Anemia: possible causes and analyzes to see more clearly


Anemia is defined by the abnormal decrease of red blood cells; it is almost universally attributed to the lack of iron, while it is not the only factor. Some anemias come back very regularly, as soon as iron supplementation stops. The only way to stop it is to find the cause.

Since anemia causes poor oxygenation of the tissues, the first symptoms are often fatigue associated with rapid shortness of breath and disproportionate effort. These symptoms are also aggravated at altitude. Immunity can also be weakened making the body more vulnerable to infections.

Malaise triggered by standing up or standing for a long time can also be a warning sign. Finally, the face is often (but not always) pale, even discolored, the feet and hands always cold.

Analyzes to see more clearly

In case of doubt, the blood test reveals anemia when the hemoglobin is less than 120 g / l in women, 130 g / l in men. Attention in pregnant women, standards are different: we can talk about anemia only below 105 g / l.

In case of anemia, it may be interesting to measure the average cell volume (MCV): if it is decreased, it is probably a deficiency of iron, but if it is increased it is rather a deficiency of vitamins B9 and / or B12, also responsible for anemia.

The determination of ferritin is also a complementary index for assessing iron deficiency. If this is the case, it is below 25 μg / l, 50 μg / l for a postmenopausal woman or a man. It should be noted, however, that ferritin is increased in case of dysbiosis (imbalance) intestinal: it is indeed an inflammatory protein, whose rate increases in the presence of inflammation. But it will also be increased if there is iron overload, liver damage or haemochromatosis.

Anemia may also be a clue and / or a consequence of intestinal dysbiosis, or even a symptom of celiac disease (gluten allergy). Hence the interest of looking for the cause before systematic supplementation …

Anemia can have several causes

If there is really iron deficiency, in a woman, hemorrhagic rules are obviously the first cause to look for. Accidental or post-operative haemorrhages are also responsible for increased iron loss. Periods of pregnancy and breastfeeding also consume iron.

But much more frequently than we imagine, anemia may be due to vitamin B9 or vitamin B12 deficiency; these vitamins are both necessary for the formation of red blood cells. Their deficiency therefore causes anemia, but also fatigue, sleep and memory problems, depression, digestive disorders.

An unbalanced or deficient diet and poor intestinal absorption are often the main culprits. Iron is normally absorbed in the intestine. If the intestinal mucosa is inflamed, trace elements and vitamins will no longer be assimilated by the body.

A parasitosis can also change the absorption. If anemia appears after several months or years of intestinal inflammation or after a change in diet, it is only the tip of the iceberg: it will be solved sustainably only by restoring the ground.

Anti-iron deficiency solutions

Nutritional measures must be put in place to increase food intake: cocoa, liver, meat, red wine, legumes, eggs, oysters, clams, dried fruits, spirulina, spinach, parsley, cress, sesame … are rich in iron .

The iron present in meat and animal products is much more assimilable for the organism than the iron present in the vegetables: it is about heme iron, absorbed by 20 to 25%. In plants, it is iron in non-heme form, assimilated only to 3 to 5%.

Note that tea limits the absorption of iron, just as copper and zinc use the same carriers to pass the intestinal barrier. Coffee does not mix well with iron, as well as legumes and whole grains.

Three basic tips

If a supplementation is necessary, prefer iron of natural origin: in the form of ampoules of oligotherapy, or by a contribution in lithotherapy thanks to the cure Hematite D8. Hematite is a rock composed of 70% ferric oxide and 30% iron. It is indicated in cases of anemia, fatigue, hypotension … The alcohol-free version can even be used by pregnant women.

Naturally occurring B-vitamin supplementation will be almost mandatory supplementation, along with pre- and probiotics.

Finally, nettle has traditionally been associated with the treatment of anemia: its richness in minerals, including silica and iron, its concentration in chlorophyll too, make it an ideal choice … for an iron health!