Wednesday, 28 June 2017

First dedicated iron clinic opens in Singapore

16 June 2017 | News | By BioSpectrum Bureau

The Iron Suites, aims to address prevalent iron deficiency in Singaporeans – impacting 1 in 3 women and 1 in 2 adults over 55 in Singapore.

Singapore –Approximately 1 in 3 women and 1 in 2 adults over the age of 55 in Singapore suffer from iron deficiency. The Iron Suites, a clinic in Singapore dedicated to managing iron deficiency (ID), was officially launched in Singapore in response to a high prevalence of ID in the country.

 There is a common misconception that healthy haemoglobin values (or not being anaemic) indicate no risk of iron deficiency in patients. It is a misconception as iron deficiency is only determined by checking the patient’s Ferritin levels and not the Hb level.

The Iron Suites aims to address this commonly underdiagnosed issue by routinely screening ferritin levels in all their patients. To address iron deficiency (both for their patients as well as for patients referred by GP partners across Singapore), the clinic also offers intravenous iron infusions. Such an infusion is equivalent to one year’s worth of iron supply from dietary sources (or ~6 months of daily oral iron supplements). ID is commonly overlooked despite impacting more than 20% of the global population today. It is a condition that develops when the body’s iron stores are depleted and cannot be replenished naturally. Symptoms include fatigue, paleness, ulcers, hair loss, brittle nails, dizziness, a lack of concentration, headaches, cold intolerance, susceptibility to infections, shortness of breath, restless leg syndrome, and dry mouth. For women, another common issue that is overlooked is heavy menstrual bleeding. It is estimated that up to 20% Singaporean women are suffering unknowingly. In such cases, the loss of blood also results in the loss of iron. If iron deficiency is untreated in pregnant women, ID can be passed on to children, which impacts their cognitive development.

Iron deficiency is also prevalent concomitantly with other chronic diseases. Dr. Daniel Yeo, Medical Director, The Iron Suites, said: “Iron deficiency is prevalent around the world and Singapore is no exception. It can affect anyone from working adults to those with chronic disease. Fortunately, it is easily managed as long as doctors make the diagnosis, patients receive treatment, and awareness of this common condition is improved in the community.”

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