Blouberg family practice is pleased to announce that we will now be providing intravenous (IV) iron infusion therapy as part of our service offerings. Over the years of treating my patients for a variety of gynaecological, mental health and chronic diseases, it became apparent how prevalent iron deficiency anaemia is. The scarcity of IV iron infusion centres in our area prompted us to add iron infusion therapy to our range of services, in our quest to provide a 1-stop patient centric family medicine practice.
What is iron deficiency? This refers to not having enough stored iron in your body.
What is anaemia? This refers to low haemoglobin. Haemoglobin (which is made up of iron) is the protein in your blood which carries oxygen around the body.
What is iron deficiency anaemia? This refers to low haemoglobin that is caused specifically by low iron body stores.
Iron deficiency anaemia can easily be diagnosed with blood tests that look at your full blood count, ferritin levels and iron studies.
What are the symptoms of Iron deficiency?
- Pale skin
- Craving non-food substances (dirt, paper, chalk, clay)
- Increased cold sensitivity
- Frequent headaches and dizziness
- Depression, anxiety and poor concentration
- Poor appetite
Who are the at-risk population groups:
- Toddlers and infants
- Menstruating women with heavy periods
- Blood donors
- Older patients 65+
What are the common causes of iron deficiency?
- Inadequate nutritional intake (calorie restricted diets, vegetarians).
- Chronic blood loss through heavy periods, fibroids, endometriosis.
- Chronic blood loss from bleeding in your stomach related to NSAIDs, aspirin, stomach ulcers.
- Inflammatory bowel disease (Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis) or coeliac disease.
How do you treat Iron deficiency?
- Increase iron rich foods. Heme iron found in meat, poultry, fish is more easily absorbed and not affected by other foods. Non-heme iron found in fruits, vegetables, pulses are not as easily absorbed by the body and affected by other foods. To maximise iron absorption: eat a heme iron with non-heme iron, Vit C increases absorption of non-heme iron, avoid drinking coffee and tea with meals as tannins in these drinks interfere with iron absorption.
- Oral supplementation for minimum 3 months after anaemia has been corrected to adequately replenish stores.
- IV iron infusion therapy if persistent iron deficiency anaemia despite regular oral treatment, ongoing significant blood loss, side effects to oral supplementation or requirement for rapid iron repletion.
Please contact Blouberg family practice on (021) 023 0480 or email@example.com should you have any queries regarding our iron infusion services.