Newsletter September 2018 – Cervical Screening

Newsletter September 2018 – Cervical Screening

Posted on Sep 25, 2018
With the weather getting a bit warmer why not get out of the city and try to recreate this photo? It is taken from the top of the Lerderderg-track, about an hours drive from Melbourne.  More ideas of great Victorian walks can be found at the Parks Victoria website or using the Parks Discovery app.

From October Nurse Sarah will be offering some later appointments on Monday evenings. Having also recently finished her Cervical Screening Certificate (aka pap smear) and becoming an accredited provider with the Victorian Cancer Council she is now able to offer these services to our patients. Appointments must be booked through our reception team so call us on 1300 557 502 or send us a Email.

The clinic has been seeing quite a few people with iron deficiency recently. To help keep you up to date Dr Kyle has put together some key information below. Finally, if you are over 50 years old have you done your ‘poo test’ yet? Check out Uncle Jacks video at the bottom (_)(_) of the page for a light hearted look at why you should!

 

 

 

 

Dr Kyle gives us the low-down on all things Iron. 

Iron deficiency is garnering increasing recognition within the medical community as a common issue affecting the Australian population.

 

How common is it?
Although there are no strong epidemiological studies on the rates of iron deficiency, it has been estimated that approximately 1 in 5 women under the age of 50 have iron deficiency.

What does iron do?
Iron is involved in essential body functions, including oxygen storage and transport, energy metabolism and host defences. A serious consequence of iron deficiency can include anaemia requiring blood transfusion.

What should the iron level be? The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners guidelines suggest that a Ferritin level below 30 is highly likely to be indicative of iron deficiency. Especially in the context of symptoms of fatigue, lethargy and low energy.

How is it diagnosed?
The diagnosis of iron deficiency is usually done with a blood test. It can sometimes be a little more complicated by differing normal values between labs and artificially increased plasma iron level in acute inflammation.

How does iron deficiency happen?
Iron deficiency is generally the result of an imbalance between iron intake and iron loss.The cause of low iron should be determined and can be done through further investigations including blood tests and gastrointestinal investigations.

Replacing iron, what are the options?

 

Diet: Iron replacement through dietary intake is often insufficient to treat iron deficiency. However, it does play an important role in preventing low iron levels to begin with. The absorption of dietary iron can enhanced eaten with Vitamin C and acidic type foods (vinegar for example).

 

Oral: Once dietary iron has been optimised, oral iron supplementation is generally recommended. Oral iron supplements should be taken at a dose of approximately 100mg – 200mg per day, with Vitamin C to increase absorption. Common side effects of oral supplements include nausea, constipation and black poops. It can take up to 3 months to adequately increase iron stores.

 

Intravenous: The second line treatment for iron deficiency is through administration of iron intravenously. Today, iron infusions can be managed easily within most GP clinics, with new products allowing iron transfusion over a much shorter period of time than previously. After an infusion, iron levels are usually restored relatively quickly, with a significant improvement in iron levels within 3-4 weeks.  As with any procedure, there are some risks and while these rare it are important to be fully aware of these prior to undertaking the infusion.

 

If you would like to speak to one of our GPs about any of this or anything else, please feel free to arrange an appointment using the button below.

 

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Please note: the information in this article is intended for general educational purposes only. 

 

 

Do the Home Test – It Could Save Your Life
Bowel cancer is a terrible disease. It kills more than 80 Australians every week. The Cancer Council of Victoria estimates that 90% of cases could be successfully treated if detected early. For people aged between 50-74 years old it is recommended that you do the test every 2 years. A kit will be sent to your home address when you are due. To order a replacement kit (if you’ve misplaced yours….) please call the Cancer Council on 13 11 20.