Iron is a mineral that’s super important to your health and Iron deficiency is the
most common nutritional deficiency in the US.
In this video Ill show you how iron works, how to take iron tablets, and how to reduce
the side effects that iron supplements can cause.
So stay tuned until the end.
All of your cells contain some iron, but most of the iron in your body is actually in your
red blood cells.
It helps our muscles store and use oxygen, which is what essentially gives you life.
Its also a part of a very important protein in our bodies called hemoglobin, which helps
carry oxygen from our lungs to the rest of our bodies.
And When we don’t have enough iron, these functions can slow down leaving us to feel
weak and fatigued, making it harder to maintain our body temperatures, it can decrease immune
function, and can cause iron deficiency anemia.
Iron deficiency anemia happens when our bodies have an increased need for iron like in pregnancy,
if you have poor absorption of the iron itself, or in the case if you are a vegetarian and
have to rely on only non-heme sources of iron from plants, or if youve had major blood loss.
In any case if you are taking iron supplements, available in capsules, tablets, chewables,
and liquids, the most common one being ferrous sulfate at 325 mg, there are important tips
you should know that can help you make the best use of that iron correctly.
So first things first, iron is best absorbed on an empty stomach.
Food can heavily decrease its absorption.
Milk, calcium, high fiber foods, caffeine and antacids should not be taken at the same
A good rule of thumb is to take it 1 hour before you eat, or 2 hours after you eat.
Research also shows, that if you take your iron supplement with a drink containing Vitamin
C, like orange juice, it can actually help improve the absorption.
Red bell peppers actually have 3x more vitamin c than an orange.
Second thing you should watch for is that Iron tablets may cause other drugs you are
taking to not work as well, these include: tetracyclines, penicillins, and ciprofloxacin
and drugs used for hypothyroidism, Parkinson disease, and seizures.
So talk to your doctor or pharmacist letting them know you take iron supplements before
you take any of these.
Thirdly: Lets say You start taking iron on an empty stomach but it has left you with
stomach pain, constipation, diarrhea, and feeling sick: The good thing is that this
will go away on its own over time when your body gets used to it.
But if it doesnt: Your doctor can lower the dose and work its way up slowly to the preferred
level or they can switch to a different iron supplement.
If you still feel discomfort, speak to your doctor to see if its okay to take it with
a small bit of food to avoid these side effects.
Fourthly, Iron supplements can have side effects, so besides stomach discomfort, constipation,
diarrhea, nausea or vomiting.
It can leave your stool looking black, which is normal as it may be a sign that the tablets
are working correctly.
It can be alarming at first but dont be worried.
With that being said, if your stool is tarry, has red streaks in it, let your doctor know
then, to go from there.
Also liquid forms of iron can stain your teeth,so try mixing the iron with water or other liquids
like orange juice and drinking the medicine with a straw.
Just dont try drinking orange juice after brushing your teeth, weird after taste.
Anyways I digress.
Overall though, most people respond well to taking iron supplements, and your levels should
return to normal after 2 months of iron therapy for most people.
But You may need to continue taking supplements for another 6 to 12 months to build up the
body's iron stores in the bone marrow.
Never hesitate to ask your doctor or pharmacist how long you should be taking them or if you
have any questions at all.
Now you are an iron supplement pro!
Let me know if this video was useful to you in the comments below, if you learned something
new, or had any more questions.
I love getting back to you guys so Make sure you like the video and subscribe to stay tuned
for more, and as always, see you on the next one.