At-Home Tips From a Hematologist To Treat Anemia

Hematologist Marlton, NJ

Anemia is a common, treatable blood disorder. A hematologist can provide medical treatments and at-home tips to help patients minimize and manage their symptoms. Some of these tips for the home are related to food and how it is prepared. Others focus on adopting a healthier lifestyle. Thus, patients are often pleasantly surprised by how easy it is to incorporate anemia treatments into their day-to-day lives.

Understanding anemia

According to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, anemia is the single most common blood disorder. While there are many types of anemia, it occurs either because there is a lack of red blood cells or because these cells do not work as they should. This lack or improper functioning may be due to various issues, such as iron deficiency, vitamin deficiency, pregnancy, leaky heart valves, bone marrow failure disorders, or kidney disease.

As a result, anemia treatment ranges from blood transfusions to antibiotics, immunosuppressive drugs, or something as simple as dietary changes and supplements. Although treatment may primarily consist of lifestyle changes for some patients, working with a hematologist ensures they get the treatment best suited to their condition. These healthcare professionals can also provide personalized tips to help with anemia treatment at home.

At-home tips for treating anemia

A hematologist may recommend the following at-home tips to aid with anemia treatment at home. However, remember that treatment will not look the same for everyone. Check with a hematologist before incorporating these tips into your life.

Diet adjustments

Dietary changes are beneficial for patients with vitamin deficiency and iron-deficiency anemia. While vitamin and mineral supplements can help, patients typically benefit from a more nutritious diet as well. According to Verywell Health, a well-balanced diet for anemia includes:

  • Whole grains. Oats, enriched pasta, and fortified cereals
  • Animal protein. Chicken, beef, pork, and fish
  • Nuts. Almonds, pistachios, and sesame seeds
  • Beans and legumes. Soybeans, lentils, and garbanzo beans
  • Iron-rich fruits and vegetables. Broccoli, collard greens, peas, raisins, spinach, strawberries, and tomatoes

How these foods are paired with each other and prepared can alter their efficacy in treating anemia. The American Red Cross notes that foods high in vitamin C allow easier iron absorption. This makes fish with lemon juice, marinara sauce, and enriched pasta beneficial pairings for anemic patients. In addition, a 2021 study published in the Nepal Journal of Epidemiology found that cooking food in a cast iron skillet increases its iron content— this supports a similar but older study published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association.

Limit certain foods and drinks

A hematologist may recommend that patients avoid or limit certain milk and dairy products, such as ice cream, butter, and cow's milk. Despite being high in calcium, they can make iron absorption harder.

Tannin has the same effect. Examples of high-tannin foods and drinks include pomegranate, dark chocolate, coffee, black tea, and red wine. Patients do not have to forgo these completely, but they should at least wait a few hours after eating an iron-rich meal to consume them. That way, the tannins will not interfere too much with iron absorption.

Take time to rest

As part of anemia treatment, this involves getting enough sleep every night and resting as needed. Anemia can make a person feel fatigued, weak, and dizzy. It can also cause headaches and an irregular heartbeat. For patient safety, always take breaks when symptoms flare up.

Try anemia-friendly exercises

Exercise is an effective way to reduce the symptoms of a range of health conditions, including anemia. However, take it easy and do not push through anemic symptoms when working out. Stop immediately if dizziness, chest pain, and shortness of breath occur.

A hematologist can discuss which exercises are safe for anemic patients. As per Healthline, they may recommend:

  • Low-impact aerobics. Walking, swimming, dancing, bicycling
  • Resistance training. Squats, planks, lunges
  • Mind-body exercises. Yoga, pilates, tai chi

Work on managing stress

Stress can negatively impact anyone's health. Unfortunately, for anemic patients, it may worsen symptoms. If one notices that stress is a recurring problem, it can help to learn healthy stress management techniques, such as counting to 10 before talking, journaling, reading, or going for walks.

Speak to a hematologist in an appointment

At-home anemia treatment is helpful, but it should only supplement professional treatment. A hematologist can develop a treatment plan tailored to you or your loved one, as well as discuss how to safely implement the tips above. Contact us today to get started with an appointment.

Request an appointment here: https://lindenbergcancer.com or call Lindenberg Cancer & Hematology Center at (856) 475-0876 for an appointment in our Marlton office.

Check out what others are saying about our services on Yelp: Hematologist in Marlton, NJ.

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