Many expectant mothers experience anemia during pregnancy.  These mothers usually had infertility issues prior to their pregnancy and these issues arose from their anemia which under nourished the developing eggs and caused irregular menstruation.  When pregnancy occurs, blood deficiency exacerbates because the placenta needs large amounts of blood to nourish the baby, hence anemia oftentimes occurs during pregnancy.  Anemia is often regarded as iron scarcity in the blood.  However, the fact is there are a number of anemia types:  iron deficiency anemia, sickle cell anemia, thalassameia, and pernicious anemia.  Blood is composed of red colored cells called hemoglobin among others.  Hemoglobin in turn is composed of iron and a protein called globin.  Hemoglobin is responsible for transporting oxygen throughout the body.  A lack of hemoglobin then means a weakening of the body and manifests as extreme tiredness, respiration difficulty, paleness, heart palpitations and a weak immune system.

Iron deficiency anemia is caused by diet lacking in iron and poor iron absorption because of lack of vital nutrients that are key to proper iron absorption.  Sickle cell and Thalassameia are inherent in some races caused by disorders in the hemoglobin itself.  Pernicious anemia is caused by lack of vitamin B12.  Most people have difficulty absorbing B12 and therefore also have difficulty absorbing enough iron.  Poor diet is almost often the cause for lack of B12 or a disorder in stomach function.  Women are prone to some of these anemia types.  Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) usually diagnose anemia through its symptoms but sees them all as due to chi and blood deficiency. The main organs responsible for blood production are the spleen and kidneys.

TCM believes that the kidneys manufacture blood as its Yin essence is transformed into blood. The spleen is believed to change food and water into chi and blood. An energy weakness in any of these two organs will affect the heart and liver and will manifest on symptoms such as fatigue, strong heartbeats, vertigo or shortness of breath.  Acupuncture Edina treatment for anemia has demonstrated in case studies to strengthen the immune functions of the female and combined with better nutrition was able to treat the deficiency of the kidneys and spleen and the problems of the heart and liver connected to the energy deficiency of the kidneys and spleen.

Diet apart from acupuncture is hugely important in treating pregnancy-related anemia and is sure to be advised or recommended by one’s acupuncturist for the anemia problem. Herbal supplements and iron rich foods are highly recommended.  For spleen energy deficiency, intake of grains and warm soups and stews are ideal to boost energy.  Foods to be avoided are raw or cold foods and foods rich in calories such as milk products, sweets, fruit juice, melon, pork and soy.