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That feeling of tiredness is not something that can be ignored

EAT HEALTHY Include sprouts and leafy vegetables in your diet PHOTO: R.M. RAJARATHINAM

If a middle-aged housewife with a history of good health feels tired before she completes her household chores or feels a shortness of breath and sensation of dizziness or fainting; one of the likely causes of such symptoms would anaemia. Anaemia or a reduction in the red blood cells and haemoglobin concentration in the blood is a common problem the world over and more in country like ours due to various food habits, lack of nutrition etc.

Blood has a liquid component called plasma and the cellular component comprising red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets. They all have their tasks cut out. If it is the white blood cells which do the policing by looking for harmful agents and acting as the defence mechanism and platelets ready to clump at any area that threatens to open the blood vessel due to injury. The red blood cells which carrythe lifeline of all functions of the metabolism by supplying oxygen all over the body from the lungs and promptly disposing carbon di oxide from the cells back into the lungs. All seems to be well but once there is a drop red blood cell counts and the haem or the iron concentration in the RBCs which is the active part of the job that is called as anaemia.

Once there is a drop in the cells below a certain concentration the body does not find the oxygen to get on with its job. The body does not seem to complain and finds a compensatory mechanism to go on but as the days progress they seem to express in some symptoms like shortness of breath, tiredness on little exertion or palpitation; an awareness of their own heartbeat.

Anaemia could be the result of a loss of the blood cells from the system or a deficient formation of these cells.

The loss of blood could occur due to excessive menstrual bleeding, injuries or bleeding from the stomach due to ulcers, cancer of the gastrointestinal tract etc. Lack of iron in the system due to insufficient intake or improper absorption leads to this condition. Vitamin B12 and Folate are other elements necessary which are either taken in lower amounts necessary or the stomach and intestines do not have the necessary factors to absorb them in appropriate amounts.

It could also be due to erythropoietin released by the kidney to coax the bone marrow cells to produces the RBCs may go deficient. Anaemia could occur during pregnancy too as the demands are higher than usual. Alcohol intake on a regular basis comes in the way of proper formation of blood cells as it impedes the absorption of necessary vitamins. Some of the less common causes could be due to the bone marrow being affected with certain ailments like thalassaemia, leukaemia, aplastic anaemia etc.

Importance of diet is utmost in anaemia as foods rich in iron like green, leafy vegetables is ideal. While Vitamin B12 and folate are plentily available for vegetarians in products, lentils (eg: ragu), legumes, beans, nuts, cabbage, cauliflower, sweet potatoes, raisins, prunes and green leafy vegetables while nonvegetarians have a rich source in seafood, liver and marrow soup etc. To stop the cause of loss of bleeding is primary in treatment.

Remedies like Millefolium, Hamamellis, Merccor, Colocynth etc. help in such direction. Homoeopathic medicine has good remedies to address such issues even as there are some good remedies to improve the proper assimilation of the vital nutrients with help of remedies like Ferrumphos, Calcphos, China etc.

Hypothyroidism : I have been having the condition of hypothyroidism and am under medication. But I still have swelling of the lower limbs, weight gain etc. Suma

Sometimes there is inadequate uptake of the hormone from the circulation by the tissues needing it for metabolism wherein such deficiency could occur inspite of supplementation with some medicines. Homoeopathic remedies like Lycopodium, Iodum, Natrum mur are a few remedies which can help when the symptoms correspond. Consult a homoeopath.

Reflux : I have been suffering with reflux problems with burning, belching, and heartburn. I have gone through many investigations and medication but the problem persists. Janki


Lifestyle changes like having small meals at regular intervals, avoiding oily, spicy, rich food most of the time and avoiding going to bed within an hour of a meal is essential. Homoeopathic medicine has good remedies like China, Hydrastis, Merc sol, Mag carb to help you further.