My daughter was diagnosed with low ferritin and her doctor gave her an iron transfusion. She was told to repeat this three weeks later, but another doctor has told her that giving iron intravenouslyis dangerous and that she should only be taking iron tabs until further tests are done. What is your opinion? Anne Lindsay
Iron is important, but too much of it is believed to predispose to health issues such as heart disease and an increased risk of infection. Intravenous iron can lead to higher-than-normal iron levels, which is the hazard I think your daughter's second doctor is referring to. Intravenous iron can be useful for boosting iron levels quickly, which may lead to a more rapid improvement in symptoms (eg fatigue and low mood) compared to oral supplementation.
It might be a good idea for your daughter to have her ferritin level checked before more iron is given intravenously. She may find it more convenient to take an oral supplement in the longer term. But she should have her ferritin level checked (every few months) to ensure that she is getting enough, but not too much, iron.
If you have any issues you would like Dr Briffa to address in his column, please email him on email@example.com. Please note that Dr Briffa cannot enter into any correspondence.You can also visit www.drbriffa.com. Before following any recommendations in this column, you should consult your own medical adviser about any medical problems or special health conditions