Dr. David Brownstein,  editor of Dr. David Brownstein’s Natural Way to Health newsletter, is a board-certified family physician and one of the nation’s foremost practitioners of holistic medicine. Dr. Brownstein has lectured internationally to physicians and others about his success with natural hormones and nutritional therapies in his practice. His books include Drugs That Don’t Work and Natural Therapies That Do!; Iodine: Why You Need It, Why You Can’t Live Without It; Salt Your Way To Health; The Miracle of Natural Hormones; Overcoming Arthritis, Overcoming Thyroid Disorders; The Guide to a Gluten-Free Diet; and The Guide to Healthy Eating. He is the medical director of the Center for Holistic Medicine in West Bloomfield, Mich., where he lives with his wife, Allison, and their teenage daughters, Hailey and Jessica.

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How Effective is IV Iron Therapy?

Monday, 28 Dec 2009 10:37 AM


Question: I have all the symptoms of very low iron, and am very interested in IV iron therapy. I have taken several types of iron over the past 15 months, but my symptoms continue to get worse.

Dr. Brownstein's Answer:

I have treated many patients for low iron. Although iron IVs can be extremely beneficial, I use oral iron supplements much more frequently. Let me provide you with a few tricks to help your body absorb iron better. First, iron absorption is inhibited
by medications that block stomach acid production, such as the proton-pump inhibiters, such as Nexium. If you are on these medications, it is best to try to wean yourself off of them. Next, iron is better absorbed when taken with vitamin C. Finally, many patients have difficulty raising iron levels if they are deficient in copper. Have your red blood cell copper levels checked and, if low, supplement with copper.

Having said that, iron IVs can be a life-changing medical treatment for those with very low iron levels (such as ferritin levels below 15 ng/ml). Don’t forget to have the other iron indices checked, as I discussed in the July issue of Natural Way to Health. Finding a physician knowledgeable about natural therapies, including iron IVs, is a big help. I suggest looking at www.acam.org to find a physician near you.





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