Anemia In Nigeria: Anemia In Nigeria: Nigerian Blood Building Foods

Anemia In Nigeria: Anemia In Nigeria: Nigerian Blood Building Foods

November 23, 2018 0 By mcsenior
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Iron Deficiency Anemia In Nigeria: Causes, Symptoms, Prevention And Treatment Options

Do you know how common is anemia in Nigeria? If no is your answer, this post is just for you. When your body is not getting enough iron, you may have anemia. The major purpose of iron in the human body is to help carry oxygen through your blood to all parts of your body.

Iron-deficiency anemia is a medical condition known as iron-deficiency anemia is believed to be more common in women especially during pregnancy. On this post, we have carefully analyzed the natural remedy for anemia in Nigeria for your reading pleasure.

What Is Iron Deficiency Anemia?

Iron deficiency anemia is a medical condition where there is a deficiency in the healthy red blood cell formation. This condition is commonly referred to anemia in Nigeria. The red blood cell doesn’t function optimally as a result of insufficient iron in the body.
Iron is needed as building block of hemoglobin that carries oxygen through your blood to other parts of your body.

How Common Is Iron Deficiency Anemia In Nigeria?

Iron deficiency anemia is considered very common in Nigeria. It is one of the reasons why people consume more of blood tonic which can easily be gotten over the counter with various brands in the Nigerian market. It is estimated that more than 1.5 million cases of this medical condition is being recorded annually in Nigeria.

Who Is At Risk Of Iron-Deficiency Anemia In Nigeria?

Iron-deficiency anemia is more likely to occur in women compared to men especially women who fall under this category:
• Women Who Are Pregnant: women need more iron during pregnancy to improve the wellbeing and development of the unborn child. it is believed that one in every six pregnant women have iron deficiency anemia.
• Women Who Have Heavy Menstrual Periods: it is a common situation for women to iron deficiency anemia as a result of heavy bleeding which might result into loss of blood
• Infants, small children, and teens are also at high risk for iron-deficiency anemia.

Symptoms Of Iron-Deficiency Anemia In Nigeria

Some people might not experience any symptoms when they have Iron-deficiency anemia and when there is symptoms; they may be mild. Symptoms may start showing when the situation gets worse.
Few among the possible signs and symptoms of iron deficiency anemia include:

• You may experience fatigue and general body weakness
• You may feel dizzy and not having enough strength to carry yourself
• The body temperature may become low
• You may also experience headache or chest pain
• You may have a pale skin
• You may experience rapid heartbeat or shortness of breath when doing physical activities

Causes Of Iron-Deficiency Anemia In Nigeria

Women can have low iron levels for several reasons:

• Excessive bleeding: anemia occurs in some people as a result of loss of blood through bleeding which may result into excessive loss of blood cells and iron that may not be easily replaced. This is more common when there is digestive system problem like ulcer, long term use of pain reliever like aspirin, donation of blood more often, women who have longer or heavy period and women who bleed as a result of uterine fibroid.

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• Being Pregnant: women need more iron to improve the life of the mother and child during pregnancy.

• Malnutrition: People who eat more of balance diet regularly have very slim chance of having anemia. To prevent anemia, you need to consume foods that are rich in iron, especially animal based foods like meat, chicken, and fish. The iron you get from animal based foods are more easily absorbed by the body compared to those you get from plant based foods.

Your body can also absorbs iron from plant-based foods like ugu and other dark leafy green vegetable, for maximum benefit, you can eat them with foods that have vitamin C, such as oranges and tomatoes.

• Difficulty Absorbing Iron: Certain health conditions like Crohn’s disease, celiac disease, or gastric bypass surgery for weight loss can make it harder for your body to absorb iron from food.

Diagnosis Of Iron-Deficiency Anemia In Nigeria

Talk to your doctor if you think you might have iron-deficiency anemia. Your doctor may:

• Ask you questions about your health history, including how regular or heavy your menstrual periods are. Your doctor may also ask you about any digestive system problems you may have, such as blood in your stool.
• Do a physical exam
• Talk to you about the foods you eat, the medicines you take, and your family health history
• Do blood tests. Your doctor will do a complete blood count (CBC). The CBC measures many parts of your blood. If the CBC test shows that you have anemia, your doctor will likely do another blood test to measure the iron levels in your blood and confirm that you have iron-deficiency anemia.

Do I Need To Be Tested For Iron-Deficiency Anemia In Nigeria?

It depends; you actually need to talk to your doctor about getting tested as part of your regular health exam if you have heavy menstrual periods or a health problem such as Crohn’s disease or celiac disease.

Treatment Options Of Iron-Deficiency Anemia In Nigeria

Treatment for iron-deficiency anemia depends on the cause:

• Blood loss from a digestive system problem: people who have ulcer may make use of antibiotics or other ulcer medications but if the if your bleeding is caused by a polyp or cancerous tumor, you may need surgery to remove it.

• Blood loss from heavy menstrual periods: in this situation, your doctor may give you hormonal birth control to help relieve heavy periods but if there is no changes, your doctor may recommend surgery. Types of surgery to control heavy bleeding include endometrial ablation, which removes or destroys your uterine lining, and hysterectomy which removes all or parts of your uterus.

• Increased need for iron. If you have problems absorbing iron or have lower iron levels but do not have severe anemia, your doctor may recommend:

  • Iron Supplements to build up your iron levels as quickly as possible. Do not take any iron supplements without first talking to your doctor or nurse.
  • You can as well include iron rich foods in your diet: meat, fish, eggs, beans, peas, and fortified foods (look for cereals fortified with 100% of the daily value for iron).
  •  You should also add more food rich in vitamin C to your diet. Vitamin C is needed for proper iron absorption in the body. Food source of vitamin C include citrus fruits like oranges; broccoli, and tomatoes to mention a few.
  • If you have severe bleeding or symptoms of chest pain or shortness of breath, your doctor may recommend iron or red blood cell transfusions. Transfusions are for severe iron deficiencies only and are much less common.

Anemia In Nigeria: What Are Iron Supplements?

Your doctor may recommend iron supplement popularly known as blood tonic or blood capsule in Nigeria to help build up your iron levels. Do not take these pills without talking to your doctor or nurse first. These blood tonics can cause side effects, including an upset stomach, constipation, and diarrhea and if taken as a liquid, iron supplements may stain your teeth.

You can reduce side effects from blood tonic by taking these steps:

• Start with half of the recommended dose. Gradually increase to the full dose.
• Take iron in divided doses. For example, if you take two pills daily, take one in the morning with breakfast and the other after dinner.
• Take iron with food (especially something with vitamin C, such as a glass of orange juice, to help your body absorb the iron).
• If one type of iron pill causes side effects, ask your doctor for another type.
• If you take iron as a liquid instead of as a pill, aim it toward the back of your mouth. This will prevent the liquid from staining your teeth. You can also brush your teeth after taking the medicine to help prevent staining.

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Complications Of Iron Deficiency Anemia In Nigeria

If iron deficiency anemia is left untreated for a long time, it can cause serious health problems. Having too little oxygen in the body can damage organs. With anemia, the heart must work harder to make up for the lack of red blood cells or hemoglobin. This extra work can harm the heart.
Iron-deficiency anemia can also cause pregnancy complications.

Prevention Of Iron-Deficiency Anemia In Nigeria

Iron deficiency anemia can be prevented in the following ways:

• Treat the cause of blood loss: discuss with your doctor if you have heavy menstrual periods or if you have digestive system problems, such as frequent diarrhea or blood in your stool.
• Eat foods with iron: food source of iron include lean meat and chicken, dark, leafy vegetables, and beans.
• Eat and drink foods that help your body absorb iron: fruits like orange juice, strawberries, broccoli, or other fruits and vegetables with vitamin C.
• Make healthy food choices: as it is often said that you need more of balance diet on a regular basis, people who eat more of healthy balance diet are less likely to have iron deficiency because they get all the needed nutrients from their meal.
• Avoid drinking coffee or tea with meals: It is believed that drinking coffee or tea makes iron absorption difficult for the body. You should drink water instead.
• Talk to your doctor if you take calcium pills: calcium is known to make iron absorption more difficult for the body, talk to your doctor about the best way to also get enough calcium if you have anemia.

Anemia In Nigeria: Iron Daily Requirement

Here is the guideline to know how much iron you need on a daily basis:
• Age 14 – 18
o Women – 15mg
o Pregnant Women – 27mg
o Breastfeeding Women – 10mg
o Vegetarian Women – 27mg
• Age 19 – 50
o Women – 18mg
o Pregnant Women – 27mg
o Breastfeeding Women – 9mg
o Vegetarian Women – 32mg
• Age 51+
o Women – 8mg
o Women – 14mg
Note: Iron can best be gotten from meat because it can be easily absorbed by the body compared to iron from plant-based foods.

Anemia In Nigeria: Food Source Of Iron

Food sources of iron include:
• Fortified breakfast cereals
• Oysters
• Canned white beans
• Dark chocolate
• Beef liver
• Spinach
• Kidney beans
• Canned tomatoes
• Lean beef
• Baked potato
• Ugu leaves

How Much Iron Do I Need During Pregnancy?

Pregnant women need more iron during pregnancy than any other person. It is one of the most important mineral that is essential for the health of the mother and fetus during pregnancy. Pregnant women are expected to need almost twice as much iron as women who are not pregnant do.

Women who don’t get enough iron during pregnancy are exposed to higher risk of having premature birth or low birth weight and other pregnancy complications. If you’re pregnant, talk to your doctor about these steps:

• Getting 27 milligrams of iron every day. Take a prenatal vitamin with iron every day, or talk to your doctor about taking an iron supplement.
• Testing for iron-deficiency anemia
• Testing for iron-deficiency anemia four to six weeks after childbirth

Do I Need More Iron If I Am Breastfeeding?

Unlike during pregnancy, women don’t need more iron than normal when breastfeeding; you may even need lesser amount. During breastfeeding, women need 10 mg of iron per day, for young mothers 14 to 18 and 9 mg per day for breastfeeding women older than 18.

Nursing mothers need less iron because they are not likely to lose blood through menstrual period. It is common for some women not to have a period while breastfeeding or may have a light period. Women who had enough iron during pregnancy up to 27 mg daily will have enough iron supplied to their baby while breastfeeding.

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Does Menopausal Hormone Therapy Affect How Much Iron I Need To Take?

It might. If you still get your period and take menopausal hormone therapy, you may need more iron than women who are postmenopausal and do not take menopausal hormone therapy. Talk to your doctor or nurse.

Does Birth Control Affect My Risk For Iron-Deficiency Anemia?

It could. Hormonal birth control, such as the pill, the patch, the shot, or the hormonal intrauterine device (IUD), is often used to treat women with heavy menstrual periods. Lighter menstrual periods may reduce your risk for iron-deficiency anemia.

Also, the non-hormonal, copper IUD (Paragard) may make your menstrual flow heavier. This raises your risk for iron-deficiency anemia.
Talk to your doctor or nurse about your risk for anemia and whether hormonal birth control may help.

Iron Deficiency Anemia: What Vegetarians Should Do

People who are vegetarian are more at risk of developing iron deficiency when compared with those who eat meat. The human body can easily absorb iron from meat better than from plant-based foods.
Vegetarian sources of iron include:

• Cereals and bread with added iron
• Lentils and beans
• Dark chocolate
• Dark green leafy vegetables, such as spinach and broccoli
• Chickpeas
• Canned tomatoes

Can I Get More Iron Than My Body Needs?

Your body can get too much iron which is dangerous for the liver, heart and pancreas. Extra iron can damage the liver, heart, and pancreas. Try to get no more than 45 milligrams of iron a day, unless your doctor prescribes more.
People suffering from a medical condition known as hemochromatosis are prone to have too much iron. This condition is hereditary.

People can also get too much iron when addicted or consume excessive blood tonic more than what the body need over a long period of time or having repeated blood transfusions.

What Are The Natural Remedies For Anemia In Nigeria: Nigerian Herbs For Anemia

Black sesame seed For Anemia

Another rich source of iron, can be soaked for a few hours in warm water, ground, strained and mixed with 1 cup of warm milk with honey to improve the taste and consumed twice a day. Eat more of soy beans, lettuce, spinach, ugu, and meat.

Almond for anemia

To use almond as natural remedy for anemia, seven almonds should be soaked in water for about two hours and ground into a paste after removing the thin red skin. This paste may be eaten once daily in the morning for three month

Poporo For Anemia

This is the dried leaves of sorghum or guinea corn also known as poporo; it is Nigerian effective herb for improving blood health. The dry leaves can be boiled in water for 20 minutes and the decoction can be taken orally {one cup twice daily}. You may take with milk

Ugu Leaf For Anemia

Another wonderful Nigerian natural blood tonic and purifier is the African pumpkin leaf popularly known as ugu leaf. To use ugu for the purpose of boosting blood health, you need to squeeze the fresh leaves to extract the juice and drink one cup twice daily. You may add milk to improve result.

Malt And Milk Drink For Anemia

Many Nigerians already know this super combination for improved blood health. Both milk and malt are nutrient dense and when combined, it can help those who suffer from anemia to recover as soon as possible.

Coke And Tomato Paste For Anemia

Don’t be surprised about this combination, it has been tried by many and there are testimonies about its effectiveness. It works perfectly well as a blood cleanser especially for women who has period that is not pure.

Learn More About Other Natural Remedies HERE

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