I've been taking an iron supplement since mid July. Within the last week my stomach feels bloated all the time and I've got bad acid reflux that won't go away with Pepcid. Constipation, diarrhea, just don't feel right...no appetite. I'm wondering if this iron tablet is causing me to feel so bad in my tummy...just yukky!
My pharmacist told me to take iron first thing in the morning before you eat, as it can lead to an upset stomach or nausea if taken on a full stomach. It is also one of the few vitamins that you can take too much of, so you have to be more careful about how much iron to take. I'm sure you're not taking too much, but it's one of those things that is probably best discussed with your Dr., or a pharmacist. Hope it helps,
I had the same problem with iron supplements until my doc recommended an iron supplement called - Fergon. You can buy it over-the-counter at Longs or other drugstore. Works great, got my iron levels up and NO GI problems.
Have you tried taking liquid iron? A pharmacist can get it for you. I couldn't take the pills. They gave me diarrhea. With the liquid iron, you can take a smaller amount. Don't forget to take it with vitamin C to help absorb the iron.
If your stomach is upset, you may want to start taking something like flax oil to help with the gel coating of the stomach. If you are on any antiprostaglandin drugs like Ibuprofen, etc., they will reduce the gel coating of the stomach and leave you more vulnerable to irritation/stomach upset.
If you continue to have stomach problems, call your doctor. Iron is pretty powerful stuff. You can actually get too much of it. Maybe taking iron every other day would be better.
"The RDA says that pre-menopausal women need 33 mg of iron per day and the FAO says 29 mg, but some populations of female vegetarians do just fine on as little as 10 or 15 mg. Nevertheless, female vegetarians should aim high (at least 18 mg per day), avoid inhibitors, and consume a little at a time rather than all at once.
Men and post-menopausal women usually need about half as much iron and typically run a much lower risk of iron deficiency. It's still a good idea to avoid inhibitors and consume a little at a time rather than all at once.
You will not absorb all the iron that you eat in one sitting. You need to include iron-rich foods in ALL of your daily meals.
Corollary: Eating an iron-rich cereal in the morning and taking an iron supplement with it will probably not be as effective as taking the supplement with a later meal.
Avoid polyphenols. They reduce iron absorption and are found in coffee and tea and some spices. AVOID CHAI!!!
Caffeine may also have a negative impact on iron absorption. AVOID SODA!!!
Eggs do not contain significant amounts of iron (or calcium, or Vitamin C). In fact eggs are mostly fat and protein with few vitamins and minerals. Just because something is an animal product does not mean it is a good source of iron. Milk is another example.
Large doses of calcium at a meal will also reduce iron absorption. Obviously dairy products (lots of calcium, negligible iron) will cause problems, but fortified juices and vitamin supplements may be problematic as well. Try to spread out calcium consumption over the course of the day just like your iron consumption, but don't forget that your body needs calcium too!
Corollary: Don’t drink milk with more than one meal a day. AVOID LASSI!!!
Vitamin C benefits absorbtion more when taken with iron-rich food. So eat fruit or drink fruit juices WITH meals, but remember that you don’t need to eat a lot of Vitamin C to benefit and many sources are good sources of calcium as well, so you can overdo it.
Corollary: Think in iron and Vitamin C pairs. For a snack, try eating an apple WITH some pecans. For a meal, gobi WITH mattar and puri works well.
Finally: Supplements are good too, but don't neglect natural sources! "
Another good product is a Blood Builder (which includes iron) made of whole foods - it is derived from foods we eat everyday. I am very sensitive to vitamins and mineras and have found the whole foods type give me no problems - I can even take them on an empty stomach. I found them at a local farmers market type store. The brand I use is called Mega Foods. You can also get them online. I started taking them about 4 weeks before surgery with slight anemia and by surgery I showed no signs of anemia.