Western trained doctors often see anemia as an indication of another underlying health problem. Iron deficiency anemia or IDA, for short is the most common form of anemia that occurs among others, in women who are in menstruation. Also, more than half of pregnant women suffer from iron deficiency. If the body lacks iron, it will be unable to create sufficient hemoglobin, a substance found in red blood cells that transport oxygen to the body tissues.
Factors that can cause iron deficiency anemia can include physiological changes that increase demand for iron such as pregnancy; poor absorption of iron as a result of gastric bypass surgery or other intestinal disorders; internal hemorrhage of any type including colon cancer; heavy menstruation; and chronic loss of blood due to ulcers.
-Cold feet and hands
-Shortness of breath
-Pale eyelids, lips and skin
The methods to be used for diagnosing disorders are based on what is believed to be the factors that cause the anemia. For vitamin or iron deficiency related anemia, the process of diagnosis may be quite simple and straightforward, initially involving a few blood tests. When physicians think that it may be caused by a more serious condition, the diagnostic method may be more thorough and can include genetic testing, a bone marrow biopsy, imaging studies, colonoscopy, endoscopy, urine analysis, or stool sampling.
Western Medical Treatment
IDA treatment typically entails the intake of iron supplements and changes in one’s diet. Elevating the levels of iron may take half a year to attain and needs to be thoroughly observed by a doctor. Sometimes, it may be necessary to have iron injections if no improvement is seen in the patient under oral therapy.
Iron Deficiency Anemia Treatment with Traditional Chinese Medicine
IDA therapy using traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) is anchored on a process known as “Differential Diagnosis”. This type of diagnosis uses a comprehensive evaluation of symptoms and signs to come up with a specific and accurate diagnosis.
In TCM, a particular set of symptoms is called a “pattern”. In IDA, a typical pattern known as blood deficiency is often diagnosed. It is possible that there can be more than one pattern existing at the same time in the body. Blood deficiency is often due to another existing pattern seen as spleen qi deficiency. TCM practitioners including acupuncturists treat their patient in accordance with the patient’s unique pattern diagnosis.
TCM is a holistic type of medicine. This means that it resolves both the symptoms and the underlying cause of the condition. The most commonly used TCM modalities for treating IDA are diet, massage, acupuncture and Chinese herbs. Customized acupuncture and Chinese herbal therapies are utilized to enhance digestion, normalize the menstrual cycle, stop bleeding and fortify qi and blood. Clinical studies have verified the effectiveness of massage in helping improve blood flow as well as increase red blood cell count. A vitamin-rich and protein-rich diet along with instructions for bettering digestion is essential to treat IDA successfully.
Combining Traditional Chinese Medicine and Western Medicine
The integration of TCM ad Western Medicine is the approach that provides the best outcome to treating IDA. Your acupuncturist and doctor can join effort to formulate a course of treatment that is both effective and safe.
DeJongh Acupuncture Clinic
2929 SW 3rd Ave #610
Miami, FL 33129