If the anemia is caused by nutritional deficiencies, a change to an iron-rich diet can help alleviate the symptoms. The following foods are high in iron: Iron-fortified cereals and breads Dark-green leafy vegetables, for instance, curly kale and watercress Pulses and beans Brown rice White and red meats Nuts and seeds Fish Tofu Eggs Dried fruits, including apricots, raisins, and prunes
There is a range of treatments for anemia, all ultimately aimed at increasing the red blood cell count which in turn increases the amount of oxygen the blood carries.
Depending on the type of anemia, the treatment has to match the cause:
Iron deficiency anemia - iron supplements or dietary changes. If the condition is due to loss of blood, the bleeding must be found and stopped.
Vitamin deficiency anemias - treatments include dietary supplements and B-12 shots.
Thalassemia - blood transfusions, folic acid supplements, removal of the spleen and, sometimes, blood transfusions and bone marrow transplants.
Anemia of chronic disease - this is anemia associated with a serious, chronic underlying condition; there are no specific treatments. The focus is on the underlying condition.
Aplastic anemia - blood transfusions or bone marrow transplants.