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DIAGNOSING AND MANAGING AN IRON DEFICIENCY

Iron deficiencies can lead to a dramatic decrease in quality of life, so diagnosing and correctly treating them is important. If you suspect you may be deficient in iron, we will arrange a consultation with our doctor who will assess your health and lifestyle. If an iron deficiency is deemed likely, we will order blood tests to confirm and evaluate the severity.

After the test results, we will prescribe a combination of IV iron infusions and oral supplements to manage the deficiency, with ongoing tests also recommended for monitoring.

WHO IS AT RISK?

Being low on iron is a relatively common deficiency, especially among the following groups1:

  • Women who menstruate, particularly if menstrual periods are heavy
  • Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding or those who have recently given birth
  • People who have undergone major surgery or physical trauma
  • People with gastrointestinal diseases such as celiac disease (sprue), inflammatory bowel diseases such as ulcerative colitis, or Crohn disease
  • People with peptic ulcer disease
  • People who have undergone bariatric procedures, especially gastric bypass operations
  • Vegetarians, vegans, and other people whose diets do not include iron-rich foods (Iron from vegetables, even those that are iron-rich, is not absorbed as well as iron from meat, poultry, and fish.)
  • Children who drink more than 16 to 24 ounces a day of cow’s milk (Cow’s milk not only contains little iron, but it can also decrease absorption of iron and irritate the intestinal lining causing chronic blood loss)

Luckily in most cases, this is easy to address with iron infusions and supplements.

iron IV infusion
Iron deficiency treatments

SYMPTOMS

Symptoms of an iron deficiency include2:

  • Being pale or having yellow “sallow” skin
  • Unexplained fatigue or lack of energy
  • Shortness of breath or chest pain, especially with activity
  • Unexplained generalized weakness
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Pounding or “whooshing” in the ears
  • Headache, especially with activity
  • Craving for ice or clay – “picophagia”
  • Sore or smooth tongue
  • Brittle nails or hair loss

If you feel like you might be low on iron, or have symptoms of a deficiency, one of our doctors will assess your condition, order tests, and based on those results, create a treatment plan. Read more on our Custom IV Plans or contact us.

1,2, https://www.hematology.org/education/patients/anemia/iron-deficiency

WHO IS AT RISK

Being low on iron is a relatively common deficiency, especially among the following groups1:

  • Women who menstruate, particularly if menstrual periods are heavy
  • Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding or those who have recently given birth
  • People who have undergone major surgery or physical trauma
  • People with gastrointestinal diseases such as celiac disease (sprue), inflammatory bowel diseases such as ulcerative colitis, or Crohn disease
  • People with peptic ulcer disease
  • People who have undergone bariatric procedures, especially gastric bypass operations
  • Vegetarians, vegans, and other people whose diets do not include iron-rich foods (Iron from vegetables, even those that are iron-rich, is not absorbed as well as iron from meat, poultry, and fish.)
  • Children who drink more than 16 to 24 ounces a day of cow’s milk (Cow’s milk not only contains little iron, but it can also decrease absorption of iron and irritate the intestinal lining causing chronic blood loss)

Luckily in most cases, this is easy to address with iron infusions and supplements.

SYMPTOMS

Symptoms of an iron deficiency include2:

  • Being pale or having yellow “sallow” skin
  • Unexplained fatigue or lack of energy
  • Shortness of breath or chest pain, especially with activity
  • Unexplained generalized weakness
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Pounding or “whooshing” in the ears
  • Headache, especially with activity
  • Craving for ice or clay – “picophagia”
  • Sore or smooth tongue
  • Brittle nails or hair loss

If you feel like you might be low on iron, or have symptoms of a deficiency, one of our doctors will assess your condition, order tests, and based on those results, create a treatment plan. Read more on our Custom IV Plans or contact us.

1,2, https://www.hematology.org/education/patients/anemia/iron-deficiency

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