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Common Side Effects From Taking An Iron Supplement

Common Side Effects From Taking An Iron Supplement

Most people can get the iron they need by eating a varied and balanced diet. Some people do not have enough iron in their bodies (common examples are teenage girls and pregnant women). When your body does not have enough iron, your doctor may prescribe an iron supplement to deal with this deficiency and anemia. Building back the iron in your body takes time. It may take up to 6 months for your iron levels to return back up to a healthy level.

Just like most things, there are some downsides to taking iron supplements.

Common side effects taking an iron supplement

  • A common side effect to taking an iron supplement are stomach problems. These may include stomach cramps, bloating or gas. Nausea and diarrhea have also been associated with taking iron supplements.
  • Constipation is an common side effect of taking an iron supplement. It is effective to take your iron tablet about an hour before food on an empty stomach. The reason is because foods such as tea, coffee and milk can inhibit the absorption of iron.
  • Iron tablets can change the colour of your stool to a greenish or blackish colour. This is normal, however if your stool is very dark, this may be as a result of internal bleeding. So be sure to speak to your doctor about any colour changes.
  • Metallic taste in your mouth. Some people report to having a metallic taste in their mouth following taking an iron supplement. Drinking water or chewing gum can help with this, if it’s a problem for you.
  • Heartburn can occur as a result of the esophagus being irritated by taking iron. Best not to take antacids at the same time as taking your iron supplement.

Factors that contribute to your side effects

  • The form of iron in your supplement
  • The dose you take
  • How and when you take iron
  • The current state of your bacterial gut.

How to overcome an upset stomach occurring as a result of taking an iron supplement

What is causing your upset stomach is the unabsorbed iron. If your stomach acids are unable to break the iron down, it will be unabsorbed iron, and likely to cause upset.

Ways you can minimise adverse effects are:

  • Iron supplements are best taken with food to reduce the upset to your stomach. Although it is effective to take your iron tablet about an hour before food on an empty stomach. But if your stomach can’t handle it, then try eating a small amount of food.
  1. Take an organic iron supplement such as with Vitamin C such as Ferrous + C and consider increasing vitamin c rich foods in your diet
  • Drink plenty of fluids / water
  • Increase the fibre intake in your diet by eating lots of fruit and vegetables
  • Take a probiotic like those found in yoghurt. This can work to regulate your bowel movements.

How Ferrous C is Gentle on the Stomach

Vitamin C helps your body absorb iron. You may want to consume a diet rich in vitamin C or consider taking vitamin c supplements in addition to your iron supplement. Ferrous + C is a premium, organic form of iron and has vitamin C to aid with the absorption. It also supports energy levels to help reduce fatigue as it supports healthy blood iron levels in the body.

Read more on the benefits of Vitamin C + Iron

Let your doctor know

It is a good idea to speak to your doctor and talk about any side affects you are experiencing. Don’t be tempted to stop taking your iron supplements. Rather, see what adjustments can be made through diet or adjusting your dosage.

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