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17 Aug 2010

Anaemia and Weight Loss
My mother was recently diagnosed with anaemia and had a blood transfusion. She had also lost a lot of weight. What should she be eating to regain strength and pick up weight? Are there any supplements that you would recommend to rebuild her body and immune system?
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01 Jan 0001

Dear Adrinah
I am sorry to hear that your dear Mom has anaemia and had to have a blood transfusion. I trust that the doctor has also identified the cause of her anaemia (internal bleeding, poor absorption of iron or vit B12, inadequate iron and vit B12 in her diet, etc) and has prescribed the necessary treatment (medications to prevent the bleeding and iron or vit B12 supplements)? If not, please discuss these treatments (e.g. using Ferro-Folic for iron deficiency) with the dr. To build up both your Mom's iron stores (if she is suffering from iron deficiency anaemia), she needs to eat the following foods which are rich sources of highly available iron: liver, red meat, fish, poultry, egg yolk, iron-fortified breakfast cereals, maize meal and wheat bread, and dried fruit like raisins. She should also have a glass of orange juice which is rich in vit C with her iron-fortified breakfast cereal in the morning because the vit C helps the iron to be absorbed.
For further information about gaining weight and using liquid meal supplements click on 'Diet' at the top of this page and then on 'Nutrition Basics' and 'Weight gaining' and read the articles. Companies like Nestle, among others, make meal replacement supplements Phone the Nestle Consumer Services at 0860 09 6789 and ask about Nutritional Supplements to boost your Mom's energy intake. You can purchase liquid meal supplements at most chemist shops. Talk to the pharmacist about her need to gain weight and see which products he or she will recommend. Basically she needs to eat more food either by gradually increasing how much she eats at each meal, or by taking supplements IN ADDITION to her regular meals (not to replace meals), or by having more snacks between meals. If she uses a liquid meal supplement at the rate of 200 ml 3x a day, then she should gain 1 kg per week. Feedback from other Readers has indicated that they have successfully gained weight by using a meal supplement.
I hope your Mom will soon be feeling much better and stronger.
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