Anemia? And nothing else matters! | Integrative functional medicine blog

Anemia? And nothing else matters!





When people are working to manage an autoimmune or pretty much any chronic condition, they typically focus on an anti-inflammatory diet and protocol. However, while this is a great thing to do and CAN get a long way towards better health, one often overlooked dealbreaker to getting better is
anemia.

Anemia as is a deal breaker. Period. For any and all health conditions, if you have anemia and are trying to heal, NOT GONNA HAPPEN!



When people are working to manage an autoimmune or pretty much any chronic condition, they typically focus on an anti-inflammatory diet and protocol. However, while this is a great thing to do and CAN get a long way towards better health, one often overlooked dealbreaker to getting better is
anemia.

Anemia as is a deal breaker. Period. For any and all health conditions, if you have anemia and are trying to heal, NOT GONNA HAPPEN!

Checking for anemia is the number one thing any functional medicine practitioner is taught to look for. If you are anemic your red blood cells are not carrying enough oxygen, which is essential to the rest of your body working. It is basically causing your body to slowly suffocate. Without oxygen, recovery and repair can’t happen.

Its a slow and painful way to go.

Anemia typically causes fatigue, weakness, brain fog, depression, lightheadedness, dizziness, irregular heart beat, cold hands and feet, chest pain, headache, and pale skin just to name a few outward symptoms.


There are several different causes and types of anemia. Not all anemia is iron-deficiency anemia. It’s important to know this because you don’t want to supplement with iron if you don’t need it. In excess, iron is more toxic than mercury, lead, or other heavy metals.
So Be careful!


Types of anemia

Iron-deficiency anemia. This is the most common form of anemia and is caused by insufficient iron. What is less well known is that gluten intolerance and celiac disease can cause iron deficiency anemia. This is because these conditions damage the gut so that it can’t absorb iron. It is also caused by internal bleeding, such as from ulcers, hormone issues that cause prolonged periods in women during their cycle and other issues that may be impairing digestion and/or absorption of iron and food in general. This shows up on a blood test as low iron and low ferritin.


B-12 anemia. Like it sounds, this is caused by insufficient B-12. This could be due to a diet low in B-12. You can screen for B-12 deficiency with a urinary methylmalonic acid and serum homocysteine test. Keep in mind that sometime Hoocysteine levels can be altered in those that have the MTHFR “snp” (or single nucleotide polymorphism). Say that 5 times fast!


Pernicious anemia. Pernicious anemia is an autoimmune disease in which the immune system attacks a compound in the stomach called intrinsic factor, which is necessary to absorb B-12. Many people with autoimmune diseases such as Hashimoto’s also have pernicious anemia. This appears as B-12 anemia. Screening for intrinsic factor and parietal cell antibodies can identify pernicious anemia.


Anemia of inflammation or chronic disease. I mentioned this one earlier. But it’s worth mentioning again because its such a huge cause. This type of anemia results from the breakdown of red blood cells. You may have symptoms of anemia but serum levels are normal. However, serum ferritin levels are typically high, indicating iron is not being used correctly by the body. Sources of inflammation that can cause this type of anemia are disease, toxicity, infections, gut damage, over training, and more. It’s important to rule this out because taking iron with this kind of anemia can exacerbate the inflammation.


Other types of less common types of anemia include aplastic anemia, anemia associated with bone marrow disease, hemolytic anemia, and sickle cell anemia.


Too much iron in the bloodstream
On the other end of the spectrum from anemia, some people have a genetic disorder that leads them to absorb too much iron. It’s a relatively common condition, affecting about one million people in the United States. Symptoms include joint pain, chronic fatigue, heart flutters, and abdominal pain. If left untreated, it can increase the risk of diabetes, arthritis, liver inflammation (cirrhosis), sexual dysfunction, and other diseases. It’s called Hemochromatosis

Hemochromatosis is managed through regular blood draws and a diet that minimizes iron intake.

Some other common causes of elevated iron levels include chronic inflammation, which causes your body to hold onto iron thus leading to a build up in the blood and tissues, and a very common but often overlooked cause of iron overload….
TAKING THE WRONG SUPPLEMENTS for your body.

If you would like to get your iron levels checked or do a full blood panel and see how your overall health is, I would be happy to oblige.

I’m Dr. Craig Mortensen
Be healthy, be happy!

Here is a link to some of my favorite brands and how to order physician only quality supplements.
I primarily use Xymogen and Designs for health.
CLICK HERE FOR ACCESS.
or amazon is a great resource as well
Liquid B12
non-heme Iron
Heme Iron

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