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Talking About Care From Health Clinics

Hi there, I'm Kira Shepherd. When my kids were little, I spent a lot of time at the health care clinic. Children need an exam when they hurt themselves or run a high fever. Any other distressing symptoms are also best explored by a qualified physician. Thankfully, my local health care clinic always helped reassure me that the kids were healthy and developing well. I will share information about common diagnostic procedures and treatments performed at health care clinics. I will talk about alternatives, like going to the hospital or treating at home. My site will cover common symptoms and complications caused by a wide range of illness and injuries. Please visit my site often to learn more information. Thank you.

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Talking About Care From Health Clinics

About Iron Infusions After Celiac Diagnosis

by Jack Long

You suspected you had celiac disease before you were diagnosed, since you often developed unpleasant symptoms after eating foods containing gluten. You knew you'd need to quit eating wheat and other foods with gluten, but you were surprised when your doctor said you're additionally anemic and should have iron infusions. Iron-deficiency anemia actually is relatively prevalent among newly diagnosed celiac patients.

Why Some Celiac Patients Need Iron Infusions

Your small intestine will heal and regain its full ability to absorb nutrients now that you've stopped eating gluten. You're probably malnourished to some extent at this point; taking vitamin and mineral supplements can boost low levels of most nutrients.

Your iron levels may be so depleted, however, that oral iron supplements wouldn't be very effective, especially before your intestine is fully healed. An infusion works rapidly since it bypasses the intestinal tract and goes straight to your bloodstream. 

About the Iron Infusion Process

An iron infusion is provided through an intravenous drip. If you've ever had or seen an IV drip, you'll recognize the equipment. A bag containing the therapeutic solution is suspended above you and the solution slowly drips into your arm through a needle. You relax in a comfortable chair or recliner during the treatment, which will take a few hours or even longer. 

The number of infusions and how often the infusions are scheduled varies by patient. You will probably need more than one; they may be scheduled one or two weeks apart, or even less frequently. 

Preparing for an Iron Infusion

Taking the rest of the day off work is advisable because some people experience side effects from the infusion. Those effects may include sweating, joint pain, headache, upset stomach, sleepiness and dizziness. 

Find out whether the staff plans to pre-treat you with an antihistamine, since that causes drowsiness. This pre-treatment is common because some patients have allergic reactions to iron infusions. You may need to have someone drive you home after the appointment. 

Otherwise, preparing for an infusion mainly involves making sure you have something to do to keep from feeling bored while you're there. You might bring:

  • a friend
  • a laptop computer or tablet
  • a book, an e-reader or some magazines 
  • an MP3 player

Ask whether the facility provides beverages and gluten-free snacks for infusion patients. If not, you can bring some along. 

Looking Forward

You may not feel all that great right now as your body deals with the chronic effects of gluten intolerance and a certain level of malnutrition. Avoiding gluten and having iron infusions should help you feel better relatively quickly. Look forward to a renewed sense of energy and well-being. For more information, check out clinics such as Idaho Arthritis Center.

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