What is Iron Deficiency?
As implied by the name, it is a type of anemia caused by the deficiency of iron in the body. It is caused by the inadequacy of healthy red blood cells which are responsible for carrying oxygen to the tissues of the body. This anemia is called by insufficiency of iron in the blood level of a patient. The red blood cells which enable the carrying of oxygen for maintaining the hemoglobin level of the blood in an individual’s body are cut short when the body can’t produce enough hemoglobin, causing iron deficiency anemia. Specially observed in children and infants with iron deficiency anemia it can be due to poor appetite, cravings for non-nutritive substances such as starch, dirt, or ice. Brittle nails, soreness or inflammation of the tongue, cold feet and hands, light headedness, dizziness or headache, shortness of breath, fast heartbeat or chest pain, pale skin, weakness, and extreme fatigue are some of the symptoms and signs which can be noticed if an individual has iron deficiency anemia.
What Causes Iron Deficiency Anaemia?
Pregnancy, inability to absorb iron, a lack of iron in an individual’s diet, and blood loss are some of the causes of iron deficiency anemia. The reduction of hemoglobin which is the part of red blood cells which is responsible for giving blood its red color and enabling it to carry oxygen to the tissues of an individual’s body is the main pathology of Iron Deficiency Anaemia. Over-the-counter pain relievers such as aspirin can cause gastrointestinal bleeding which can be a cause of iron deficiency anemia through blood loss.
Colorectal cancer or colon polyp, hiatal hernia, and peptic ulcer are some conditions causing chronic blood loss within the body which can cause iron deficiency anemia through blood loss. Iron-rich food which includes iron-fortified foods, leafy green vegetables, eggs, and meat can be included in the diet to fight iron deficiency anemia. Other causes of IDA can be pregnancy, excessive blood loss during menstruation, internal bleeding due to stomach ulcers and polyps, endometriosis and genetic condition like celiac disease.
Iron supplementation is required as a medication for the diagnosis and treatment of iron deficiency anemia. As a preventive measure, an individual can choose iron-rich foods which can reduce the risk of iron deficiency anemia.
What are Iron Injections?
Some of the patients suffering from iron deficiency anemia fail to register the iron supplements prescribed for oral use and replenish their iron stores. Either the iron supplements fail to work or the patients are allergic to the supplements. In this condition, a solution is injected intravenously or into the muscles of the buttock, to treat iron deficiency anemia in the form of an iron replacement product which is known as injectable iron. The reaction begins within 1 or 2 days and the iron stores of the body are replenished. However, the reactions may last up to 3 to 4 days after taking the injection.
What is Ferric Carboxymaltose?
Usually available in the form of an injection, ferric carboxymaltose is used to treat iron deficiency anemia and functions as an iron replacement product. The iron level in the blood is restored using ferric carboxymaltose. Ferric carboxymaltose is generally used for patients for whom iron supplements did not work well or the ones incapable of taking Iron supplements and in patients with non-dialysis dependent chronic kidney disease (CKD).
Ferric carboxymaltose also needs to be taken under the surveillance or recommendation of a healthcare expert or a doctor. Ferric carboxymaltose is specifically used for allowing the controlled delivery of iron to targeted tissues in an individual’s body and acts as a novel iron complex. It consists of a ferric hydroxide core become stable by a carbohydrate shell.
Now the question is:
How about the other several side effects of using ferric carboxymaltose?
Nausea, dizziness, increased blood pressure, vomiting, pain and bruising at the site of injection, change in taste sensation, brownish discoloration at the site of injection are some of the major side effects caused by this. Other side effects include muscle weakness, bone pain, and confusion which are caused due to low levels of phosphorus in the blood flow.
What is Hypophosphatemia?
For the maintenance of healthy bones and the body, Phosphorus is an essential mineral found in an individual’s bones. The range of 2.5 to 4.5 mg/dL is the normal blood Phosphorus level. A condition where there is a low level of phosphorus content in an individual’s blood is known as hypophosphatemia.
Comas, seizures, heart or respiratory failures, and muscle weakness or some of the health problems and challenges that are caused by hypophosphatemia. Severe repercussions can be avoided by treating the underlying issue of hypophosphatemia as it is a serious condition that can cause severe damage to an individual’s health.
Hypophosphatemia can be either acute or chronic. Acute Hypophosphatemia is usually more common and severe. The causes for both of these types of hypophosphatemia are different. However, the time spend required to develop chronic hypophosphatemia is greater than acute hypophosphatemia which occurs in a comparatively smaller period.
Respiratory alkalosis, burns, chronic alcoholism, and diabetic ketoacidosis are some of the causes of acute hypophosphatemia. Antacids and diuretics, issues with electrolytes, deficiency of Vitamin D, hormonal conditions, hyperparathyroidism, and semi-starvation or malnutrition are some of the causes of chronic hypophosphatemia.
Muscle pain, heart failure, weakness in reflexes, numbness, seizures, altered mental state, issues with the blood, depletion of muscles, chronic depletion weakening or softening of bones, and muscle weakness are some of the symptoms that are related to hypophosphatemia.
Why Ferric Carboxymaltose is gaining so much worldwide acceptance?
Ferric carboxymaltose is claimed to be safe for iron supplementation in pregnant women. According to a research test that was conducted in 2012, 366 women who were admitted to the SCB Medical College of Cuttack were suffering from PPA hemoglobin (Hb) <10 g/dL. Iron sucrose, IV FCM, or oral iron was randomly assigned to these patients for treatment and was provided to them according to the protocol. Using ANOVA, the analysis and measurement were done for the changes in serum ferritin and hemoglobin levels at the 2nd and the 6th week after treatment. The recording was also done in the context of the adverse effects of the administration of the drugs.
An increase in serum ferritin and hemoglobin level was observed in all 3 groups. However, the IV FCM or the Ferric carboxymaltose was observed to result in a significantly higher increase in the serum ferritin and hemoglobin level than the conventional oral iron and iron sucrose group. In the same way, the reactions to the drug in the Ferric carboxymaltose group were found significantly less in comparison to the oral iron and iron sucrose groups.
The phosphorus level was also recorded for the groups in which the group receiving ferric carboxymaltose showed minimal changes in the phosphorus levels when compared to the other groups. The phosphorus level for the ferric carboxymaltose group was recorded to be normal.
Hence the overall satisfaction that was reported by the patients was better than the oral iron and iron sucrose groups which leads to the conclusion that ferric carboxymaltose replenishes iron stores and elevates hemoglobin levels faster than the conventional methods of treatment of iron deficiency. Thus ferric carboxymaltose is a method of treatment of iron deficiency that is gaining a large worldwide acceptance.
- Which is better: iron sucrose or ferric carboxymaltose?
The iron deficiency enemy of pregnancy is treated better with ferric carboxymaltose and is a better alternative to iron sucrose. Ferric carboxymaltose has also been proven to be more efficient in the treatment of iron deficiency anemia than iron sucrose. A lower side effect with an added advantage of a single-dose regime has been observed in ferric carboxymaltose when compared to iron sucrose.
- Does iron infusion cause hypophosphatemia?
The patients of iron deficiency anemia who are not responding to the first line oral therapy of iron supplements are provided with medication involving the use of ferric carboxymaltose infusion therapy. Severe hypophosphatemia can result in the excessive renal wasting of phosphate which can be the result of unsupervised use of ferric carboxymaltose infusion therapy.
- What is the treatment for hypophosphatemia?
Active Vitamin D and oral phosphate supplementation are the standard treatments that are induced in cases of chronic hyperphosphatemia. Dipyridamole, calcitonin, and cinacalcet are some of the future treatments that can be applied for specific disorders associated with chronic hypophosphatemia. The average patient requires 1000-2000 mg of phosphate per day to replenish the body levels of phosphate.
- How to treat low phosphate levels?
The addition of more phosphate into an individual’s diet can help in the prevention of low phosphate levels in the future or correction of mild symptoms. Supplementing phosphate can also be a way of treating low phosphate levels in the blood. Some good sources of phosphate are dairy products like milk. Low phosphate levels can also indicate an underlying vitamin D deficiency which can be eradicated by an increase in an individual’s intake of this vitamin.
- What is ferric carboxymaltose used for?
Patients with non-dialysis-dependent chronic kidney disease who have iron deficiency anemia which is caused by a low level of iron in the blood are treated with the use of ferric carboxymaltose injection which is an iron replacement product. This is used due to the
patient’s inability to take iron supplements or the inability of iron supplements to work properly in the patient’s body after oral intake.
- How long does it take ferric carboxymaltose to work?
The curing effects like less fatigue and breathlessness, more energy, and better concentration of hemoglobin level in the blood flow are observed within 2 to 3 weeks after the usage of ferric carboxymaltose. The iron deficiency in adults is cured or treated using ferric carboxymaltose injection.
- What are the symptoms of iron deficiency anemia?
Cold hands and feet chest pain, lightheadedness or dizziness, shortness of breath, irregular heartbeats, yellowish or pill skin weakness and fatigue are some of the symptoms of iron deficiency anemia that can be noticed.
- What are the three stages of iron deficiency anemia?
The first stage includes the body content of iron to be diminishing slowly. The reduction in serum ferritin is the indicator of the stage. Then it is followed by the formation of red blood cells getting reduced due to the lack of iron supply which is essential for this purpose. Finally, the red blood cells are reduced to such a level that the hemoglobin level falls as a result, and iron deficiency anemia follows.