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How to Increase Iron Levels Naturally ~ Neha Govindarajan

So many people struggle with food intolerance induced anemia, especially adolescents. Cases of children developing food intolerances at an early age have drastically increased in this century. “The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention report that between 1997 -1999 and 2009- 2011, food allergy prevalence among children increased by 50 percent.” However, these food intolerances are usually caused by inflammation in people’s intestines, which causes malabsorption. This means that the iron people are ingesting are not being absorbed by the body at all because of the stress it is under. Many intestines are pushed to a flared state where they begin to bleed, which increases risk or severity of anemia. Though this requires medical intervention from specialists and other possible medicine, small lifestyle changes can be made to aid the healing process.

  • Healing your gut - an unhealthy gut is one of the most prevalent causes of anemia. “Our gut microbiomes are also dependent on iron. Different microbes have different iron needs to survive,” says Nupur Das, PhD. In addition, a research team discovered that gut bacteria compete with the human body for iron. Therefore, an unhealthy gut could mean that the bad bacteria in your gut is taking the iron that is needed for the rest of your body, which would increase the severity/chances of developing anemia. Taking supplements to promote good bacteria in your gut is therefore vital to ensuring the growth of good bacteria.

  • Adjusting your diet - diet plays a huge role in the way our body reacts and how we feel after eating. Different bodies are able to digest different foods, and many have underlying intolerances that cannot be trained to go away. For example, if you have always had skin problems and stomach pain after eating dairy, you may simply not be able to digest it. However, it is important to understand that restriction of certain foods can also cause temporary intolerances. After restricting a certain food from the body and reintroducing it, it may cause discomfort initially, but it will go away once the body gets used to it. When your body hasn’t adjusted after a few weeks, it probably means you should avoid that food, as it is not benefiting you.

**Caffeine, carbonated drinks, and alcohol are also certain things to avoid when trying to heal your gut and intestines as they are known to irritate the digestive tract and possibly increase inflammation.

After taking care of your digestive tract, eliminating foods that don’t agree with you, and healing your gut, be sure to eat whole foods rich in iron such as red meat, leafy greens, dried fruits, etc. Be sure to check out our previous articles on foods to include in your diet! These changes can play an extremely vital role in controlling anemia.


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