Iron deficiency is the commonest nutritional disorder in the world affecting 25% of the worlds population yet it remains a challenge to detect and treat effectively. It can affect anyone at any age and can present in a myriad ways making detection difficult. In recent times treatment guidelines have changed with reduced thresholds for diagnosis and an emphasis on earlier treatment. Oral iron therapy remains the mainstay of therapy but varying dosage schedules and poor adherence is a common problem. Nevertheless, some simple strategies that can be implemented at a primary care level can improve adherence substantially and improve the outcomes for patients.
- Understand why iron is important, how it’s absorbed and regulated in the body and the full spectrum of potential health effects due to depleted iron
- Know how to identify and establish iron deficiency in patients, as well as determine the cause
- Identify how to replenish and maintain iron levels using diet and oral supplements
- Determine the correct dosage and type of iron supplements, ensuring patients have been properly informed about correct usage and side effects, as well as avoiding adverse drug interactions
Video Lecture (29 mins of CPD)
Test your learning!