You are currently viewing Iron Infusion: Complete Guide (2024)

Iron Infusion: Complete Guide (2024)

  • Post category:Lifestyle

Iron infusion: the perfect way to give your daily routine a boost of energy! No more sluggish days – just a refreshing surge of iron-infused vitality and all the benefits that come with it. Intriguing, no? 

In this article we discuss the following:

What is an Iron Infusion?

In short, an iron infusion is a simple and effective way of replenishing the body’s iron levels. An iron infusion procedure is administered through an IV and helps to improve energy levels, and is intended to increase hemoglobin, boost red blood cell production, and improve overall health.

In the words of food and wellness enthusiast, Jenny Hunter, “Iron infusion is a medical treatment used to replenish iron levels in the body. It is often recommended for people who have iron deficiency anemia, which can cause fatigue and other symptoms.”

Are Iron Infusions Painful?

This really depends on the individual in question, and one’s relationship to needles plays a major role. Brandon Lee, CEO of Reptile Maniac, states that possible side effects include pain and irritation at the injection site, nausea, and headaches. “It may also alter your ability to taste temporarily. However, this does not happen to everyone who undergoes the procedure,” he adds. 

Are Iron Infusions Safe?

Thanks to both the iron infusion NHS guidelines and our continued conversation with Jenny Hunter, we learn that iron infusion is generally considered safe, but there are some risks associated with it. “These include allergic reactions and side effects such as dizziness and nausea.”

We then got into conversation with Robert Wheeler from Rapid Recovery, who had a more concerned stance on the matter. According to him, people should NEVER do an iron infusion without lab work from their primary care physician, and only after consulting with their PCP about the iron infusion.

“I own a chain of IV therapy spas and we get requests for iron infusions every day, but don’t do them. Most people feel sluggish and think they’re anemic, and immediately assume they need an iron infusion. There are also a lot of people who were iron-deficient a year ago who want to come in because they got an iron infusion in the past and think they probably need one now. Self-diagnosing is a big issue with iron,” he explains. 

“They’re really profitable treatments so a lot of unscrupulous places will give them to anyone who asks and can pay, but iron infusions under the wrong conditions can be incredibly dangerous. You’ll probably save a life if you mention that nobody should ever get one without first seeing their PCP for lab work, and asking if an iron infusion is recommended. Even at that, the best place to get one is either a hospital-based infusion center or at your doctor’s office,” said Robert. 

Do Iron Infusions Give You Energy?

Yes indeed! You see, iron is essential for the body to produce red blood cells, which in turn carries oxygen throughout the body, thus providing us with energy. Even a 30 minute iron infusion can help replenish levels in the body, making it a great way to give your daily routine an energetic boost. 

Iron Infusion Benefits

If you hold any of the following indications for iron infusion, then here’s what you can expect in terms of benefits once the treatment is successfully underway. 

Iron Infusion for Anemia

Given that anemia is the number one reason that people turn to iron infusions, we spoke with Oberon Copeland, founder and CEO of Very Informed, who broke down the benefits for us.

“Iron infusion is a treatment for iron deficiency anemia that involves slowly delivering iron through an IV (intravenous) line into your body. It’s usually given only when other methods of increasing iron levels, such as oral supplements, haven’t worked. Iron infusion usually takes about an hour, and you may need more than one infusion to increase your iron levels to a healthy range. There are some risks associated with iron infusion, such as low blood pressure, allergic reactions, and kidney problems, but these are rare. Overall, iron infusion is a safe and effective way to treat iron deficiency anemia,” he concluded. 

Iron Infusion During Pregnancy

pregnant woman

Interestingly, iron infusions can be greatly beneficial for pregnant people due to what is known as RLS. Sleep psychologist, Dan Ford, explains that Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS) is a potentially debilitating sensorimotor disorder that affects up to 5% of the adult population and 1/3rd of women in the third trimester of pregnancy. “Studies have shown the severity of RLS correlates with blood serum ferritin (iron) concentrations below 50mg/L.

Therefore, a first line treatment for RLS is oral iron replacement therapy. However, oral iron supplementation often causes gastrointestinal side effects (e.g. nausea, heartburn, flatulence, constipation or diarrhea). In these cases, iron infusion is preferable,” says Dan. 

Iron Infusion for Low Ferritin

Low ferritin is just another way of saying low iron in the body, and thus an iron infusion is an obvious solution. Ferritin is simply a blood protein that contains iron, and deficiency can be caused by a number of factors, including poor diet, blood loss, and certain medical conditions. 

Iron Infusion for Celiac Disease

Celiac disease involves an immune reaction to the consumption of gluten, which can be fatal. Iron deficiency is common in celiac disease due to poor absorption of iron from the intestines, so an infusion can help to replenish the body’s iron stores and improve energy levels. These treatments can help to significantly improve the quality of life for people living with Celiac Disease.

Iron Infusions and Weight Gain

Surprisingly, iron infusions can be extremely beneficial for anyone who is trying to gain weight. Because this is an essential mineral for muscle growth and energy production, an iron infusion can help replenish these levels and in turn improve energy levels and help the body to metabolize food more efficiently. Slowly, but surely, weight gain is inevitable due to the newfound balance in the body’s essential minerals.

Do Iron Infusions Make You Gain Weight?

Not directly, but iron infusions can definitely help one gain weight indirectly due to the mineral rebalancing benefits that they offer. In order to gain weight, one needs to have a healthy function of muscle growth combined with energy production. Iron is essential for both of these!

Iron Infusion What to Expect

Is this type of treatment ringing true for your body? If so, here’s all that you can expect.

How is an Iron Infusion Done?

As per the iron infusion procedure code, an iron infusion is done by administering iron through an IV. This procedure takes place in a doctor’s office or hospital setting, although more informal IV bars are becoming an emerging trend. Before the infusion is done, a doctor should always draw blood to measure a person’s iron levels.

How Long Does an Iron Infusion Take?

Depending on the individual person’s needs and how they fit into the iron infusion protocol, the infusion itself will typically take place over the course of 30 minutes or up to two hours. Patients are usually free to read, listen to a podcast or even work on their laptops (with one hand!) during this time.

How Many Iron Infusions Do You Need?

This also depends entirely on the individual in question. Generally, one or two infusions are enough to replenish the body’s iron stores, but the exact number may vary depending on the severity of the deficiency and the response to treatment (bearing in mind this could be negative or positive).

How Long Do Iron Infusion Side Effects Last?

In theory, the infusion side effects aren’t all that serious and will typically resolve themselves in a matter of hours or, at most, days. As we mentioned, the more common and expected side effects include nausea, dizziness, and headaches, but there are instances where more serious side effects may occur, such as chest pain or difficulty breathing. Should these effects not peter out after a day or so, it is probably a good idea to seek some sort of medical attention as soon as possible, just to be safe!

woman receiving an iron infusion

How to Prepare for Iron Infusion

It’s good to know that prepping for an iron infusion is relatively straightforward. Firstly, it is important that you drink plenty of fluids and eat a light meal before heading out to the infusion destination as this will keep your blood sugar regulated. Secondly, make a mental note to tell your doctor about any medications you’ve taken within the last week or so, as some medications can interact with the procedure (though he or she should ask you about this ahead of time!). 

We’d also recommend having someone accompany you to the appointment, as you may feel very fatigued afterwards and driving or walking home alone may not be ideal. 

Where Can I Get an Iron Infusion

For the most part, iron infusions take place within the professional confines of a doctor’s office, clinic or hospital. This way things are kept regulated, sanitary and well-supervised. That said, earlier we mentioned the emergency of what are becoming known as ‘IV bars’, which are essentially informal wellness establishments offering IV treatments ranging from saline to vitamin C and more. 

Can You Get Iron Infusions at Home?

You can, but you’ll have to employ the services of authorized medical personnel to come and administer the treatment from the comfort of your home. This is ideal for individuals who are perhaps bedridden with a specific condition, or for children who will feel safer having a 60 minute (or longer) IV if they are in their own house, surrounded by their comfort possessions.  

Types of Iron Infusions

Yes, there are various different types of iron infusions, and it can be crucial to know the difference if this is something you are to be receiving on a regular basis. Here are the different options and their specifications:

Intravenous Iron Infusion

This is just the long winded name for an IV of iron. The mineral is administered directly into the bloodstream via an IV line that is inserted into a vein like any other drip. This type of iron infusion is the go-to for anyone who needs a fast and effective solution for their deficiency.

Types of IV Iron Infusion

There are two types of IV iron infusions: slow and rapid. Slow infusions are usually done over several hours, while rapid infusions can be completed in a shorter time frame. Depending on the patient’s specific condition, one of these infusions will be more suitable than the other. This is why consulting with a doctor before selecting your transfusion type is so important!

Are Intravenous Iron Infusions Safe During Pregnancy?

Generally speaking, yes, intravenous iron infusions are safe during pregnancy. Pregnancy tends to deplete the body’s iron stores due to a second body now demanding their own share from within. Iron infusions can help to replenish these, however it is very important to talk to your doctor before getting an iron infusion while pregnant, as the risks and benefits will vary based on the individual.

Venofer Iron Infusion

A Venofer iron infusion is a treatment used to replenish the body’s iron levels when they are extremely low. It is also administered through an IV and helps to improve energy levels, increase hemoglobin, and boost red blood cell production.

Parenteral Iron Infusion

Parenteral iron infusion is another method of administering iron intravenously. This type of infusion allows for a higher absorption rate than oral iron supplements, making it a preferred method for those with severe iron deficiencies.

Iron Infusion vs Blood Transfusion

Blood transfusions and iron infusions are both treatments that can be used to replenish the body’s iron levels. The difference is that blood transfusions make use of donated blood, while iron infusions use iron supplements. Blood transfusions are typically used to address very severe cases of anemia, while iron infusions will be used to treat milder cases. More than this, iron infusions are generally considered to be safer and less invasive than blood transfusions.

Iron Injections vs Iron Infusions

Iron injections and infusions were both designed to increase iron levels in the body, but there are a few key differences to take note of. The injections go directly into the muscle and are typically used for treating more major iron deficiencies. Infusions, as we now know, are administered through an IV and are generally used to treat mild to moderate iron deficiencies.

Iron Infusion Side Effects

Throughout this article we have touched on the potential side effects that can occur when undergoing any type of iron treatment. The side effects of iron infusion may not be pleasant, but the symptoms of deficiency are usually much worse, which makes it all worthwhile in the end. 

Note that side effects are different from a bad reaction to iron infusion; the former are common and expected, while the latter are more dangerous and adverse. 

Tired After Iron Infusion

It is fairly common to feel tired after an iron infusion. Essentially the body goes into overdrive in order to process and distribute the new iron, leaving less energy for other functions and generating a feeling of fatigue. Tiredness should pass within 24-48 hours of the infusion and during this time it is worthwhile to allow yourself plenty of rest and drink plenty of fluids.

Dark Urine After Iron Infusion

Darker urine after an iron infusion is also common, and usually indicates that the body is absorbing too much of the mineral. This happens when the infusion itself was too large for the individual, or if the IV was administered too quickly. That said, this side effect is harmless and should go away within a few days. 

Headache After Iron Infusion

Headaches are also very common in these treatments, and like the other side effects, they should neutralize in a day or two. Dizziness as a result of headaches may also kick in, or even dizziness on its own. Again, there is nothing to worry about. Simply stay home and let your body heal!

Fever After Iron Infusion

Many consider this to be one of the more serious dangers of iron infusion, but the truth is that fevers are not uncommon or dangerous at all. Typically, these are a sign that the body is actually responding and adapting to the infusion. That said, it is still important to monitor the fever temperatures and alert your doctor if it persists or worsens at any point.

Flu Symptoms After Iron Infusion

Similar to botox, iron infusions can bring about flu symptoms in the hours and days after the procedure itself. These can include everything from fatigue and fevers, to body aches and chills.

Diarrhea After Iron Infusion

Diarrhea after an iron infusion is usually caused by the rapid absorption of iron into the bloodstream. Diarrhea can range from mild to severe, but it is usually temporary and should pass after a day or so. A common question is does iron infusion cause black stool? And the answer is yes, in rare cases it can. Anti-diarrhea medication can help alleviate the strain that an infusion puts on the digestive tract. 

Anxiety After Iron Infusion

woman in gray turtleneck long sleeve

Sometimes thought to be one of the long term side effects of iron infusion, experiencing anxiety is not uncommon. The angst or restlessness that an individual may feel is usually due to the sudden influx of iron into the body, which can cause a spike in energy levels.

Nausea After Iron Infusion

Nausea is a very common side effect, though its onset is usually quite mild and should dissipate within a few hours after the infusion. In severe cases, or at the onset of actual vomiting, it is wise to let your doctor know what you are experiencing. 

Heavy Period After Iron Infusion

Iron affects the blood by boosting the body’s production of red blood cells, which can in turn lead to an increase in menstrual flow. There is nothing to worry about; this is simply a (very annoying) sign that the transfusion has been effective on the body. 

Iron Infusion Sleepy

We heard from sleep psychologist, Dan Ford, earlier on. He also told us that, in the sleep clinic, they often see patients experiencing moderate to high levels of fatigue. “Ideally, we prefer clients to have a full medical workup before treating insomnia and other sleep disorders to ensure that the fatigue is not due to another cause such as low iron levels. In situations where low iron levels have been identified, iron supplementation or iron infusion is effective for combatting fatigue,” he explained. 

Iron Levels Keep Dropping After Iron Infusion

There are a number of reasons why your iron levels may continue to drop even after undergoing infusions. Your normal metabolic process could be causing further iron loss, or it could be harboring a different medical condition in the body that you’re unaware of, such as internal bleeding or malabsorption. Additionally, iron can be quickly depleted due to an inadequate diet. 

Back Pain After Iron Infusion

Back pain is common and is usually due to an overload of iron in the body, which can cause muscular strain. This discomfort can range from mild to severe and is likely to be accompanied by other symptoms such as fatigue, nausea, and headaches.

Bruising After Iron Infusion

Bruising after this kind of treatment is usually very mild and should not cause concern. The bruising can occur due to the needle used for the infusion, as well as the irritation caused by the iron as it enters the body.

Iron Infusion Reviews

As with anything wellness related, reviews on iron infusions are a mixed bag of experiences; some good, some bad. Overall, most online feedback is generally positive, with many people reporting an increase in energy and improved overall health. They also report that their anemic symptoms, such as fatigue and shortness of breath, have been reduced or eliminated after receiving one or more of these treatments. 

Iron Infusion Cost

The cost of an iron infusion will depend largely on where in the world you are based, and the caliber of medical attention you are receiving. Typically, these procedures are not cheap, with the average infusion costing anywhere from $500 to $1,000 overall. 

Iron Infusion Cost with/without Insurance

Some insurance companies may cover the cost of your infusion, so it’s important to check with your provider before deciding whether or not you’re going to go ahead with it. Ultimately, the cost of a single infusion, even without insurance, is worth it for the potential health benefits it can provide.

Iron Infusion Cost in Australia

The cost of an iron infusion in Australia will vary depending on the clinic and the type of infusion. Generally, private clinics charge a consultation fee on top of the fee for the infusion itself. The cost of the infusion itself can range from around AD$100 to AD$200, depending on the provider. The cost of the consultation fee also varies, but can typically range from around AD$50 to AD$100.

Iron Infusion Near Me

Being a common treatment in this day and age, it’s very easy to find qualified and reputable transfusions in or near your home town. A simple Google search should bring up clinics nearby that can offer the service. Alternatively one can first consult with their regular physician and request the treatment specifically. 

Did You Enjoy This Article?

If you enjoyed this article, you might also like our articles discussing skin health and skin care such as Best Bar Soap, Top Essential Oils and Natural Ingredients for Hair.

Clean Beauty Gals

Created by three friends, Clean Beauty Gals are a collective of women passionate about clean beauty. We created this website to help you demystify the confusing clean beauty space and detoxify your routine one product at a time.