as well as the level of iron in the blood.  To identify the other medical problems that may be the cause of anaemia there are other tests that may be required. When you consider the numerous causes, the countless types of anaemia and the innumerable treatments for anaemia, you will realize the complexity of this condition. However, there are certain home remedies for anaemia that can be invaluable in the treatment of this condition. These are some of the most effective anaemia home remedies:

  • Beet juice is one of the best home remedies for anaemia as it rich in a wide variety of nutrients including iron. Have a large glass of fresh, unsweetened beetroot juice every morning to restore your hemoglobin levels.
  • A short sun bath is a very simple and effective anaemia cure as it increases the production of red blood cells.
  • Mash a banana that is slightly overripe and add a tablespoon of honey to it. Have this after your dinner to provide your body with a wide variety of vitamins, minerals, and amino acids.
  • Fresh tomato juice or even tomato puree is a great home remedy for anaemia as tomatoes are excellent sources of vitamins A, C, and K. Tomatoes are also a good source of iron.
  • Extract the juice of a large apple and mix it with an equal amount of fresh tomato juice. Drink this mixed juice instead of your morning cup of coffee to prevent or treat anaemia.

In addition to these home remedies, your doctor may recommend iron supplements along with Vitamin B12, folic acid, or multivitamin tablets. Since Vitamin C is a catalyst in the body's intake of iron, oral ingestion of iron supplements should be accompanied with orange juice for maximum benefit. Keep in mind that this condition can become extremely serious if it is neglected and so it is important that you discuss your treatment options with your doctor. A blood transfusion may be essential in cases of continual loss of blood, or when the incidence of anaemia is serious

Diet for Anaemia

A sensible well – balanced diet is one of the foremost necessities when dealing with anaemia. The diet of an anemic person will need to address the root cause of the problem as well as promote overall health and wellbeing. These are a few of the foods that should be present in an anaemia diet:

  • Meat (especially poultry)
  • Vegetables
  • Fruits
  • Dairy products like milk, cheese, and yogurt
  • Cereals
  • Dried beans
  • Boiled eggs
  • Fish
  • Nuts and seeds

Iron rich foods play a crucial role in the treatment of anaemia, so liver and oysters, green leafy vegetables beetroot, wheat flaked bran, red rice, lentils, raisins, and prunes are essential because of their high iron content. If you consume two or three apples daily, then you are on the right track to a quick recovery from anaemia because apples are rich in iron.  Animal protein and organ meats like liver and kidney have a high Vitamin B12 content and are good for treating anaemia. Iron is needed to make hemoglobin, and iron from meats is more easily absorbed as compared to the iron from other foods.  Lack of Vitamin B can cause a type of anaemia called pernicious anaemia. Folic acid is a form of Vitamin B found in foods.  The body needs Folic Acid to make new cells.  It is also essential for pregnant women, because it enables them to avoid anaemia and safeguards the health of their baby.  Vitamin C is a great help to the body in absorbing iron. Vegetables like bell peppers and fruits (especially citrus fruits) are good sources of Vitamin C.

Suggestions for Anaemia

Iron supplements can cause temporary digestive problems such as diarrhea, constipation, and heartburn. Keep your doctor informed of any side effects of your supplements or anaemia treatment medication so that the necessary changes can be made. Under no circumstances should you increase or decrease the dosage of your medication without first discussing it with your doctor.


  1. Roger J Harris, Iron deficiency anaemia: does it really matter?, Paediatrics and Child Health, Volume 17, Issue 4, April 2007, Pages 143-146, ISSN 1751-7222, 10.
  2. Malik Goonewardene, Mishkat Shehata, Asma Hamad, Anaemia in pregnancy, Best Practice & Research Clinical Obstetrics & Gynaecology, Volume 26, Issue 1, February 2012, Pages 3-24, ISSN 1521-6934, 10.

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7 Anaemia remedies suggested by our users
suggested by Sridevi on Monday, January 7, 2008

Soak 2 dry Dates in a small cup of milk, and let them soak overnight. Eat the dates in the morning on an empty stomach. It really helps anemic patients with good energy.

home remedies for anaemia
suggested by sheela on Monday, June 25, 2007

try eating dates every day in the morning empty stomach and then have milk. it works wonders

suggested by Aimee on Tuesday, May 29, 2007

I've literally this second been told I'm anaemic. Again. And having just turned vegan (after the blood test) I'm a tad screwed lol. My mum had anaemia when she was pregnant with me, and has told me to have a cup of hot cocoa everyday (but I can't have milk) so I'm gonna make vegan browniies, full of cocoaa. So fingers crossed lol.

tomatoes with sugar
suggested by RS on Friday, March 16, 2007

I have been anemic since childhood. I tried this remedy suggested by my aunt and it has worked wonders.cut a ripe tomato into two and sprinkle a teaspoon of sugar on it and leave it overnight in a refridgerator and take as the first thing in the morning for 30 days and then check your hb content. It really works.

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