Total Health Clinic in Kamloops, BC
Iron infusions at Total Health Clinic in Kamloops, BC. While iron deficiency anemia can also be treated with dietary changes and iron supplements, intravenous (IV) iron infusions are the most efficient way to get iron levels up. Low iron can occur for many reasons, but is known as the most common nutrient deficiency in women.
Iron Infusions Frequently Asked Questions
What is iron?
Iron is a crucial element in the production of hemoglobin, the component of blood responsible for transporting oxygen from the lungs to various parts of the body. This metal's unique properties enable each hemoglobin molecule to bind up to four oxygen molecules, facilitating efficient oxygen distribution throughout the organism.
What are some signs/symptoms of low iron?
According to the Mayo Clinic, iron deficiency anemia signs and symptoms may include:
- Extreme fatigue
- Pale skin
- Chest pain, fast heartbeat or shortness of breath
- Headache, dizziness or lightheadedness
- Cold hands and feet
- Inflammation or soreness of your tongue
- Brittle nails
- Unusual cravings for non-nutritive substances, such as ice, dirt or starch
What causes iron deficiency anemia?
Iron deficiency anemia is caused by low iron levels in the body, which affects the production of hemoglobin necessary for carrying oxygen in the blood. The main causes include:
- Blood Loss as losing blood means losing iron. This can happen during heavy menstrual periods, gastrointestinal bleeding, frequently donating blood or from certain health conditions like ulcers or cancers.
- Diet, specifically a vegetarian or vegan diet. Not eating enough iron-rich foods such as meats, eggs and leafy greens can lead to deficiency.
- Absorption Issues such as conditions like celiac disease can prevent the small intestine from absorbing iron properly.
- Pregnancy can lead to deficiency if not supplemented as more iron is needed for women in their growing fetus.
How can I reduce my risk of iron deficiency anemia?
The best way to reduce your risk of low iron is by being proactive with your diet. Choosing iron-rich foods such as red meat, spinach, peas, beans and seafood can help increase your iron intake. If you are vegetarian or vegan, you'll likely need incorporate more iron-rich foods than someone who eats meat. You should also pair your iron-rich foods with foods that contain vitamin C to help enhance iron absorption. Grapefruit, broccoli, kiwi, tomatoes and peppers are just some of the options you have when it comes to good pairings.
How is iron deficiency anemia treated?
How can I prepare for my iron infusion treatment?
Prior to your iron infusion, I do require recent lab work (within the last 3 months). If your recent lab work is unavailable, I will send you to have this completed prior to starting any treatment. All iron infusions with me require an initial visit.
When you arrive for your treatment, please ensure you are well hydrated (for easy access to veins) and that you are dressed in clothing that you'd be comfortable sitting in for approximately one to two hours. You are welcomed to bring reading material, a tablet or anything else to help make yourself comfortable. The treatment will take place in one of our reclining chairs and blankets are available for further comfort. I'll be checking on your periodically throughout your infusion if you should require anything.
When can I expect to feel better?
After a IV iron infusion at Total Health Clinic in Kamloops, patients can expect improvements in overall symptoms five to seven days post-treatment. However, symptoms will continue to lessen until the two/three-week mark. I recommend follow-up bloodwork six weeks post-infusions to monitor current levels and determine any next steps.
How many iron infusions will I need?
The number of iron infusion treatments required is based on individual needs. While a single treatment of IV iron is sufficient to restore iron levels if a deficiency was caused by a loss of blood, if the deficiency stems from diet-related issues (vegan, etc.), follow-up infusions may be required.
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