If you want to know how to treat your hormonally induced anemia, naturally, then this article was written for you. I am going to talk about treating anemia naturally and how your hormones affect it, and what you can do about it.
First of all, you need to understand how your blood is produced and what could cause anemia. Your blood is actually produced in your bone marrow. Production occurs in your bone marrow, in the center of your bones, usually in the long bones of the legs, the femurs, and also the hip bones or the pelvis. These new red blood cells are released by the bone marrow into the bloodstream.
The importance of these red blood cells is that they carry a molecule called hemoglobin, which is very iron-rich. Hemoglobin actually attaches to oxygen and oxygenates all of the cells of your body. It is really important that you have number one, enough red blood cells, and number two, enough hemoglobin to actually carry oxygen so that you are not anemic.
Anemia means you are not producing either enough of the blood cells or that your hemoglobin is too low. After your red blood cells are done with their job, when they have done all that they can and they are at the end of their life, they enter the spleen. Your spleen, which is part of your gastrointestinal tract on the left-hand side, takes those red blood cells kind of out of production. This is kind of like a recycling process so that new red blood cells can be made. But the problem is, you could be losing blood in other ways.
If you are anemic, we need to figure out where you might be losing blood. Bleeding can occur from the GI tract, from your gut, and also from the body of women who have really heavy menstrual cycles. These women can actually experience blood loss, enough that they become incredibly anemic.
Hormone Healing Tip 1: Control Your Blood Loss
Number one, you have got to first control your blood loss, to prevent anemia. We need to figure out is it coming from the gut, or is it period related, heavy menstrual period blood loss. If it is coming from the gut and you may see blood in your stool. Fresh blood is usually hemorrhoids. Any new blood that you see that you have never seen before, you definitely need to report it.
Sometimes you are actually bleeding as far up as your stomach, it gets digested and it does not look like blood, but more like coffee grounds. If you see coffee ground-like substances in your stool, you definitely need to be seen as soon as possible. In order to rule out whether blood loss is in the stool, we can do something called a hemocoel, where you actually take a little bit of that specimen of the stool, put it on a little card, and test it for microscopic blood.
We can look at these results either in the medical office or as a test you can do at home, provided your health care provider gives you a little hemocoel test with which to do that. But, the main reason most women have blood loss is because their periods are just too heavy. Very heavy periods can actually deplete the supply of the red blood cells when the production just cannot keep up with the loss.
We must get your hormones in balance, figure out why your periods are so heavy. Is it because of fibroids? Do you have endometriosis? Do you have adenomyosis? These are all conditions that can cause your periods to be much heavier. Are you not producing enough progesterone to counterbalance the estrogen? In such a case, your lining is building and building and building, and it is not being stabilized enough, and so you are shedding really heavy doses of blood every menstrual cycle. That needs to be controlled and getting your hormones in balance is key to controlling your blood loss.
Hormone Healing Tip 2: Boost Your Red Blood Cell Production
Number two, you need to boost your red blood cell production. One way you can do that, and I have used this quite a bit, is dietary. You need to make sure you are getting enough protein in your diet in order to build those red blood cells. The biggest thing you can do is actually take a bone marrow supplement, and this comes from glandulars.
You can eat bone marrow, you can actually eat it out of bones and that really helps to boost your own production, as well. It is one of the reasons why bone broth is so great because you are actually getting that marrow from the bones if you have those big meaty bones. But, you can also take a glandular product that will support increased blood cell production. That can help with the production part of it.
Hormone Healing Tip 3: Eat Iron-Enriched Foods
Number three, you need to increase your hemoglobin, and the way you do that is iron. A lot of people cannot take iron as a supplement. It constipates you, so it is not great to take too much of it. If you are super low in iron you may need to take some iron. There are different formulas out there that are less constipating, but you need to experiment, everybody is different.
I like to really enrich the diets of my anemic patients with iron-enriched foods. Classically, greens are rich in iron, but just eating a salad will not do it. You need to saute those greens. You need to break down that raw green, that raw leafy green, in order to pull out that iron. So, I want you to saute these greens in olive oil until that green becomes very bright green. Then stop the heat, turn it off, and just squeeze a little bit of lime juice or lemon juice on it.
The citric acid in the lemon and lime will actually help your body absorb the minerals, especially iron from the greens. I am talking about kale, and spinach, collard greens. I am also talking about dandelion greens. Another food that is really good to increase your ferritin, which is the iron storage in your body, are beets, beetroots. You can saute those up with your greens, or you can roast them. That will really help your body produce a little more ferritin, as well. This basically means you are storing more iron, not just what is floating in your blood, but what you are storing for later, so your hemoglobin can be more iron enriched
Another food that is super important to increasing your hemoglobin is red meat, either lamb or beef. Now, why not chicken or fish? Well, because it is in the red meat, in the muscles of those red meats, that you have a lot of myoglobin. These red meats are also really iron and B12 enriched, which helps you to produce more hemoglobin and have more iron on board. If you overcook the red meat, you kind of break down the myoglobin, so you really want to be sure that you are eating your meats medium or medium-rare, in order to actually build up your iron levels.
Now, usually I prescribe to my patients, who are not vegetarian, at least a couple servings of rare to medium-rare red meat with three servings a week, this is per week, of the sauteed greens. Usually, within six to eight weeks, we will reverse their anemia and get their iron levels up. They will make more red blood cells as well as more hemoglobin and iron. Of course, we have already controlled the blood loss.