One of the ways that people needing to augment their iron intake can achieve their ends is through an iron injection. An injection differs from an infusion and can have slightly different effects. Both options differ from taking iron supplements or augmenting iron naturally through diet.
In this article, we will discuss what an iron injection is, how it works, and what one can expect its effects to be. We will also compare iron injections against iron infusions and supplement with oral iron vitamins.
What is an iron injection?
An iron injection is a concentrated amount of iron that is placed into a solution. The solution is administered to the patient via a syringe. The syringe will also include a small amount of saline to help mix the iron into the patient’s blood. The key thing that makes injections unique is forcing the liquid into the patient.
The syringe plunger forces the liquid into the patient’s intramuscular tissue or organs via a needle, so there will be a small amount of pressure. All immunizations and epi-pens are examples of injections.
Patients can also receive vital minerals as an injection. Iron injections are usually administered into a vein through the junction of the elbow. Iron injections differ greatly from iron infusions.
How does an iron injection differ from an iron infusion?
Iron injections involve a small amount of liquid placed into a syringe and then forced into the bloodstream by the syringe’s plunger. Injections usually happen very quickly, within seconds. Infusions, however, are different.
Iron infusions involve diffusing the iron into a large matrix of fluid and using the force of gravity to allow the patient’s body to slowly absorb the matrix. People can also call infusions “drips.” Usually, the matrix is made up of mostly saline. Any injection that takes longer than 15 minutes becomes an infusion because of the lack of force and the length of time that it takes to administer.
Iron infusions usually take two to four hours, depending on the patient. If the patient is well hydrated, an injection is preferable. If the patient is not well hydrated, an infusion is preferable.
How do iron injections differ from taking oral iron supplements?
Iron injections and infusions differ from taking oral supplements because it increases the bioavailability of the iron. Injections and infusions are applied directly to the bloodstream, while oral supplements have to survive the harsh acidic environments of the human stomach.
Iron supplementation can still be effective, but sometimes those suffering from anemia and other iron deficiency-related ailments need a more immediate solution to their symptoms. Injections and infusions offer a more rapid treatment compared to oral supplementation. So, how does one get access to an iron injection?
How do at-home iron injections work?
Only certified medical professionals– like nurses, physician assistants, and medical doctors can administer injections. When you book an appointment for an iron injection, you set up a time that is convenient for you. Once you have set your appointment, a medical professional will come to your home with the necessary materials.
They not only administer the materials, but they bring any other instruments they may need to properly monitor you before, during, and after your iron injection. They will first conduct a series of tests to ensure it is safe to give you the injection.
One of the tests that they give you is called a ferritin test. Ferritin is a blood protein that carries iron. If your ferritin levels fall in a below-average range, the medical professional will continue with the iron injection. If your ferritin levels fall in normal or above-average ranges, they will explore other solutions with you.
They are also there to ensure that everything goes well with the injection. Usually, nothing goes wrong, but if it does, they will be there to ensure nothing bad happens.
After your treatment is concluded, they simply pack their things up and leave you in peace until the next time you set an appointment.
In short, iron injections can offer a wide variety of benefits to those that seek them. They help with anemia, heavy menstrual bleeding, shortness of breath, and many other troublesome symptoms.
Whether you need an iron injection, an iron infusion, or you would be better served just to augment your iron supplementation, there are tons of different options for you.
Remember, iron injections and certified medical professionals can only perform iron infusions. Injections are forced into the patient with a syringe over a short period. Infusions are mixed into a larger amount of solution and applied over a longer time.