Anemia is a medical disorder that involves a lack of healthy red blood cells and oxygen-producing hemoglobin in the bloodstream, because of a genetic condition, an iron deficiency, or a lack of essential vitamins. People with anemia often experience fatigue, headaches, dizziness, and chest pain. There are several home remedies and nonprescription methods used to treat anemia, such as eating iron-rich foods, taking dietary supplements, exercising regularly, and getting enough rest. For more severe cases, doctors might prescribe oral medication or order a bone marrow transplant or a blood transfusion.
Many people with iron or vitamin deficiencies can successfully treat anemia by employing simple home remedies. Doctors often suggest that anemic patients eat foods with high vitamin and iron contents, such as apples, bananas, tomatoes, honey, and cereals. The minerals found in such foods replenish hemoglobin levels in the bloodstream. Many people can supplement their food intake with iron and vitamin B-12 pills, as well as engage in regular exercise and rest. Healthy, mineral-rich diets and daily exercise routines help to relieve anemia symptoms in most individuals.
Depending on the nature and severity of a person's disorder, a doctor may decide that clinical attention is needed to treat anemia. A doctor may administer regular injections of vitamin B-12 or other minerals, often for several years, to help an individual maintain healthy levels of nutrients and vitamins. A physician or hematologist may also inject a synthetic hormone known as erythropoietin directly into an anemic patient's bloodstream. Erythropoietin injections accelerate the rate and frequency in which the human body produces new red blood cells.
An anemic individual may have an immune system disorder in which his or her body mistakenly attacks its own healthy red blood cells, destroying them and lowering oxygen levels in the blood. Upon careful tests and diagnoses by physicians, such an individual may be given immune-suppressing medications. Anemic patients may also be prescribed painkillers, antibiotics, and certain steroids to provide relief and promote red blood cell production.
A blood transfusion or bone marrow transplant may be required to treat anemia in a patient whose body has not had success with other treatments. An individual may need to have his or blood removed and replaced with healthy donor blood. A patient might be required to undergo several transfusions in order to treat anemia symptoms that come back over time. Patients with diseased bone marrow that cannot effectively produce healthy blood cells commonly undergo bone marrow transplants. Transplants are usually painful, time-consuming, and expensive, though they are very effective in most cases.