Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Battling the chill of Anemia this winter

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As winter approaches with short days and frigid temperatures, maintaining warmth often emerges as a key challenge for those living with anemia’s debilitating effects. When the very cells meant to oxygenate our body lack adequate numbers, cold sensitivity, and shivers often follow. Anemia as a condition is characterised by the body’s inability to produce healthy red blood cells, resulting in reduced oxygen supply to the tissues. Reasons for this range from nutritional deficits to chronic diseases destroying cell production capacity.
Regardless of the underlying cause, the ensuing symptoms, including fatigue, headaches, dizziness, pale skin, brittle nails, shortness of breath, and heart palpitations, frequently feature as discomforting hallmarks, alerting clinical attention toward diagnosis. However, the extreme sensitivity to cold is an often neglected aspect of the disease. Here are some ways that this can be managed at home.

Lifestyle Changes Count:
Low-Risk Habits for Homeostasis
While doctors treat underlying causes through medical management, small proactive tweaks to daily living can greatly assist through anemia’s difficult phase. Protecting yourself starts with recognising key nutrients needed for enhanced response capacity in the body.
For example, iron forms the essence of hemoglobin, imparting the signature red hue that highlights healthy cells. Since anemia signals already inadequate cell counts, depleted iron undercuts production and aggravates symptoms. So anemics need more iron-rich foods, like green leafy vegetables, sprouted pulses, nuts, and certain meats. Since bodies absorb only modest quantities via diet, physicians suggest supplements to replenish reserves quickly.
Furthermore, research reveals that vitamin C is essential for metabolising dietary iron into forms easily assimilated by blood cells and fortifying the hemoglobin supply. Many inexpensive citrus fruits and juices, like amla, orange, and lemon, high in vitamin C, can provide this vital nutritional edge for iron-deficient patients battling chronic anemia.

Sun Exposure Jumpstarts Cell Factors
Experts believe that exposure to sunlight is key for vitamin D synthesis, which is needed to activate stem cells to produce new red blood cells. Since wintry weather curtails incidental exposure, one needs to consciously step out on sunny days to help the body produce the vitamin.
Beyond Nutrients:
Physical and Mental Self-Care
A holistic healing paradigm also encompasses nurturing well-being across physical, emotional, and spiritual dimensions—aligning medical care with healthy habits plus mental peace. Therefore, always prioritise adequate restorative rest, de-stressing me-time, positive social connections, and simple, home-cooked, warm comfort foods that nourish you wholesomely.

Layer up to trap heat
For insulating against winter’s chill, trapping air between multiple loose, lightweight clothing layers forms the cornerstone for retaining body warmth when headed out. The enclosed air gets heated by the transfer of body warmth but cannot quickly dissipate outward. Technically, the distinct layers function together as insulators.
Step outdoors wearing leggings under pants, topped by a t-shirt, sweater, and jacket, to create sufficient barriers limiting warmth loss. The key lies in modulating layers based on planned activities and expected temperatures while out to prevent rapid heat depletion. So staying prepared to adjust backup layers as needed enables stability.

Shield Extremities from Losing Heat
Remember, mittens, mufflers, caps, and thermal socks are critical for safeguarding peripheral areas like the head, neck, hands, and feet from losing precious warmth. Choosing insulating materials like wool, fleece, or cashmere rather than conductors like silk also matters. This balances fashion and function while keeping toasty.

Employing simple home remedies harmoniously alongside clinical treatments empowers taking greater ownership of health. Monitor warning signs, nourish yourself wholesomely, and self-advocate for responsive care attuned to your lived experience. With an openness to learn and customise, you can discover the optimal recipe for keeping your inner fires burning despite the dipping mercury this winter.

(The author, Partha Pratim Das Mahapatra, is the Founder and CEO of EzeRx.)

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