Iron Deficiency & The Benefits of IV Iron Therapy

By: Dr. Nasimeh Yazdani

Approximately 25% of the US population experiences iron deficiency at some point in their lives. Iron, essential for oxygen production and blood circulation, plays a crucial role in human health. Insufficient iron levels can lead to heart failure, chronic fatigue, and mental disturbances. Iron-deficiency anemia, characterized by low red blood cell count due to inadequate iron, particularly affects menstruating women. Despite its importance, iron deficiency often goes undiagnosed, and mistreated.

Just six months ago, a concerned mother brought her daughter to me after visiting three other specialists. The young girl, a competitive high school dancer, experienced issues with metabolism and irregular menstruation for over a year and a half. Following a series of blood tests, specifically measuring ferritin levels, I diagnosed her with severe iron-deficiency anemia. We initiated oral iron supplement therapy, and her energy levels improved rapidly, mental fog lifted, menstruation normalized, and her metabolism accelerated. Moreover, her overall lab results steadily improved. However, after six months, they returned with complaints of digestive issues. Excessive oral iron intake had started to cause gastric irritation and constipation. The solution? Transition to Intravenous Iron Therapy.

After three sessions of IV iron infusion over a 30-minute period, this high school student regained her vitality and resumed her activities with enthusiasm. Historically, Intravenous Iron (IV Iron) therapy has been limited in its application due to concerns about serious adverse effects such as low blood pressure and anaphylactic shock. However, the second generation formulations have substantially reduced the risk of those types of reactions.  Now with newer formulas, the benefits of IV Iron overwhelmingly outweigh the risks.

The advantages include:

  1. Increased compliance with recommended therapy
  2. No digestion issues
  3. No need to remember pills
  4. No constipation
  5. Quick resolution of symptoms
  6. Cost-effective
  7. Minimal to no side effects
  8. FDA approved

Traditionally, select patient groups have utilized IV iron therapy: those with cancer, sepsis, and those on dialysis or with Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD).  Interestingly, many of my patients who have benefited greatly from IV Iron therapy do not have any of these conditions. This highlights the need for greater understanding of iron deficiency, and broader utilization of IV Iron therapy among the general population.

Iron deficiency affects a significant portion of our population, and the old concerns about IV Iron side effects created a gap in treatment options for those who did not meet the qualifications. However, the introduction of new-generation IV Iron formulations with minimal adverse reactions has bridged this gap. We have been offering a variety of iron formulations since 2014 in our practice, and can definitely say that it has become the most gratifying part of my practice.

In my experience and professional opinion, IV Iron is most suitable for patients with iron deficiency, iron deficiency anemia or functional iron deficiency.  Whether a patient can tolerate oral iron supplements is no longer an exclusion criteria because at times the toxicity we see from oral iron is far greater than the rapid and safe response we see from the infusion. Those who benefit the most from this treatment are individuals with multifactorial anemia, including the chronically ill. However, busy professionals, athletes, fatigued mothers, and active young women have also found great value and appreciation in this treatment regimen.

As a nephrologist, I’ve been administering second generation IV Iron therapy for two decades to thousands of patients from all walks of life and with various illnesses.  Aside from a few notable reactions in less than a dozen patients, which can range from swelling of hands, rash, upset stomach to lowering of blood pressure, I have only received positive feedback.
It has been in my experience and opinion that IV Iron is best suited for all iron deficient patients, and restoring your levels to optimal state is one of the simplest methods of restoring optimal health.

My practice is multifaceted, prevention of disease is our number one priority, and iron therapies have safe, proven results for iron deficient states. We are thrilled to offer Intravenous Iron Therapy, a rare and unique service available only at Seaside Medical Practice, your premier internal medicine and nephrology practice.

Your Health Care Provider,

Dr. Nasimeh Yazdani

Foods Rich In Iron

  • Spinach
  • Beans
  • Peas
  • Iron Fortified Cereals, Breads and Pastas
  • Dried Fruits such as Raisins and Apricots
  • Dark Green, Leafy Vegetables
  • Seafood [3 ounces at 3.5 milligrams or more per serving]
  • Poultry [3 ounces at 0.7 milligrams or more per serving]
  • Pork [3 ounces at 0.7 milligrams or more per serving]
  • Red Meat [3 ounces at 3.5 milligrams or more per serving]

One session of Intravenous Iron Therapy starts at $350 without insurance. Venofer 300mg, the most popular formula in our practice, starts at $645.
Please call Seaside for more information.
(310) 393-5000