woman in blue dress touching her head like she's having a headache

What Does Anemia Lip Discoloration Look Like?

woman in blue dress touching her head like she's having a headache

Anemia is a serious medical condition where your body isn’t producing enough red blood cells to meet your body’s needs. Red blood cells are responsible for transporting oxygen and hemoglobin throughout your body. Therefore, if you don’t have enough red blood cells, your cells and tissues won’t have enough oxygen, which can cause a wide range of health problems.

Today, we take a closer look at anemia lip discoloration – one of the potential signs that your body isn’t getting the oxygen it needs.

What is anemia?

As we touched on briefly, anemia is a health condition where your body isn’t producing enough red blood cells. Anemia often happens due to dietary or nutritional insufficiency because adequate amounts of iron, folic acid, and B12 are necessary to create red blood cells.

red blood cells in the body

Lip discoloration and anemia

There are many types of anemia. However, you may notice changes in lip coloration with iron deficiency, folate deficiency, sickle cell, and B12 deficiency anemias.

The color of your lips can vary depending on the severity and type of anemia. For example, white or pale lips can signify a severe case of anemia and means that you are dangerously low on oxygen.

close up of lips

Iron deficiency anemia can cause discolored lips because your body does not have enough iron to stimulate the production of hemoglobin and red blood cells. Vitamin B12 and B9 (folate) are critical for creating and distributing red blood cells and oxygen. Low levels of either of these vitamins can likewise cause lip color changes.

Sickle cell anemia is a genetic condition that causes blood cells to develop incorrectly, taking on a rigid, crescent shape. These ‘sickle-shaped’ cells can become lodged in small blood vessels, impeding the flow of oxygen throughout the body.

Other signs and symptoms of anemia

Regardless of what is causing your anemia, it’s important to be aware of the signs and symptoms that accompany it. Here are some of the most common signs of anemia:

  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Cold chills
  • Cold extremities
  • Fatigue
  • Mind fog
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Pale skin

How to diagnose anemia

Diagnosing anemia is important because it is always caused by an underlying condition. It’s extremely important to determine what caused your anemia; otherwise, the problem will persist and potentially cause significant health issues.

Here are the tests your doctor will use to diagnose whether or not you are anemic and what’s causing it.

A female doctor prescribing something to her patient.
  • CBC (complete blood count) test
  • Hemoglobin test
  • Hematocrit test
  • Folate test

These tests will tell your doctor if and why you’re anemic by measuring your red blood cell count, red blood cell shape and size, and iron, folic acid, B12 levels, and more. Consulting a healthcare professional is critical for the proper diagnosis and treatment of anemia.

Final thoughts

If you are at a higher risk of developing anemia, knowing the signs and symptoms of this condition can help you know when to seek treatment. By being on the lookout for anemia lip discoloration and paleness, you can catch anemia before it causes serious health problems and seek medical assistance for diagnosis and treatment.

At-Home Iron Infusion With Drip Hydration

Iron IV therapy is an efficient and convenient way to increase your iron levels quickly and effectively. With Drip Hydration's at-home treatment option, our team will come to your location to administer the IV, whether that be your home or office. You will be able to relax and carry on with your daily activities, while we take care of the rest.

Contact Drip Hydration today and schedule your appointment, our experienced team is here to help you achieve optimal iron levels and improve your overall health.

Iron IV  Infusion - Frequently Asked Questions

What is Iron infusion?

Iron IV Infusion is a therapy where an enriched saline bag with iron and other vitamins is intravenously administered.

Why would a patient need an iron infusion?

Patients typically need an iron infusion to correct low blood iron levels, although infusions may also be given in advance of a medical procedure. There are many potential reasons a patient might have low blood iron, including illness, certain medical conditions, side effects from other treatments, inability to absorb adequate iron from diet or supplements, and more.

How to prepare for an iron infusion

The most significant preparation required for an iron infusion is to ensure you set aside enough time for treatment. Unlike some procedures, there is no need to fast prior to this procedure.

  • Iron infusions may take 3 or 4 hours, so bring a book, a game, music or podcasts, a computer, or sit near your TV so you can stay occupied during treatment.
  • Eat breakfast, stay hydrated, and take your medication as normal unless otherwise instructed by your doctor.
  • Wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothing. You may also want to consider having a blanket on hand if you get cold easily.

What happens during an iron infusion?

A nurse will arrive at your location at your appointment time with the necessary equipment for your infusion. They will then administer a test dose via a needle and catheter to ensure that you do not have an allergic reaction to the ingredients in the infusion.

After your test dose, your infusion will begin. This process typically takes several hours. Following your infusion, you can resume activities as normal unless otherwise instructed.

How long does an iron infusion take?

An iron infusion typically takes 3 – 4 hours. Many patients require multiple infusions over time to correct their iron levels. Your doctor will determine the best course of treatment for your needs.

What are the side effects of iron infusions?

There are several potential side effects of iron infusions. They are typically mild and resolve on their own shortly after treatment.

  • Headaches
  • Muscle and joint pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Temporary changes in your taste
  • Itchiness and rash
  • Increased or decreased blood pressure
  • Increased or decreased heart rate
  • Redness, swelling, or a burning sensation at the injection site

In addition to these, it is possible to have an allergic reaction to ingredients in the infusion. However, your test dose will help prevent this issue.

Which iron infusion is safest?

The safest iron infusion is administered by a trained and licensed medical professional. Before your treatment, they will administer a test dose to ensure you do not have an allergic reaction to any ingredients in the infusion.

Additionally, safe IV providers will store and handle ingredients and equipment properly to help prevent infections and other complications.

Can you get an iron infusion during pregnancy?

Yes. A doctor may order an iron IV infusion for pregnant women if necessary, typically during the second or third trimester.

What are the risks involved with iron infusion?

Iron infusions are a safe procedure when administered by a licensed and trained healthcare professional. However, iron infusions are a minimally invasive procedure that comes with some potential risks.

Risks of IV treatment in general include:

  • Air embolism
  • Blood clots
  • Vein damage
  • Chance of infection at the injection site

In addition to the risks associated with IV treatments, iron infusions may also cause an allergic reaction due to ingredient(s) in the treatment.

Who administers the therapy?

One of our licensed clinicians will perform the Iron IV Therapy.

How quickly does an iron infusion work?

It depends on the patient’s circumstances. Some people feel better shortly after their first infusion. Those who need multiple infusions to correct low iron levels may start feeling better after a week or more.

How long will an iron infusion last?

The iron infusion itself typically takes about three hours to administer. Following treatment, an infusion may last days, weeks, or months depending on individual circumstances.

Are iron infusions painful?

Iron infusions are a largely painless medical procedure. Patients may experience a brief pinching sensation as the needle is inserted into the vein. Some patients report temporary side effects such as headaches and nausea following treatment.

How many times do I need an iron infusion?

The exact number of infusions will depend on your situation. Your doctor will assess your needs and develop a treatment plan to effectively correct low iron levels.

Do iron infusions make you gain weight?

No, iron infusions do not make you gain weight. One study found that infusions actually caused participants to lose weight.

What is the average cost of an iron infusion?

Iron infusions may cost anywhere between $400 to $4000. The exact cost will depend on variables such as the type of iron used, how many infusions you need, where you get treatment, whether your insurance covers treatments, and other factors.

Is an iron infusion better than a blood transfusion?

Both an iron infusion and blood transfusion aim to restore low iron levels, whether due to a medical condition, severe injury, in preparation for surgery, or other reasons. Both methods are effective ways to restore low iron levels.

  • A blood transfusion delivers new, donated blood into your body
  • An iron infusion contains only iron and saline solution

Your doctor can help determine which is best for your needs.

What iron level requires an iron infusion?

This depends on a variety of factors, such as the type of anemia you have, whether or not you are pregnant, and other factors.

If you notice symptoms of low iron, it’s important to visit a doctor. They will be able to determine whether an iron infusion is right for you.

Can you feel worse after an iron infusion?

There are some minor side effects that can occur during or after an iron infusion, such as headaches, nausea, and muscle aches. However, these are temporary and resolve quickly after treatment, after which you should feel the benefits of normal iron levels.