Feeling tired lately? Have trouble getting out of bed? Feel like that cup of morning coffee isn’t doing the trick anymore? A low iron level could be the culprit.
Fatigue is one of the most common signs of iron deficiency because it means your body is having trouble carrying the oxygen to your cells so it's affecting your energy levels. Individuals lacking adequate iron in their blood often feel sluggish, weak, and unable to focus. If you suspect you are iron deficient, it is important to consult your GP to determine if an iron deficiency is present and determine its cause. Once an iron deficiency is established, it is important to correct the low iron levels
There are currently 3 ways to replenish iron. The first is oral iron therapy. Oral iron replacement is the most appropriate first-line treatment in most patients. It is cheap and readily available without a prescription. Its effectiveness, however, can be limited by poor patient compliance due to the high rate of gastrointestinal adverse effects such as nausea, abdominal pain, diarrhoea, constipation, and dark stools. Due to varying absorption rates, it can generally take 3-6 months before normal iron levels are restored, generally leading to patients discontinuing treatment.
1. Oral Iron Tablet
Intramuscular iron is another method to correct iron levels. Advantages compared to the oral route is that absorption is generally more rapid. This method, however, is painful and may lead to problems such as abscess at the injection site and risk of improper deposition of drug preparation in nerves, fats, or between muscle bundles, and may require several injections to achieve the desired effect, as large volumes cannot be administered in one sitting.
2. Intramuscular Iron Injections
The third method is through the intravenous route, which is the preferred way to increase the body's iron levels quickly. Medication that is given intravenously is called parenteral therapy. Parenteral iron infusion can be very helpful in situations where anaemia is severe. There are various preparations of parenteral iron available, and your GP can help you make the appropriate choice. Intravenous iron is delivered into the patient's vein through a needle and the process is usually relatively painless and as short as 15-20 minutes. With any medications, there are side effects, namely hypersensitivity reactions and skin staining, both of which are relatively uncommon.
3. Intravenous Iron Injection
Medical Infusions Australia provides iron infusion services in a state of the art and comfortable setting supported by an experienced registered nurse to provide you with the best possible care for your parenteral iron infusion needs.
What is it?
Osteoporosis (meaning “porous bone” in Latin) is a common condition that affects bones. It causes bones to become weak and brittle. It can occur at any age, but mostly affects older adults, especially females. Individuals with osteoporosis are at increased risk for fractures from simple falls or even mild stresses such as coughing or bending over. Fractures that are associated with osteoporosis often occur in the wrist, hip and spine.
Am I at risk?
There are many risk factors that can increase your chances in developing osteoporosis. They include:
Age: the older you are, the higher the chance you will develop osteoporosis
Gender: Females are more susceptible than males to develop osteoporosis
Ethnicity: People of Asian heritage are at greater risk to develop osteoporosis
Medical conditions: Some medical conditions increase your risk in developing osteoporosis. They include a post-menopausal state, hyperthyroidism (too much thyroid hormone) and an overactive parathyroid gland. Others include Celiac disease, Kidney disease, Inflammatory Bowel Disease, Rheumatoid Arthritis, and certain cancers.
Medications: Some medications can increase your risk of osteoporosis. They include oral corticosteroids, proton pump inhibitors (to treat reflux) and immunosuppressants.
Poor lifestyle choices – Being sedentary with no weight bearing exercises increases your risk. If you smoke and consume excessive alcohol, you may also be at a higher risk to develop osteoporosis.
What can I do to reduce my risk?
Prevention is better than cure. Good nutrition and regular exercise are essential for keeping your bones healthy and should start as early as possible in your life. A diet rich in calcium and vitamin D is essential. A combination of weight bearing, and strength training can be helpful.
How is osteoporosis diagnosed?
You should see your GP if you are worried about osteoporosis. If you are at risk, a bone mineral density test can be done to determine if you have osteoporosis based on the T-score.
Can it be treated?
Yes. There are different medications that can be used to treat osteoporosis. These include options such as oral medications, subcutaneous as well medication that needs to be administered through your veins. You can discuss the best option for yourself with your GP. At Medical Infusions Australia we are able to administer the medications that require an infusion.
Biologics are powerful medications that influence the immune system to treat many different diseases. They are human made proteins which are designed to home in of very specifics parts of the immune system. They can ease inflammation that are caused by autoimmune (when the body’s immunity mistakenly turns against itself) processes. A wide range of diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, inflammatory bowel disease, and multiple sclerosis and certain malignancies can be treated with biologics. They are usually given through an infusion. Some of the common biologics are natalizumab, adalimumab, infliximab, vedolizumab and ustekinumab. They can only be prescribed by a specialist such as a rheumatologist or a gastroenterologist or neurologist under strict criteria.
At Medical Infusions Australia, we are able to provide you with single daily doses or once only doses of antibiotics that you may be prescribed for various infections including dental infections, urinary tract infections, chest infections and others. This would enable you to have your antibiotics promptly and reduce the length of stay in hospitals. We are able to accommodate same-day appointments for urgent administration of medications. You will need a referral form and a prescription from your GP or treating specialist.
At Medical Infusions Australia, we also provide various injections that you have been prescribed. This includes Clexane or Heparin injections that are prescribed for treatment of blood clots such as deep vein thrombosis (DVT) or pulmonary emboli (PE).
Venesection is a medical procedure performed to remove approximately 250-500ml of blood from your body to reduce excess iron stores. It is used to treat conditions such as haemochromatosis to lower iron levels and reduce the risk of long-term complications of iron overload. It is usually done every 2 months initially until the iron level normalises. At Medical Infusions Australia, we use a specialised vein-locating device to create a map of the veins for accurate cannulation for your ease and comfort.
You will need to drink plenty of fluids prior to the procedure. Having a saltier diet the day before would help to restore your blood volume after your venesection.
You will need a referral form from your GP or treating specialist.
What Can Infusion Therapy Treat?
There are a wide variety of conditions that can be treated with infusions. Because medications can be delivered in a controlled manner with exact and precise doses, it is now the preferred way to treat various conditions.
Iron deficiency anaemia
What is Parenteral Therapy?
Parenteral therapy involves the introduction of medication through a non-oral route. This means that medication can be delivered intravenously - that's a fancy way of saying through your veins, which is the most common route). There are 2 other routes - intramuscularly (via your muscle and subcutaneously (directly below your skin). You learn something new every day!
How does this benefit you? The main advantage of parenteral/ infusion therapy is to cause the medication to permeate the whole body or a particular area of the body at the desired absorption rate. This kind of treatment allows very quick absorption compared to other methods or the even slower oral method. So this is great news for you!
In the past, this treatment method could only be done in a hospital. Lucky for us, in recent years, technological and medical advancements have made it much more affordable and accessible via infusion centres - introducing you to Medical Infusions Australia.
Why is Parenteral Therapy Useful?
● Chemotherapy: Clinicians prescribe medications (chemotherapy) for cancer patients because it allows specially designed medications to permeate the body and ideally inhibit the kind of cells that cause cancer.
● Hydration: If you are dehydrated, intravenous fluid therapy is used to replenish water and electrolyte loss, for example in someone with severe gastroenteritis who cannot keep food or fluids down, or even to ease the discomfort from a hangover.
● Intravenous Immunoglobulin (IVIg): Used to treat various immune system and infectious diseases, IVIg is a type of infusion therapy that relies on antibodies drawn from the blood plasma of donors. When used as an infusion treatment, the antibodies can bolster a person’s immune system and help them fight off disease.
● Infection: Some infections need to be treated more aggressively and require higher doses of medications that may not be possible to be given from tablets. Infusion therapy can be used to administer antibiotics intravenously instead, and the fact that it goes directly into the bloodstream makes it more potent to fight germs.