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Iron Deficiency – Dizziness, Fatigue, Tired, Legs Cramping, Troubled Sleeping. | Dr (Mrs.) Nadeeka S. Perera | Dunedin

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Do you feel dizzy, fatigued, or tired all the time, have legs cramping, and trouble sleeping? Be aware you might have anaemia or iron deficiency. Other common symptoms of anaemia are shortness of breath, tiredness, paleness, headaches, dizziness, dry damaged hair, skin, swelling of the tongue, heart palpitation, and brittle nails.

What is Anaemia?
A low red blood cell level or low haemoglobin level in the blood is known as anaemia. Ayurveda names it as ‘Pandu’. There are many types of anaemia such as anaemia due to vitamin B12 deficiency, anaemia due to folate (foliskin, tongue swelling) acid deficiency, anaemia due to iron deficiency, anaemia of chronic diseases, haemolytic anaemia, idiopathic aplastic anaemia, megaloblastic anaemia, pernicious anaemia, sickle cell anaemia, thalassemia.

The World Health Organization’s report says there are about two billion anaemia cases in the world, of which half of them are Iron Deficiency. Therefore, the most common anaemia is Iron Deficiency anaemia. It is common among infants, toddlers, elderly people, and pregnant women. It is a serious health issue as it causes general weakness, lethargy, lassitude, suboptimal work performance, mental retardation, poor intelligence, and abnormal immune response.

What does Ayurveda say?
Iron Deficiency can occur due to insufficient iron intake or the inability to absorb iron properly from the diet. According to Ayurveda, this deficiency is caused by a weak ‘Agni’ (digestive fire), reduced function of ‘Dathu Agni’ (metabolic function), and the formation of toxins (‘Ama’), leading to an imbalance in ‘Pitta Dosa’ and aggravated by ‘Vatha Dosha’.

This happens by:

  • consuming foods that are not suitable for your body constitution (refer to ‘Prakurthi’/ body constitution theory in Ayurveda for more information),
  • over-eating sour, salty, hot, and pungent foods, and foods that are not compatible when eaten together, such as eggs, fish, and milk.
  • mental imbalances like anxiety, grief, and anger .(Mental imbalance directly impacts the function of the Agni dosha in the human body and suppresses the absorption of nutrition).

How does Ayurveda treat Iron Deficiency?
Ayurveda treats the main cause rather than treating symptoms. Therefore, treatment will focus on resetting your body Agni, balancing pitta dosha and removing Ama from the body by changing food patterns and lifestyle. In the west, you will get advice to eat a big piece of steak but Ayurveda asks you to eat bone broth which pulls out essential nutrients from the meat and is much easier for the body to digest and absorb. Thus, Ayurveda encourages having Shad Rasa (Six Tastes) in every meal which ensures vitamin C (sour taste) and helps iron absorption. Ayurveda has special formulas for iron deficiency and all these drugs were developed using modern technology but protecting its less side effect qualities. (Why Ayurveda iron supplements are better than other iron tablets read S Pandit, T.k. Biswas, Chemical and Pharmacological evaluation of different Ayurvedic preparations of iron, https://doi.org/10.1016/S0378-8741(99)00003-3 and similar published research papers.)

A few Simple Tips for vegetarians –


  • Amla (Indian Gooseberries) juice with red beetroot.
  • Methi (fenugreek seed) rice, lentils, apples, vegetables, black sesame seeds, pomegranate and soups help to overcome iron deficiency for vegan people.
  • One tablespoon of turmeric juice mixed with honey regularly.
  • A cup of beetroot juice and a half cup of apple juice. Mix them well and add honey to it. Drink this juice two times a day.

By Dr. (Mrs.) Nadeeka S. Perera,
MPA (PIM-SJP-SL), BAMS(UOC-SL), Dip. In Counselling (IOP-SL)
Ayurvedic Physician, Dunedin, New Zealand.
Send us an email to mnsperera80@gmail.com to book your appointment.

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