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Iron Supplements after Hysterectomy

From the Hysterectomy Recovery Articles List

woman looking at iron supplements after hysterectomyI have always taken iron supplements or used vitamins fortified with iron. Should I continue to do so now that I have had a hysterectomy?

Following a hysterectomy, you should not use iron supplements or vitamins containing iron without first consulting with your physician(s).

During menstruation, some women become anemic. This can be especially true for women who experience heavier, longer periods. When anemia occurs, doctors may prescribe iron supplements and/or a diet high in iron. Iron treatments need to be monitored by your physician to prevent high iron levels known as secondary hemochromatosis.

Hemochromatosis can cause a variety of health issues. These can range from fatigue, headaches, and arthritis to organ damage, cancer, and even death. For secondary hemochromatosis caused by iron treatment, the body may eliminate the extra iron during a period. For those who have had a hysterectomy, however, the body has no way of eliminating excessive amounts of iron.

To prevent iron overload, women who have had a hysterectomy or who do not menstruate should avoid iron supplements and iron fortified vitamins. Vitamins made for women over 50 do not contain iron for this reason. In fact, they can be a good choice for women of all ages who have had a hysterectomy.

Unless your doctor states you have an issue with anemia and has specifically instructed you to use iron, avoid iron supplements after a hysterectomy. You should also look for a multi-vitamin made especially for women in menopause. Additionally, you may want to be sure your diet does not contain an excessive amount of iron-rich foods.

This content was written by staff of HysterSisters.com by non-medical professionals based on discussions, resources and input from other patients for the purpose of patient-to-patient support.

06-22-2013 - 10:52 AM


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