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Blood Count

The normal blood count for a woman should be above 13. Your haemoglobin count of 9.1 means that you are anaemic ( ‘an’ means lack of, and ‘haem’ means blood). Haemoglobin is a protein found in red blood cells that contains iron and also cobalt. Hemoglobin has a vital role: It absorbs oxygen, which it carries to the lungs and exchange for carbon dioxide (a waste product). This oxygen is then transported to every cell in the body where it burns glucose and produce energy.

Since your haemoglobin is low, your tissues and particularly the brain cells do not get enough oxygen. They become under active and suffer from what you must call ‘power failure’. This causes fatigue (which can be extreme), lack of concentration, breathlessness on exertion (eg walking and climbing stairs), palpitations (because the heart compensates by beating faster in order to improve circulation), depression and a ‘sinking feeling’ in the heart. In addition, people who are anaemic may feel dizzy when they move after being still, and their eyesight may become Poor, while lack of oxygen to the body may weaken the immune system.

Anaemia can be caused by severe different problems, so doctors call it a multifactorial condition. It is often difficult to pinpoint the exact cause, which is why your GP wants to investigate, Sometimes its due to blood loss – excessive menstrual bleeding is not uncommon in women your age, but blood can also be lost through conditions such as piles and ulcers in the gut. Protein deficiency (remember haemoglobin is a protein) is another possible factor, so anaemia can be linked to a strict vegan diet or anorexia.

The other main component of haemoglobin is iron, which is essential for oxygen absorption. lf you don’t eat enough iron-containing foods the body will be deficient. However, in some cases, the problem may be that iron is present but not properly absorbed in the stomach, which is the only place where iron absorption takes place. So if people have severe gastritis or an ulcer, or if part of the stomach has been removed due, say, to cancer, the available are for iron to be absorbed is drastically reduced – again leading to iron deficiency.

Some autoimmune conditions, such as autoimmune haemolytic anaemia may also lead to destruction of the red blood cells. Additionally, if the bone marrow is diseased (for instance by cancer), this too will cause anaemia because blood cells are manufactured there.

Here is what I suggest:

  • Boost your iron supplies by eating iron-rich food, particularly spinach, liver (organic if possible), apples, cherries, red meat, carrots and beetroot: also eat almonds (soaked in water at room temperature for 24 hours) and hazelnuts (chew these well).
  • Avoid foods that cause acidity and gastritis (your doctor may check you for a bacterium called helicobacter pylori, which is a common cause of gastritis): citrus fruits, chillies, spicy sauces, nuts (except almonds and hazelnuts, see above), ready-made sauces for meat dishes, very hot drinks, deep-fried foods, white wine, champagne. Eat slowly and chew your food very well. Don’t eat on the run: sit at a table and stay there for a few minutes after you have finished.
  • Avoid painkillers, unless absolutely necessary and excess vitamin C (more than l,000mg daily).
  • Take Bioprash : one tablespoonful daily for three months to boost your antioxidant levels; mix to a smooth paste with honey and a little water.
  • Take an iron supplement daily for two months; I recommend higher Nature True Food Easy Iron.
  • Take the Ayurvedic herbal supplement Bioenergy: one twice daily for three months, to boost energy.

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