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Why do we need iron?
Our bodies use iron to make haemoglobin – the part of our red blood cells that carries oxygen around our body. It is important for muscle strength, energy and increased mental function. If your iron levels are low, this can cause fatigue, trouble sleeping, brain fog, anxiety and depression.
Changes in nutrition, and supplementation with iron tablets can be effective for people with mild iron deficiency. However, sometimes the iron is poorly absorbed in this way and can take a significant amount of time for their anaemia to improve.
Iron Infusions are a therapy in which iron is combined with a saline solution and delivered directly to the bloodstream via the vein. This treatment is suitable for patients suffering from iron deficiency who:
- Can’t take iron orally
- Can’t absorb iron adequately through the gut
- Can’t absorb enough iron due to blood loss
- Need to increase iron levels fast to avoid medical complications
What are the benefits of iron infusions?
Most people begin to feel an improvement after a 1-3 weeks. Fatigue and tiredness should improve, as well as cramps, headaches and brain fog.
How long will I need to have the infusions?
The total dose infusion is one injection only. The aim is to restore your body’s iron stores to normal in one visit. Unless you have ongoing blood loss issues, or another medical illness it is unlikely you will need further infusions. Some people (20%) do require a second infusion after 2-3 months and this is often in people who are initially very iron deficient to start with or who have ongoing losses.
Booking an Iron Infusion
All appointments for iron infusion require an initial consultation with the general practitioner, where your medical history and recent blood tests can be assessed.
Following this assessment, the Infusion appointment may take between 30 – 45 minutes.
All infusion appointments incur an out-of-pocket cost of $200, with a Medicare rebate of $75.75.
Preparing for the Iron Infusion
- There is no need to fast prior to an iron infusion.
- Take your regular medications. (although iron tablets should be stopped)
- Be prepared to have a small IV drip put in your arm or hand.
If you think you may benefit from an iron infusion, please book an appointment with one of our doctors to discuss.