Iron infusion – Side effects and benefits

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Iron infusion - Side effects and benefits

Iron infusion is a medical procedure in which iron (an essential mineral) is administered directly into the body's bloodstream through a vein.

To do this, a needle placed in a vein is attached to a drip containing iron combined with a sterile solution of salt water. This procedure takes approximately 2 to 4 hours. In addition, you may need some medication before the infusion, which may also take approximately 1 hour.

In November 2000, iron sucrose was approved for use in the United States, although it had also been used for some years in Europe. However, at the beginning of the 20th century, the ferric hydroxide preparation was used during this procedure.

This medical procedure is recommended when someone has iron deficiency anemia. According to the WHO World Health Organization, this type of anemia is the most common nutritional disorder in the world, with approximately 3 percent of men, 20 percent of women and 50 percent of women pregnant.

Iron anemia occurs when someone has a decreased level of hemoglobin in the red blood cells. Hemoglobin is actually the part of red blood cells that binds to oxygen.

The signs and symptoms of iron deficiency anemia include:

little appetite; unusual cravings for non-nutritive substances (a condition called pica); brittle nails; noticeable heart palpitations; inflammation of the tongue; feet and hands cold; difficult to focus; dizziness; pain in the mouth; difficulty breathing; Chest pain; pale skin; lack of energy; Some people with this condition develop restless legs syndrome (uncomfortable sensations in the legs and a strong need to move them).

People at risk for iron deficiency anemia include: women with heavy periods, pregnant women, people with cancer or those who take prescription drugs, as well as people with kidney failure.

In addition, this medical procedure is indicated in combination with erythropoiesis-stimulating agents (a drug that stimulates the production of red blood cells) in chemotherapy-induced anemia and chronic kidney disease.

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What to expect on the day of the procedure

No special preparation is required for this. However, it is useful if you have drunk enough fluids so that the nurse can find the vein easier.

As you will spend a lot of time in this procedure, it is recommended to wear comfortable and loose clothing. Also, feel free to bring any puzzle book, reading material or iPod. Meals will be provided during the procedure.

The staff will watch you during this doctor Procedure to be 100 percent sure that iron is well tolerated. After the procedure, you should stay at the clinic to follow up for about half an hour. Unless you have a unexpected adverse reaction, you can drive to your home and carry out your usual activities.


There are also oral supplements for people with iron deficiency. However, some people experience side effects from these oral supplements (such as constipation or upset stomach). In addition, there are some situations in which oral supplements can not be used or are ineffective.

In addition, some studies show that oral iron supplements can change the microbiome of the large intestine that promotes the development of harmful bacteria.

So, these situations make this procedure seem an attractive option. Most patients experience a rapid improvement in their signs and symptoms, usually between seven and 14 days.

Side effects of iron infusion

This procedure is generally safe, however, some Adverse reactions Occasionally they occur. These include:

burning sensation at the injection site; fainting and dizziness when suddenly rising from a sitting position; swelling of the arms, face, lower legs, hands or feet; decrease or increase in blood pressure; rash and itching; reduced sense of taste or strange taste in the mouth; short of breath; ear congestion; Muscle pain; joint pain; swelling of the joints; vomiting and nausea; severe headaches; Changes in the way you taste drinks and food.

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Other methods to increase your iron levels

If you have low iron levels, it is essential to check your nutrition To make sure it contains enough iron. Iron rich foods include:

legumes – pinto beans, black beans, green peas, soybeans, beans, red beans, chickpeas and lentils; whole grains – oatmeal, brown rice and quinoa; dark green leafy vegetables – spinach, kale and parsley; vegetables – carrots, potatoes, sweet potatoes, Jerusalem artichokes, asparagus, peppers, radishes and tomatoes; walnuts – cashews, almonds and Brazil nuts; Seeds – chia seeds and sesame seeds.


Avoid dairy products

According to research, 165 mg of calcium is reduced from any type of dairy products. iron Absorption at around 60 percent.


Also, avoid eggs, since a boiled egg can reduce iron absorption by up to 29%, according to the Institute of Iron Disorders. This happens because eggs contain phosvitin, a compound that binds iron molecules, therefore, preventing the human The body absorbs this essential mineral from food.

Eat foods rich in vitamin C

Vitamin C helps in the absorption of non-heme irons. In addition, it stores it in a way that is more easily absorbed by the body.


The vegetables must be cooked properly to lower their lectin content.

Avoid unnecessary antacids

Antacids can inhibit the absorption of iron, since stomach acid is required for this process.

Iron infusion – Side effects and benefits, Source:

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