Anemia is a Barrier to Better Health

By Dr. Joe Alaimo, MA,DC

Question?
I’m tired frequently and I have some chronic health issues I can’t seem to resolve.

Answer:
Although multiple factors can cause both tiredness and chronic health issues, anemia should always be investigated. Unresolved anemia will thwart your journey to better health.

Anemia prevents normal function
Blood delivers oxygen to cells in the body and brain so they can function normally. Anemia starves the blood of oxygen. As a consequence function, maintenance, regeneration, and healing in the body is impaired.

Iron-deficiency anemia
More than 400 types of anemia exist, however the most common form is iron-deficient anemia. This often is due to inadequate diet or poor absorption of nutrients caused by compromised intestinal health—often seen in those with celiac disease or a gluten intolerance.

Other causes are uterine fibroids, internal bleeding, chronic disease, liver disease, or genetic disorders.

B-12 anemia
Another common form of anemia is B-12 anemia due to inadequate diet or compromised intestinal health causing poor absorption of B-12.

Pernicious anemia
Pernicious anemia is an autoimmune disease in which the immune system attacks intrinsic factor in the stomach, a substance necessary for the absorption of B-12. Pernicious anemia is often found in those with other autoimmune diseases, particularly the autoimmune thyroid disease Hashimoto’s.

Symptoms of anemia
Symptoms of anemia include fatigue, pale skin, a fast or irregular heartbeat, shortness of breath, chest pain, dizziness, cognitive problems, cold hands and feet, and headaches. Symptoms of B-12 anemia can include a pins-and-needles sensation in the hands or feet, a loss of sense of touch, clumsiness, and a wobbly gait.

Some people with iron-deficiency anemia also develop pica, a craving for ice, dirt, paper, chalk, or other non-foods.

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About Dr. Joseph Alaimo
Hi, I'm Dr. Joe Alaimo. I've been practicing in Wilmington, NC , since 1995. My primary practice focus is on chronic pain and metabolic conditions.

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