Anemia is a very common symptom. It means a low red blood cell count or a low hemoglobin level. It is an important symptom because hemoglobin carries oxygen from the lungs to every cell in the body.  When one is anemic, one’s energy level usually decreases, one can become easily tired, and if the condition is extreme, many other symptoms can occur such as fainting, low resistance to infections and others.


Anemia Symptoms


Signs and symptoms vary depending on the cause of your anemia, but may include: fatigue, pale skin, a fast or irregular heartbeat, shortness of breath, chest pain, dizziness, cognitive problems, cold hands and feet and headache.

Initially, anemia can be so mild it goes unnoticed. But signs and symptoms increase as anemia worsens.


Blood is produced in the marrow of all the long bones of the body. This may seem like an unusual place for blood formation, but the reason for it is that the bones actually protect the marrow from most contamination due to various toxins, including toxic metals. Today, however, most people have some toxic metals in the bone marrow itself, and this is one reason for blood disorders.


Once the red blood cells are formed in the marrow, they circulate for about four months before they are destroyed in the spleen, liver and elsewhere.Their components are then recycled to make new red and white blood cells. This is actually a fascinating process and one that can go awry due to many factors.




Many causes exist for anemia. One of the most common, if not the most common cause, is a copper imbalance.  However, this is not widely understood by medical or any other type of doctors. Among those most affected are young adult women. The symptoms and signs of this type of anemia are exactly like those of an iron deficiency anemia, and it is most often treated incorrectly with iron. This article discusses the many causes of anemia and their correction.


Iron deficiency anemia and copper. This is often the most common type of anemia today due to widespread copper imbalance in the population. Many apparent iron deficiency anemias are caused by copper imbalance and require a program to balance copper in the body. Signs and symptoms are those of a mild, chronic, microcytic, microchromic anemia. It occurs most often in young adult women and, at times, in children, though it can occur in anyone. To read more about copper toxicity, click here!


Biologically available copper is required for the conversion of iron from the ferric to the ferrous form, and back again, to produce hemoglobin. Bioavailable copper is also required to incorporate iron into the hemoglobin molecule. While anemia due to copper imbalance appears identical on blood tests to iron deficiency anemia, the cause and correction is different, and it often does not respond well to supplemental iron. A hair mineral analysis can help distinguish the two, since taking iron is not healthful for most people and unnecessary in most cases. In fact, taking iron supplements is very harmful for some people. To read more about iron toxicity, click here!


The rare instances in which iron supplementation may be needed include 1) young women with very heavy periods, 2) strict vegetarians 3) someone who is extremely malnourished, especially one who does not eat meat or eggs.


Iron deficiency anemia. The bone marrow needs iron to make red blood cells. Iron plays an important role in the proper structure of the hemoglobin molecule. If iron intake is limited or inadequate due to poor dietary intake, anemia may occur as a result. This is called iron deficiency anemia. Iron deficiency anemia can also occur when there are stomach ulcers or other sources of slow, chronic bleeding (colon cancer, uterine cancer, intestinal polyps, hemorrhoids, etc). In these kinds of scenarios, because of ongoing, chronic slow blood loss, iron is also lost from the body (as a part of blood) at a higher rate than normal and can result in iron deficiency anemia.


B12 anemia common in older people and some vegetarians. Most people lose some ability to absorb vitamin B12 from their food as they age. This is a serious problem for many over the age of 60 or perhaps younger, especially if the digestive tract is in poor condition or if one is under a lot of stress. Vitamin B12 is found mainly in animal foods, so vegetarians, especially vegans, are much more prone to this serious condition.


Vitamin B12 deficiency causes a macrocytic or so-called pernicious anemia. It can cause permanent brain damage with symptoms of confusion, memory loss, dementia and even death. It is often missed by doctors in its early stages. A mild B12 anemia may also occur in vegetarians, or others who do not eat much meat or eggs. The cost of supplementary vitamin B12 is so low that this simple problem ought to receive more attention by the medical community. It is also a reason why everyone needs a digestive aid, especially older people.


Lead and other toxic metals. Lead poisoning is well known for causing a type of anemia that can be fatal. Hidden lead toxicity may be responsible for anemias of chronic disease. This is seen commonly with cancer and other degenerative diseases. Elevated lead is often not revealed on any tests until it is eliminated from the body using a nutritional balancing program or some other method. Lead is often hidden because it is deposited deep within bone marrow and other inaccessible areas of the body.


Combination anemias and other blood disorders. Toxic metals such as cadmium, mercury and others may also affect the bone marrow and interfere with zinc or copper metabolism.  This occasionally causes unusual types of anemias and other blood problems that can leave doctors scratching their heads. As health improves, these unusual blood disorders often improve on their own without the need for other treatment.


Chelation therapy with EDTA and other drugs only removes more superficial lead deposits, in general, and unfortunately also removes essential minerals such as calcium and zinc. Therefore, we never recommend chelation and we don’t require it to remove lead and all the toxic metals.




Vitamin C deficiency may interfere with iron absorption.


Vitamin E deficiency affects the stability of the red blood cell membranes.  Low vitamin E also causes a macrocytic anemia with shortened lifespans of the red blood cells.


Copper deficiency can impair iron absorption and incorporation of iron into hemoglobin. This is essentially identical with the copper-induced anemia described above but is due to a frank copper deficiency instead of bounavaliabe copper.


Zinc deficiency can cause a higher copper, which, in turn, interferes with iron metabolism.


Vitamin B6 deficiency can inhibit synthesis of the heme portion of the hemoglobin molecule.


Vitamin B2 or B5 deficiencies, while rare, may cause anemias.


Rarely, excess zinc intake can interfere with iron absorption and cause a copper deficiency.  It also decreases copper and iron levels in the liver. This can affect the incorporation and release of iron from liver ferritin. It may also increase the fragility of red blood cells.


Folic acid deficiency, while rare, can cause a macrocytic, macrochromic anemia similar to B12 deficiency anemia.




Drug-caused anemia. This is another extremely common type of anemia due to internal bleeding, usually from the stomach. It is most commonly seen in older people who use non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs for pain such as aspirin, ibuprofen, Tylenol, Aleve and the others. These drugs damage the stomach lining and cause chronic internal bleeding in thousands upon thousands of people. Some die as a result.  Stopping the drugs is usually sufficient to correct the cause of the anemia. we would suggest always avoiding long-term use of these drugs for this very reason, as often the bleeding is hard to detect until the anemia is far advanced.


Chronic infections. These may cause anemia by an interesting mechanism. The body may sequester iron to keep it out of the blood stream during some infections because iron tends to favor the growth of certain bacteria in the body.  One must correct the infection and the anemia most often subsides.

Other infective organisms such as beta-hemolytic strep may destroy red blood cells.


Cancers. Cancers develop extensive networks of blood vessels and these sometimes rupture, causing internal bleeding. This will result in an anemic condition, at times with no other symptoms at all.


Anemia related to kidney disease. The kidneys release a hormone called the erythropoietin that helps the bone marrow make red blood cells. In people with chronic (long-standing) kidney disease, the production of this hormone is diminished, and this in turn diminishes the production of red blood cells, causing anemia. This is called anemia related to chronic kidney disease.


Parasitic infection. In some areas of the world, leeches, other blood-sucking parasites, and worms that may live inside the body can siphon off enough blood to cause anemia.  This is rare in developed nations, however.


Chemical poisoning. Pesticide exposure or something else will occasionally cause unusual blood disorders of many kinds. In general, the chemical poisons the bone marrow in some way and this impairs proper blood formation. However, other mechanisms may be present as well, such as weakening the red blood cells and hastening their destruction. Nutritional balancing programs can usually remove most toxic chemicals from the body.


Sickle cell anemia and thalasemias. These are more genetically-related anemias found respectively in negro populations and Southern European populations. They are due to enzyme deficiencies.  It is possible that nutritional balancing, however, may even help to keep these anemias in check.


Vegetarian and semi-vegetarian diets, and anemia. Diets low in meats and eggs are a critically important cause of anemia today. These diets are low in good-quality iron and they are too high in copper. In addition, they are low in zinc, which protects the body against too much copper.  Such diets are also low in vitamin B12, especially strict vegetarian and vegan diets.


As a result, these diets cause both pernicious anemia due to low vitamin B12. However, they cause an anemia that looks exactly like iron deficiency anemia, even if one takes iron. The anemia, as explained in the sections above, is due to biounavailable copper. This is a widespread cause of fatigue, lowered resistance to disease and other problems today, especially for women.


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