What are iron infusions?
An iron infusion is a procedure used to deliver a dose of iron to the body intravenously. It can be used to increase iron levels quickly and may be used to treat severe cases of anemia. Oral iron supplements can be used at times, but can be difficult to absorb to some people.
What is iron defiency?
Iron deficiency is due to insufficient iron. Without enough iron, your body can't produce enough of a substance in red blood cells that enables them to carry oxygen (hemoglobin) throughout your body.
Common causes of iron deficiency can include:
An inability to absorb iron - Iron from food is absorbed into your bloodstream in your small intestine. An intestinal disorder, such as celiac disease, which affects your intestine's ability to absorb nutrients from digested food, can lead to iron deficiency anemia. If part of your small intestine has been bypassed or removed surgically, that may affect your ability to absorb iron and other nutrients.
A lack of iron in your diet - Your body regularly gets iron from the foods you eat. If you consume too little iron, over time your body can become iron deficient. Examples of iron-rich foods include meat, eggs, leafy green vegetables and iron-fortified foods. For proper growth and development, infants and children need iron from their diets, too.
Blood loss - Blood contains iron within red blood cells. So if you lose blood, you lose some iron. Women with heavy periods are at risk of iron deficiency anemia because they lose blood during menstruation. Slow, chronic blood loss within the body — such as from a peptic ulcer, a hiatal hernia, a colon polyp or colorectal cancer — can cause iron deficiency anemia. Gastrointestinal bleeding can result from regular use of some over-the-counter pain relievers, especially aspirin.
Iron deficiency can cause several different symptoms that vary depending on how low your iron level is and how depleted your iron stores are. Initially, iron deficiency anemia can be so mild that it goes unnoticed. But as the body becomes more deficient in iron and anemia worsens, the signs and symptoms intensify.
The most common initial symptoms of iron deficiency are:
Chronic and/or extreme fatigue
Chest pain, fast heartbeat or shortness of breath
Headache, dizziness or lightheadedness
Cold hands and feet
Inflammation or soreness of your tongue
Unusual cravings for non-nutritive substances, such as ice, dirt or starch
Irritability and mood swings
Your doctor will order a series of blood tests to check your complete blood count, hemoglobin levels, blood iron levels, total iron-binding capacity, and ferritin levels. If your doctor belives that your levels are too low, you can discuss next steps.
If you are interested in learning more about iron infusions
If you believe you are experiencing symptoms of low-iron, please give us a call to book your initial visit with one of our Naturopathic Physicians, and they can asses your symptoms, and schedule any required lab testing. All of our infusions are administered by highly trained lab technician staff, with Naturopathic Physician oversight and required consistent lab testing to monitor your ferritin levels.