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What is iron and why do you need it?

Iron is important for making haemoglobin in red blood cells, which carries oxygen around the body into our muscles and tissues. Iron is also found in muscle cells as myoglobin, which accepts and stores oxygen for later use. 

You also need iron to support your immune system. If you’re not getting enough in your diet, you may be more susceptible to illnesses and infection. 

Women aged 19-50 need 14.8mg a day, and men 8.7mg a day. Women need more iron than men due to menstruation, pregnancy and breast-feeding. After 50, women need 8.7mg of iron a day. If you’re not getting enough iron from non-meat sources in a vegan or vegetarian diet, if you experience heavy periods or have a stomach ulcer that may cause internal bleeding, you will need more iron. 

Health benefits of iron: 

  1. Increased energy – Getting enough iron can help boost your energy by making sure haemoglobin is able to carry plenty of oxygen throughout your body.
  2. Healthier pregnancy – It’s important for pregnant people to get enough iron, not only to help meet their needs during pregnancy but also because iron is crucial for the growth and neurological development of the foetus.
  3. Better brain health – When iron levels drop, so does the ability to concentrate and be mentally sharp. Getting enough iron supports a healthy nervous system as a whole and is important for keeping your brain healthy.
  4. Stronger immune system – Studies have found that those with adequate iron stores can fight off bacterial infections more quickly.

Which foods are the best sources of iron? 

The best animal-based sources of iron include: 

– Red meat, including pork and lamb 

– Fish and Shellfish 

– Liver or liver pate 

– Eggs 

What are the symptoms of iron deficiency? 

If your body doesn’t get enough iron, you won’t have enough haemoglobin for your tissues and muscles to function normally. This leads to a condition called iron deficiency – Anaemia.

Symptoms of Anaemia include: 

– Fatigue 

– Feeling tired 

– Pale skin 

– Shortness of breath 

– Headache 

– Sore tongue 

– Hair loss 

An iron infusion is a procedure that slowly provides iron directly into the bloodstream intravenously (into the vein with a needle). This is advantageous because it works a lot faster than methods that have to be “ingested” first. 

The method in which the iron is delivered is known as an Intravenous (IV) infusion, which means it is given as a drip into the veins. An iron infusion may be prescribed by a doctor if iron levels are low and other methods of treating iron have not been effective or are not tolerated due to side effects. The procedure usually lasts 30 – 45 minutes with the patient lying or sitting down during the session. 

Our Iron Clinic doctors will look after you from beginning to end on your journey to treat your iron deficiency. With plenty of experience helping patients with their anaemia, feel rest assured that you are in safe hands. From checking your blood test results to ensure that you are a candidate for iron deficiency, to keeping you safe during the treatment and monitoring the success of the treatment after, our doctors are here for you every step of the way. 

Click here to book an appointment or call us on 0207 838 6180 or email us on [email protected] 

We look forward to treating you!

 

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