Can the Elderly Get an Iron Infusion?

Iron is an essential component in our bodies’ health and proper function. While it has a hand in many things, iron is most known for its involvement in producing red blood cells and the distribution of oxygen to our muscles and vital organs.

Many are turning to iron IV infusion therapy because of its effectiveness and convenience. Despite its host of benefits for others, many who fall into the elderly category may wonder if an iron infusion would be right for them.

Let’s go over some of the benefits the elderly could experience from an iron infusion and some situations when it may be most recommended.

Increased red blood cell production

As we age, the production of red blood cells tends to drop dramatically. A major factor of this has to do with diet and the tendency to consume less protein which contains high amounts of iron, as we get older. Receiving an infusion helps fill in the gaps in the diet as a result of aging.

red blood cells, erythrocytes, representing iron infusion.
delivery IV therapy for anti aging

Anti-aging

Reduced oxygen supply has been linked to age-related physical and cognitive deterioration.1 Iron infusions improves the low iron in elderly patients and aid the body in ensuring it can deliver enough oxygen to tissues and slow the effects associated with aging.

Increased strength and stamina

A lack of oxygen can cause muscle weakness and low endurance. Iron is required to get oxygen into the blood and transported throughout the body. Receiving an iron infusion could eliminate the muscle weakness that many experiences.

strong guy working out
chess pieces on a chess board

Improvement in mental acuity and focus

Having a good amount of iron can restore mental functions to peak performance and enhance our ability to focus. Regular iron infusions can increase reaction times, logical thinking, the ability to multitask, and fine motor skills.

Difficulty with taking and absorbing oral supplements

The method of taking supplements orally becomes less tolerable as people age. The discomfort in their digestive system can be enough to swear supplementation off altogether. To add to the problem, the ability to absorb nutrients in this fashion becomes less effective with age as well.

pills in a vial and on the table

Iron infusions are the ideal solution for the elderly who struggle with these challenges. The IV method allows them to spare the digestive system of any discomfort; they benefit from 100% bioavailability.

person holding their chest

Shortness of breath and difficulties in breathing

Interestingly enough, that shortness of breath you experience even when exerting minimal effort may be a sign of low iron. As mentioned earlier, this nutrient is essential when it comes to oxygen assimilation and distribution.

When we are low in iron, the body is unable to produce hemoglobin which is an important component of getting oxygen from the lungs to the rest of the body in a usable form. Receiving an iron infusion can help reduce shortness of breath and labored breathing.

Under proper guidance, it is clear that in most cases, an iron infusion for those that are advanced in age would be a massive benefit. Regular iron infusions could provide incredible benefits in improving recovery, longevity, and overall quality of life.

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.

At-Home Iron Infusion With Drip Hydration in

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.

As an alternative, self-administered iron injections are also available. Don't let iron deficiency hold you back any longer.

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.

References

[1] Cataldi A, Di Giulio C. - Oxygen supply as modulator of aging processes: hypoxia and hyperoxia models for aging studies. Curr Aging Sci.;