Iron deficiency is one of the most common nutritional deficiencies in Australia. If you are suffering from iron deficiency anaemia and are unable to take iron replacement orally or have iron levels so low that taking iron supplements or increasing your daily intake of iron-containing foods would be ineffective or too slow in increasing your iron levels; an intravenous iron infusion may be the best option for you.
What is iron and why do you need it?
Iron is one of the components of hemoglobin, the substance in red blood cells that helps blood carry oxygen throughout the body. If you do not have enough iron, your body cannot make hemoglobin, and you may develop anemia which can cause:
- Difficulty breathing
- Fast heartbeat
- Feeling cold (including the sensation that your hands and feet are colder than usual)
- Infections (caused by problems with the immune system).
There are many factors that can lower your body’s supply of iron, but the most common are:
- A vegetarian diet or a diet that is defecient in iron
- Blood loss (caused by ulcers, some cancers, and heavy menstrual bleeding)
- Taking medications that interfere with the ability of the body to absorb iron
What is an iron infusion?
Iron infusion is a method of delivering iron directly into your bloodstream through a needle into a vein.
At Quakers Hill Family Practice, this procedure is done over an hour, with the infusion itself taking around 15 to 20 minutes, and after the treatment, there is a period of observation before the patient is discharged.
Majority of patients do not experience any side effects after an infusion but about 10% will have a bit of a headache, muscle aches, nausea/vomiting, metallic taste in the mouth and changes to blood pressure or pulse.
Another possible side effect to note is brown skin staining due to leakage of iron into the surrounding tissues of the needle site. This stain can be permanent. This is an uncommon side effect and we take all the measures to ensure that this does not happen. Since starting to provide this service, we have never had a patient experience this side effect.
How do I book an iron infusion?
All patients are required to book a counselling session with an Iron Infusion Doctor prior to the actual procedure. Bookings for a standard consultation can be done online via Hotdoc or by calling us at 9626-6300.