Blood needs Regeneration
Asiderosis is one of the most common deficiency symptoms of the population worldwide. Persistent fatigue and reduced performance can be the body’s first warning signal for an iron reserve deficiency anemia, which is easily treatable especially in the early stages. The diet is crucial.
In Ayurveda, anemia is one of the Pandu diseases. It describes disorders that are accompanied with a whitish yellowish discoloration of the skin.
Ayurveda sees a one-sided, unbalanced diet as one cause of the deficiency syndrome; another one is attributed to stress, hectic, fast pace, and a lifestyle oriented towards competition which diminishes the organism’s ability to absorb iron and to transform it. The three bioenergies Vata, Pitta and Kapha get out of balance and interfere with physiological and mental processes of the organism. Vata is the principle of movement that is strongly connected to the nervous system, Pitta is in close relation with digestive power and is the principle of transformation, and Kapha is the principle of structure and stability.
The bioenergies Vata and Pitta are on the one hand the cause of a lack of absorption and on the other hand of an inadequate metabolism of the trace element iron. When Pitta is increased, the trace elements are consumed extremely fast. A lack of the necessary nutrients and minerals, such as iron, vitamin B12 or folic acid, can interfere with the formation of red blood cells, which are needed by the nutrients and minerals for the creation and maturation of the erythrocytes, the red blood cells in the bone marrow. In the long term this results in an impairment of oxygen transport, a reduced storage capacity of the oxygen in the muscles and a weakened immune system. Over a longer period, this inevitably leads to anemia.
Iron is ingested through food. A distinction is made between divalent heme iron, which can be absorbed directly by the intestinal cells in the small intestine and occurs in meat and offal, and the trivalent non-heme iron, which must first be converted into divalent iron, for example in combination with vitamin C. This iron exists in food of vegetable origin, milk and dairy products. It is important to know that there are substances that bind the trivalent iron in the intestine and reduce its absorption, for example coffee, black tea and phytic acid in whole grain products. They should not be taken together with ferrous products or preparations.
The body is a unique and fascinating creation in its anatomy and physiology. So it has the ingenious ability to compensate the loss of iron through an iron depot and at the same time to double the absorption capacity of the trace element from the food. However, it must be supplied with the necessary minerals and the body must be able to absorb them. If this does not happen, the storage is quickly used up and the iron deficiency causes anemia.
“When Pitta is increased the trace elements are quickly used up.”
When an iron deficiency is suspected, the following values should be checked:
- Hemoglobin (Hb) – it s usually lowered in iron deficiency
- Ferritin – it is usually lowered in iron deficiency, but may also be increased in inflammation
- Saturation of the transferrin with iron – it is mostly low in iron deficiency
- Mean volume of erythrocytes (=> the size of the red blood cells is checked), (MCV). In iron deficiency, the red blood cells are too small and cannot carry enough oxygen. On the other hand, with vitamin B12 deficiency, the red blood cells are too big and also cannot absorb enough oxygen. Looking at the size of the red blood cells an anemia due to iron deficiency or vitamin B12 deficiency can be determined.
- Hemoglobin content in the red blood cells (MCH) – is usually low in iron deficiency
Our self-observation and self-responsibility for the body’s health and nutrition is needed in order to replenish the weakened resources. A well-balanced iron-rich diet and nutritional supplements that facilitate the processing of the trace element – such as vitamin C – can well stabilize an initial lack of iron. From Ayurvedic perspective an iron deficiency that has not yet attacked the depot can be well treated with the right diet, lifestyle adjustment, and the intake of special Ayurvedic supplements. However, when a serious deficiency has already depleted the storage and when an anemia already exists, a collaboration between conventional and Ayurveda medicine is necessary.
“Women are much more often affected by an iron deficiency than men.”
Good informing about the threat of iron deficiency symptoms in particular groups of persons can help to support health precaution, in order to prevent from deficiency and balance it in time. The attention is especially drawn on very strong menstrual bleeding, pregnant women, nursing, in children and adolescents, competitive athletes, elderly people with reduced intestinal blood flow. In these cases the absorption of iron and of other trace elements is reduced. After surgery, serious illnesses and injuries with strong loss of blood, diseases of the hematopoietic bone marrow, of the spleen and inherited illnesses, in the admission of medicaments in cancer and rheumatism (for example Cortisone), the observation of the blood values is indispensable in order to be able to react in time. Ayurvedic medicine may support the conventional treatment.
How an iron deficiency comes up
When the intake of iron through food is too low, when the intestinal absorption is disturbed, when the loss of iron is too high due to the loss of blood or disease, the first consequences are:
- Depletion of the storage iron
- Iron deficiency without anemia
- Blood deficiency / anemia due to iron deficiency
- Dizziness, balance disorders, migraine
- Fatigue, weakness, tiredness
- Tachycardia, palpitations, accelerated heartbeat, pulse acceleration
- Concentration disorders, distractibility, absentmindedness, irritability
- Breathing difficulties, shortness of breath, dyspnea, breathlessness
- Sensation problems in the hands and feet
- Brittle hair, hair loss
- Cracks in the labial angles
- Brittle skin
- Grooves in the fingernails
Women are much more affected by an iron deficiency than men, because of blood loss from menstruation and childbirth. Likewise, blood donation, frequent slimming diets, eating disorders or unbalanced diet, can disturb a sufficient supply of the organism with iron.
“The symbol of blood stands for vitality.”
In the focus: nutrition
The treatment strategies of Ayurveda serve the strengthening and regeneration of the blood, especially of the blood plasma, Rasa, and the red blood cells, Rakta. At the same time, the focus of the therapy is on nutrition. It is adapted to the respective Dosha dominance, which through special purgation measures and through regeneration and metabolism stimulating therapy – especially iron supplements – initiates and supports the treatment. The symbol of the blood stands for vitality, for the life flow – it is described as the carrier of life energy. Attention towards the body and self-awareness training picks up the body’s signals. This enables us to act accordingly and to influence our health, to regenerate and strengthen our life force.
Recommended food: (source AyurVeda AG, www.veda.ch)
|Millet, wholegrain flakes||9|
|Sesame seeds, shelled||9|
|Egg sponge, raw||6.5|
|Wheat, wholegrain flakes||3.3|
|Wheat flour, brown flour||2.9|
|Six-rowed barley, pearl barley||2.8|
|Wholegrain wheat bread||2.7|
|Green beans, dried||5.9|
|Crispbread wholegrain, with sesame seeds||4.3|
|Crispbread wholegrain with flaxseed||4.2|
|Crispbread, whole grain||3.8|
|Wheat flour, whole grain||3.7|
|Swiss chard, raw||2.2|
|Lamb’s lettuce, raw||2.1|
|Sugar pea, raw||2|
|Garden pea, green, raw||1.9|
…..to be continued