Why Does Iron Cause Constipation Tips To Prevent And Relieve
It is a well-known fact that iron supplements cause in addition to stomach pain and nausea constipation the most likely side effect. Why does iron cause constipation?
Iron supplements cause constipation because the absorption of iron is weak from food as well as from supplements. On average 10% of iron from food is absorbed by the body for women and 5% for men. In case of iron deficiency, absorption increases up to 20%. Iron not absorbed by the body feeds bad pathogenic bacteria in the gut. Constipation is therefore a sign of predominant bad bacteria in the colon .
Although iron bisglycinate is known for being stomach friendly among divalent iron salts and causes side effects more seldom , some people are still more gentle to iron than others. Therefore, iron bisglycinate can cause constipation for some people. The bigger the amount of iron consumed, the higher the risk for side effects . For instance, side effects with Iron 30 mg and Iron syrup for children 25 mg are more rare, because the daily amount of iron is only 2530 mg. Superironis 60 mg iron, i.e. twice as much. However, Superiron is needed in case of diagnosed iron deficiency anemia and usually the choice for pregnant women. A lot of people do not have any side effects with iron bisglycinate independent on the amount consumed.
Trivalent iron may cause constipation more often compared to divalent iron salts because the amount of iron not absorbed by the body may be greater.
SOME TIPS TO PREVENT CONSTIPATION
Can I Take Iron With Antacids
Iron supplements should not be taken with antacids. Antacids, especially those containing calcium, have been shown to .
Unfortunately, for many people heartburn is a side effect of taking iron supplementation, so they may unwittingly combine the two not knowing that they are actually reducing the effectiveness of their iron supplement. If you must take both, take the iron supplement at least two hours before taking the antacid tablets.
Should I Stop Taking Iron If I Have Diarrhea
If you are taking iron pills, you may want to drink orange juice or eat foods high in vitamin C to get the most out of them. Heartburn, nausea, diarrhea, constipation, and cramps are some of the stomach problems that can be caused by iron pills. Ensure you consume plenty of fluids and eat fruits, vegetables, and fibre every day to stay healthy.
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Dietary Sources Of Iron
Many adults can get all the dietary iron they need by eating a well-balanced diet containing iron-rich foods. Getting your iron from foods instead of supplements may help you avoid unpleasant bowel changes. Try iron-rich lean meats, poultry, seafood, legumes, tofu, spinach and iron-fortified breakfast cereals to help meet your daily iron needs. Heme iron, the type found in animal foods, is absorbed more easily by the body than non-heme iron, the type found in plant foods. Consume foods that contain heme iron along with non-heme iron-containing foods to increase their absorption in your body. Vitamin C also enhances non-heme iron absorption when consumed at the same time.
What Iron Supplement Does Not Cause Constipation
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An iron supplement that won‘t upset your stomach or cause constipation. Many women struggle with iron deficiency anemia. The most common challenge is the iron supplements that are commonly recommended as a solution is not well tolerate. It does not upset the stomach or cause constipation.
Similarly, which form of iron is easiest on the stomach? Ferric iron: This form of iron needs to be broken down by the body to become bioavailable. Therefore, it isn’t as easily absorbed or as frequently recommended. However, if your stomach can’t tolerate ferrous iron, this type is easier on the stomach.
Beside above, why do iron supplements make you constipated?
The body will only absorb so much of any mineral at a time. Even with highly absorbable forms of iron such as ferrous diglycinate, a large dose will cause some iron to remain in the gut and contribute to constipation.
What is the best form of iron supplement to take?
Ferrous salts are the best absorbed iron supplements and are often considered the standard compared with other iron salts.
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Nature Made Iron Tablets
This is a USP verified product. This means that the ingredients written on the cover are exactly what you get. This is a completely natural product with no added colors, artificial flavors, preservatives, starch, or yeast. The tables are very budget-friendly.
The components break down easily making it a very easy-to-digest tablet. The recommended dosage is to take 1 tablet before a meal. But make sure that you are consulting a physician in case you are already suffering from any other health problems.
Reducing Constipation And Diarrhea
Fortunately, there are a few ways to help relieve constipation and diarrhea caused by taking iron supplements. If youre experiencing constipation from iron supplements, a stool softener often helps correct the problem. Talk with your doctor to see which type of stool softener you should take for relief. Boosting your fiber and probiotic intake may help reduce or eliminate diarrhea. Probiotics are abundant in yogurt and kefir and are available in supplement form. Fiber-rich foods include whole grains, legumes, fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and fiber-fortified foods.
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How To Take Iron Supplements
- Before you start the treatment, read the manufacturer’s printed information leaflet from inside the pack. It will give you more information about the iron supplement and will provide you with a full list of the side-effects which you may experience from taking it.
- Iron is absorbed into your bloodstream best if the supplement is taken about an hour before a meal. If, however, you feel queasy after taking iron, having some food in your stomach can help to reduce stomach irritation and feelings of queasiness. So in this case, it may be better for you to take your iron supplement just after a meal.
- Take the iron preparation exactly as your doctor tells you to. You will be told how much to take and how often to take it. Your dose will also be on the label of the pack to remind you. It is usual to be prescribed between 1-3 doses a day. Taking your doses at the same times each day will help you to avoid missing any.
- If you do forget to take a dose, don’t worry, just leave out the missed dose and take the next dose when it is due. Do not take two doses together to make up for a forgotten dose.
Take Your Supplements The Right Way
To help alleviate constipation from iron supplements, begin taking your pills at half-dose and gradually increase the dosage every three days until you reach the full dosage. It’s best to separate your dosage into three smaller daily doses to reduce the likelihood of constipation.
Exercise each day to stimulate healthy bowel movements. Try physical activities such as walking, 20 minutes of light aerobics or a bike ride.
Take a stool softener when needed to relieve constipation. Stool softeners increase the water content in stool, making them softer and easier to pass during bowel movements says University of Washington Medical Center.
Eat more fruits and vegetables. They are rich in fiber which adds bulk to stools, making them easier to pass during bowel movements. The U.S. Department of Agriculture Food Pyramid recommends eating two to four servings of fruit and three to five servings of vegetables each day.
To prevent overdose, never take more than the recommended dose of iron without permission from your doctor.
Iron blocks the absorption of some antibiotics. Inform your doctor that you are taking iron supplements before taking antibiotics. Your doctor may prescribe a different antibiotic or recommend that you temporarily discontinue the use of iron supplements during the duration of your antibiotic cycle.
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Can Iron Pills Cause Blood In Stool
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Iron supplements can cause constipation during pregnancy. Adding fiber to your diet or using a stool softener can usually help manage the symptom. Taking too much iron can lead to iron overload. Extra iron in your blood can be toxic the liver, heart, and pancreas and may cause damage to the joints, as well.
Also Know, can iron tablets cause menstrual bleeding? It’s important to remember that iron supplements and food changes won’t affect an underlying cause of excess bleeding. If heavy periods are behind your iron-deficiency anemia, your doctor may prescribe a birth control pill to help control your heavy flow.
Beside above, what are the side effects of taking iron tablets?
What are the symptoms of too much iron in the blood?
Symptoms, signs and diseases resulting from too much iron :
- chronic fatigue.
- liver disease
- diabetes mellitus.
- heart attack or heart failure.
- skin color changes
Antihistamines Like Benadryl And Zyrtec
Certain antihistamine drugs like , , , and that are available over the counter to treat allergy symptoms may stop you up. They belong to an even larger class of medications known as anticholinergics, which all have the possible side effect of causing constipation. Think of any medication that gives you a dry mouth as an anticholinergic.
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How And When To Take It
If you or your child are prescribed ferrous fumarate, follow your doctor’s instructions about how and when to take it.
If you buy ferrous fumarate from a pharmacy, follow the instructions that come with the packet.
Ferrous fumarate tablets comes in 2 strengths 210mg and 322mg.
Ferrous fumarate capsules are 305mg.
Liquid ferrous fumarate contains 140mg of ferrous fumarate in each 5ml spoonful .
The liquid may be easier for children and people who find it difficult to swallow tablets or capsules.
Why Does Your Stool Turn Black When Taking Iron
If you notice that your stools are turning black or dark green after taking iron, you might have noticed this. You might think, Yikes! after hearing that. You should not be alarmed if you hear, There might be something wrong.. An iron deficiency can cause stools to be black or dark, which may be harmless.
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Individual Gastrointestinal Symptoms Reported
Thirty three of the 43 studies reported incidences of individual gastrointestinal symptoms . The most commonly reported symptoms were constipation, nausea and diarrhoea. For the 27 studies that reported constipation, the pooled estimate of incidence in the FeSO4 arm was 12% . Similarly, for the 30 studies that reported nausea the pooled estimate of incidence in the FeSO4 arm was 11% and for the 25 studies that reported diarrhoea the pooled estimate of incidence was 8% .
Here’s The Connection To Iron Supplementation
You may already know not to take an iron supplement when you have an acute infection like a cold, because iron feeds bacteria and can make the infection worse. Do you see where this is going?
Pathogenic bacteria thrive on iron
If the iron from your supplement isn’t absorbed in the small intestine, it travels to the large intestine and feeds the bad bacteria.
This condition of imbalanced bacteria is called dysbiosis.
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Why Women Should Pump Iron Supplements During Pregnancy
Youve just found out youre pregnant. Now youre focused on doing everything right, like eating a healthy diet, getting exercise, and choosing the proper prenatal vitamins including iron supplements.
Taking iron helps your body produce more blood. Thats a big deal for moms-to-be, because your total blood volume will double over the course of your pregnancy!
The average pregnant woman needs about 30 mg of elemental iron per day to meet the new demands of extra blood volume, the developing placenta, and growing fetus. Most combination prenatal vitamins contain this much iron, which is nearly double the amount a nonpregnant woman requires. However, you might need more than 30mg a day if you:
- Have low iron at the start of your pregnancy
- Are carrying twins or triplets
- Took iron sporadically in early pregnancy
- Started taking iron late in pregnancy
Approximately half of your iron intake will go toward the developing fetus and placenta. The other half will be used to increase the amount of blood in your circulatory system, which will help protect you during childbirth. In a typical vaginal delivery, youll lose approximately a pint of blood for a cesarean section, its closer to two pints . Having low blood volume can lead to complications during delivery and the postpartum period.
“Taking iron helps your body produce more blood. Thats a big deal for moms-to-be, because your total blood volume will double over the course of your pregnancy!”
Robyn Horsager-Boehrer, M.D.
Forms Of Iron Absorption And Effect
- Ferrous Sulfate is an inorganic form of Iron that consists of Iron bound to Sulfur, it is a less desirable form of Iron supplement as it may cause constipation and nausea.
- Ferrous Fumarate consists of Iron bound to Fumaric Acid.
- Heme Iron is Iron bound to Protein. Heme Iron can be obtained from the diet from animal sources e.g. Meats. 20 30% of orally-ingested Heme Iron is absorbed by the human body. It is regarded as a relatively safe form of Iron, however it can cause constipation.
- Iron Citrate consists of Iron bound to Citric Acid. This form of Iron is well tolerated by sensitive gastrointestinal tracts.
- Iron Picolinate consists of Iron bound to Picolinic Acid. Some researchers regard Iron Picolinate as the optimal form of Iron supplementation in regards to absorption.
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Pereira, D. I., Couto Irving, S. S., Lomer, M. C. & Powell, J. J. A rapid, simple questionnaire to assess gastrointestinal symptoms after oral ferrous sulphate supplementation. BMC Gastroenterology, 4, 103. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24899360
Souza, A. et al. Adherence and side effects of three ferrous sulfate treatment regimens on anemic pregnant women in clinical trials. Cad. Saúde Pública, 25:6, 1225 1233. http://www.scielosp.org/pdf/csp/v25n6/05.pdf
Melamed, N., Ben-Haroush, A., Kaplan, B. & Yogev, Y. Iron supplementation in pregnancy does the preparation matter? Arch Gynecol Obstet., 276:6, 601 604. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17541618
Abdel-Lah, M., Rasheed, S. l., Hassan, I. I. & El-sayed, A. Iron chelated amino acid therapy versus oral iron therapy for the treatment of iron deficiency anemia with pregnancy. The Journal of the Egyptian Society of Obstetrics and Gynecology, 32:4, 419-428. https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT02005588
Fouad, G. T., Evans, M., Sharma, P., et al., A randomized, double-blind clinical study on the safety and tolerability of an iron multi-amino acid chelate preparation in premenopausal women. J Diet Suppl., 10:1, 17 28. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23387416
Santiago, P. Ferrous versus Ferric Oral Iron Formulations for the Treatment of Iron Deficiency: A Clinical Overview. ScentificWorldJournal, 2012. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3354642/
Ferrous Sulfate Versus Placebo
For the 20 trials that included placebo as the comparator a significant increase in the incidence of gastrointestinal side-effects was observed with ferrous sulfate OR = 2.32 . Nineteen of these 20 placebo-controlled trials were conducted in healthy non-anaemic individuals and therefore hemoglobin repletion was not a primary outcome. The only placebo-controlled trial in anaemic participants was carried out in patients who became anaemic following joint replacement surgery and reported an average increase in hemoglobin of 1.94 g/dl following 6 weeks of ferrous sulfate therapy compared to an increase of 1.63 g/dl with placebo .
Forest plot for the effect of daily ferrous sulfate supplementation on the incidence of gastrointestinal side-effects in placebo-controlled RCTs.
Data for random-effects meta-analysis are shown. For each study the closed diamond represents the mean estimated effect and the horizontal lines the 95% CI. The grey shaded area surrounding each closed diamond represents the weight of each study in the analysis. Weight was assigned based on the the sum of the within-study variance and between study variance. Open diamonds represent the subgroup mean difference and pooled overall mean differences as shown. Test for overall effect: z-score = 7.54 , 0.20 , 5.79 p-value < 0.0001 , = 0.8 , < 0.0001 . OR, odds ratio CI, confidence interval. Data shown for 20 RCTs .
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How To Relieve Constipation From Iron Supplements
- Increase your fluid or water intake.
- Since exercising helps with overall constipation, it will help relieve symptoms while taking iron supplements, too.
- Always go to the toilet regularly and never postpone your trips as it might worsen your constipation.
- If you are experiencing constipation from iron supplements, avoid eating food that causes constipation.
This includes wheat products, blackcurrants, blueberries, bananas, milk, and cheese.
- Eat foods that are high in fiber to increase the amount of stool and increase your toilet trips.
For example, opt for whole-grain products, carrots, zucchini, cucumbers, celery, and legumes.
Still, keep in mind that they might cause intestinal gas.
- You can also opt for fiber supplements since they are relatively safe and beneficial.
- Dried black plums are incredibly beneficial for your gut health and help promote better absorption and gut movements.
- Fermented food like yogurt, pickles, and miso contain live bacteria and promote the growth of good bacteria in your intestines.
Best Iron Supplements That Do Not Cause Constipation
Iron deficiency is pretty common nowadays. It is estimated that around 70% of the worlds population is suffering from this problem. Iron is important for a body as it plays a very important role in creating red blood cells that carry oxygen to the rest of the body.
The iron required for our body is generally available from the food that we intake but in most cases, it is seen that it falls short of the required proportion in a particular person.
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