A Dialysis patient and KidneyBuzz.com viewer asked, "My nurse always gives me iron shots through my machine. I feel fine afterward, but never have thought to ask why. After 7 years on Dialysis I am curious, why I always have to take iron. Is it good for me and are there any downsides?"
It is very common for Chronic Kidney Disease patients who conduct Dialysis Treatments to receive Iron Supplements either orally or via Intravenous (IV). Most patients may not even realize that they are taking Iron because of the way it is administered. A nurse suggested, "If patients took an Iron Shot in their arms they would be far more curious, but since it is through their machine most times patients do not even realize that they are being given iron." While Chronic Kidney Disease patients who are conducting Dialysis should always remain alert, many will be happy to know that Iron Supplementation is suggested to be very good for Dialysis patients in most cases.
In fact, Public Library of Science published research stating, "Iron Supplementation is associated with reduced all-cause mortality in Dialysis patients." More specifically, a study of two hundred and twenty-seven Dialysis patients revealed that Iron Supplementation was associated with a significantly reduced Cardiovascular (Heart) and sepsis-related (whole-body inflammatory response to an infection) mortality.
Still, "Iron Overload" (too much iron in the body) can have serious consequences which include Cardiovascular Disease, compromised Immune System, increased risk of infections and Blood Sugar complications. That is why Dr. Nosratola D. Vaziri (University of California Irvine) warns that "recent implementation of the bundling reimbursement policy for Dialysis Treatment has dramatically increased the use of IV Iron (instead of a more expensive option) by For-Profit Dialysis Facilities in an attempt to lower their cost," which may result in Iron Overload.
Hence, print this article and share it with your Healthcare Team. Make sure that your iron levels are in good balance and that you are not overloaded. That said, if you feel weak, under the weather or strange in any way, bring it to the attention of your Healthcare Team as this may be a result of your Iron Treatment.
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