What is iron deficiency
Iron is an important part of haemoglobin, the substance in red blood cells that carries oxygen from your lungs all around your body. Haemoglobin makes up around two-thirds of our body’s iron and without iron our body can’t create enough blood cells to move oxygen around our bodies.
Haemoglobin carries oxygen from the lungs to your muscles and organs. Iron is essential in creating haemoglobin and this means that when iron levels are low, so too is your haemoglobin. This is known as iron deficiency anaemia. Long term iron deficiency is a common cause of iron deficiency anaemia around the world and in Australia, it is the most common nutrient deficiency. With less oxygen being transported around your body, it is common for people with low iron levels to feel fatigued or exhausted.
Iron deficiency can be the result of one of the following:
A lack of iron in your diet. This means that your body isn’t getting the iron it needs, which may be due to nutritional deficiency, medications or poor absorption (which can be attributed to coeliac and bariatric surgery).
Blood loss through surgery, heavy menstrual bleeding or GI can lead to low iron levels until the iron stores are replaced.
An increased need for iron, including physiological, pregnancy and pre-menopausal women.
An inability to absorb iron. There are some people who do not utilise all the iron that their bodies absorb. This functional iron deficiency may be due to chronic inflammation, heart failure or renal failure.
The potential to become iron deficient can rise rapidly with age.
Causes of Iron Deficiency
Treatment of Iron Deficiency
The first objective in treating iron deficiency is to replace the iron that has been lost. Simply, this can be done in three ways; diet, oral replacement or intravenous iron. Oral supplements of ferrous sulphate and a change in diet to include more iron-rich foods is the first step in treating iron deficiency.
Iron injections to muscle (often buttock) were used in the past but newer treatments have meant that this practice is now considered obsolete. (minck) Intravenous iron may be prescribed by your doctor. This requires a small amount of intravenous iron to be slowly infused into a vein, which means the insertion of a small plastic tube into your vein to allow the iron to enter your blood stream
Intravenous iron is an option provided to patients who have been diagnosed with iron deficiency anaemia or who are iron deficient where oral supplements are not appropriate or have not worked.
The benefits of intravenous therapy is that the entire dose of iron can often be given in one session. These agents are replacing iron quickly and recipients often find them much more convenient. The drawbacks of intravenous therapy are that side-effects to the drug may occur, including allergic reactions which may rarely be quite severe, causing anaphylaxis.
At Belgravia Medical Centre we have a dedicated iron infusion clinic led by Dr. Pradeep Jayasuriya, a leading expert in iron in Australia.
At the WA Iron Centre we ensure that there is a nurse with you at all times and use the latest technology to ensure that you receive the best possible care.
WA Iron Centre
The WA Iron Centre aims to provide personalised holistic treatment of iron deficiency which is accessible and affordable to the community.
Focusing on both the cause of iron deficiency and treatment, we aim to tailor a solution to suit each patient. The WA Iron Centre provides:
assessment and a personalised treatment plan
safe administration of intravenous iron infusion
affordable, innovative and comprehensive acre
Visit the WA Iron Centre for more information about causes, symptoms and treatment options.