Thursday, July 11, 2024

Why Does Iron Cause Constipation

Must read

Iron Supplements That Don’t Cause Constipation

Why Do Iron Supplements Cause Constipation?

Some types of iron supplements may increase the likelihood of constipation, as well as gas and bloating. Although it’s unclear why some people become constipated due to iron supplementation, you can reduce your risk by taking other forms of iron that are less likely to cause gastrointestinal side effects. Discuss any concerns you about about supplementation with your physician.

Find Natural Sources Of Iron

Eating iron-rich foods in your diet is the best way to avoid an iron deficiency and constipation from having to take iron pills. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics says your body absorbs two to three times more iron from animal sources than from plants. Foods with the highest content of iron include lean beef, turkey, chicken and oysters.

If you are a vegetarian who does not eat meat, fish or poultry, the National Institute of Health suggests you need 1.8 times the recommended dietary allowance. The reason is you’re getting your iron from plants in the form of non-heme iron that your body doesn’t absorb as well as heme iron from animal foods. Good sources of iron for vegetarians include beans, dark green leafy vegetables, tofu, whole grains and nuts. Adding a source of vitamin C will enhance the absorption of iron.

Read More:Foods to Eat If You Have Low Iron

Can You Stomach It The Vicious Cycle Of Anemia And Iron Supplements

Taking many of todays available oral iron supplements can make you feel as if you have swallowed a brick. The side effects can be so unpleasant that you stop taking them altogether and begin a vicious cycle of spiraling iron levels and unused products. With;our innovative new iron supplement Ferritin Boost, the;ironology team aims;to break that cycle;with a formulation that offers;optimal absorption without the unpleasant stomach issues.

Read Also: Does Banana Cause Bloating And Gas

Mixing Ferrous Sulfate With Herbal Remedies Or Supplements

Talk to a pharmacist or doctor before taking any herbal remedies or supplements together with ferrous sulfate. Some vitamin and mineral supplements may already contain ferrous sulfate or other types of iron.

Tell the pharmacist or doctor if you take any supplements or remedies that contain iron, calcium, magnesium or zinc. Ferrous sulfate can stop zinc working as well as it should.

Does Active Iron Cause Side Effects

Does Iron Make You Poop? Every Question You Have ANSWERED ...

Active Iron does not cause any of the common side effects of other iron supplements. Our customers take Active Iron because:

  • Active Iron is well absorbed due to our unique protein formula
  • It helps protect the gut from inflammation and causes less reactive oxygen species generation
  • Other iron products dissolve in the stomach or lower intestine, causing inflammation and reactive oxygen species in the gut which leads to poor absorption
  • Don’t Miss: How Long Can An Ibs Flare Up Last

    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.

    Drink Plenty Of Plain Water

    This is probably the easiest and healthiest way of dealing with the problem of constipation. Drinking water helps in diluting the toxins in the system and they become easy to be removed from the body. Increase your water intake and you will see that problems of constipation and many other things get cured completely.

    Also Check: What Fruit Helps With Bloating

    How Does Iron Cause Constipation


    . Subsequently, one may also ask, why do iron pills make you constipated?

    A: Iron is hard on the digestive tract. Constipation is the most common side effect, but iron supplements can also cause nausea, indigestion, gas and bloating. The cause of the constipation is the iron itself, not any added ingredient. The ferrous gluconate dose is less constipating for many people.

    Furthermore, do iron shots cause constipation? Iron infusions can cause some side effects, including: constipation. dizziness. loose bowel movements.

    Thereof, is there an iron supplement that doesn’t cause constipation?

    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.

    Do iron rich foods cause constipation?

    A commonly reported side effect when taking iron supplements is constipation. Increasing fiber in the diet , increasing your fluid intake, and moderately increasing exercise will all help to relieve constipation. Do not take iron and calcium supplements together.

    irongain weightdomakeironweight

    Mehrdad Piñeiro

    Most Common And Most Constipating

    Does Iron Cause Constipation?

    Ferrous Sulphate & Ferrous Fumarate Ferrous refers to iron , and sulphate is exactly what it says: sulphate. This is a sulphur atom surrounded by four oxygen atoms, attached to a charged iron atom. Ferrous fumarate is a type of acid attached to an iron atom. These forms of iron are found in the most commonly prescribed iron supplements, and are readily available in most pharmacies. They’re also the least absorbable forms, and they are why iron supplementation has a reputation for slowing down the bowels.

    We know for sure that supplementation with ferrous sulphate will more often than not cause gastrointestinal symptoms including constipation.

    Other symptoms include:;

    • bloating;
    • heartburn

    A small study demonstrated that ferrous sulphate supplementation caused significantly more gastrointestinal side effects than a placebo.

    Another showed that the higher the dose, the more severe the gastrointestinal complaints.

    In a 2007 study, most participants were unaware that there are different forms of iron available in supplements, and relied on their physicians to make appropriate recommendations. Despite the well-documented association between constipation and these formulations, most physicians recommended preparations containing ferrous fumarate and ferrous sulphate. These preparations are often the cheapest and most readily available in pharmacies, and are so frequently prescribed because they often have the biggest dose of iron per tablet.

    Don’t Miss: Can Ibs Just Suddenly Start

    What Are The Types Of Iron Supplements Out There On The Market

    There are two common forms of iron supplements. Ferrous form or ferric form of iron are the two common types. The supplement that is the easiest for the body to absorb is ferrous iron.

    Pills that contain iron are usually in ferrous form. There are three subcategories of ferrous iron that are sold on the market today: ferrous fumarate, ferrous gluconate, and ferrous sulfate.

    When choosing any of these iron supplements its important to look at the elemental iron in each individual serving. Most iron supplements in the ferrous form are sold as a pill. Iron supplements are also available in capsules, drops, and liquids, coated and extended-release capsules.

    Tablets and pills are better absorbed and cheaper as well.;For adults who have trouble swallowing the pill form and also for children, the liquid form of iron supplements can be useful.

    Coated tablets or extended-release capsules have fewer and less severe side effects. However, this form of iron supplement is not absorbed as well in the bloodstream.

    Ascorbic acid or vitamin C can help iron be absorbed better.;Iron acts better in an acidic/low pH environment.

    Iron supplements are great to incorporate in your diet if you are deficient of this important mineral.

    Malabsorption In The Gut

    The fluctuation of the female hormones, estrogen, progesterone, follicle-stimulating hormone and luteinizing hormone during the menstrual cycle, may contribute to a malabsorption syndrome. This affects the bodys ability to absorb nutrients from food in the gut, aggravating the low blood iron levels by reducing the absorption of iron from food sources. The hormonal factors contributing to a malabsorption syndrome may also play a part in both peristalsis , inhibit other nutrient absorption and thereby contribute to constipation.

    Attempting to correct this malabsorption syndrome by taking nutritional supplements, especially iron, may further aggravate the constipation. A characteristic feature of this malabsorption syndrome, which may not be present in every woman, is the difficulty in gaining weight, especially in young girls in their teens. However this may also be impacted upon by the poor dietary habits of young women who are more conscious of their body, focusing on their figure and weight than worrying about adequate nutrition.

    Don’t Miss: Does Coffee Give You Heartburn

    Do You Even Need To Take An Iron Supplement

    Most Americans get enough iron by eating a variety of foods, according to the National Institutes of Health . That’s because iron is naturally found in meat, beans, leafy greens and nuts as well as fortified cereals and breads, explains Lee Ann Chen, MD, a gastroenterologist at NYU Langone Health.

    That said, how much iron your body requires is heavily dependent on your age, sex and health status, says Dr. Chen, who adds that adults should not take more than 45 milligrams of elemental iron a day. Indeed, the recommended dietary allowance for iron is only 18 milligrams for women between the ages of 19 and 50 and a mere 8 milligrams for men, per the NIH. If you’re a vegetarian, the RDA is almost twice as high, since iron from plant-based foods is less bioavailable meaning less readily absorbed than the kind found in meat .

    Read more:Are Supplements Safe? Here’s What You Really Need to Know

    Though most people get enough iron from their diets, certain groups of people may have trouble getting adequate amounts. “Anyone with known iron-deficiency anemia, women with heavy periods and pregnant women need more iron,” Dr. Chen says. Frequent blood donors and individuals with cancer, gastrointestinal disorders or heart failure are also more likely to have iron deficiency, per the NIH.


    If you have a health condition or are concerned about your iron levels, talk to your doctor about whether an iron supplement is right for you, and which kind of supplement you should take.

    Do All Iron Supplements Cause Constipation

    Iron Supplements That Don

    Do all iron supplements cause constipation? Iron pills may cause stomach problems, such as heartburn, nausea, diarrhea, constipation, and cramps. Be sure to drink plenty of fluids and eat fruits, vegetables, and fibre each day. Iron pills can change the colour of your stool to a greenish or grayish black. This is normal.

    Is there an iron supplement that doesnt cause constipation?;Maltofer is clinically proven to correct iron levels. Maltofer has fewer gastrointestinal side effects and is less likely to cause constipation compared to ferrous iron supplements. This means less constipation, less nausea, and an effective dose of iron.

    Do iron supplements always cause constipation?;Does iron cause constipation? In some people, oral iron may cause constipation. To diminish symptoms of gastrointestinal discomfort, some people take their iron supplements with food or with a stool softener to try and offset constipation.

    Why do iron pills make you constipated?;Constipation is the most common side effect, but iron supplements can also cause nausea, indigestion, gas and bloating. The cause of the constipation is the iron itself, not any added ingredient.

    Also Check: How To Take Probiotics With Antibiotics

    Which Foods Are Highest In Iron

    Most people do not need iron supplements if they maintain a healthy, balanced diet. Rather than reaching for a pill, start by adding iron-rich foods to your meal plan, the highest of which include:

    • Iron-fortified breakfast cereals: 18 mg per cup
    • Oysters: 8 mg per 3-ounce serving
    • White beans : 8 mg per cup
    • Dark chocolate: 7 mg per 3-ounce serving
    • Beef liver: 5 mg per 3-ounce serving
    • Lentils : 3 mg per ½ cup serving
    • Spinach : 3 mg per ½ cup serving
    • Tofu: 3 mg per ½ cup serving
    • Kidney beans : 2 mg per ½ cup serving
    • Canned sardines in oil: 2 mg per ½ cup serving
    • Chickpeas : 2 mg per ½ cup serving
    • Stewed tomatoes: 2 mg per ½ cup serving
    • Braised bottom round beef: 2 mg per 3-ounce serving
    • Baked potatoes: 1 mg per medium-sized potato
    • Cashews: 1 mg per 1-ounce serving
    • Green beans : 1 mg per ½ cup serving
    • Roast chicken: 1 mg per 3-ounce serving

    The Way To Resolve Iron Deficiency

    Whenever a disorder or imbalance occurs in the body, as happens with low iron and constipation, we have to find a way to treat the imbalance while dealing with each of the objectives in managing the deficiency.

    In cases of iron deficiency, the treatment objectives are:

    • To counteract the iron deficiency through proper diet or with supplements.
    • To reverse, minimize or at least limit the negative effects that has been caused by the disorder or imbalance.

    The first objective for treating iron deficiency is to meet the bodys requirements of iron;;that is, we want to bring iron levels to normal.;

    The second is to reverse any unwanted changes caused by iron deficiency.

    Constipation caused by iron deficiency can be a difficult problem to handle. If not dealt with properly,;constipation may persist even when the iron deficiency is remedied. Iron supplements plus other agents are needed to rectify the problem caused by low iron and constipation.Of course, the best treatment plan would be if there were a single agent that takes care of both objectives. If there such an agent, what is that? I will get to that in a minute.

    Don’t Miss: How Do You Test Your Gut Microbiome

    Constipation And Anemia In Young Women

    Many young women, prior to their first pregnancy, suffer with severe constipation and anemia, which are often seen as unrelated symptoms. The anemia or low blood iron stems from the loss of blood due to menses while constipation is a gastrointestinal disorder resulting in difficulty in passing out feces . However evidence suggests that both anemia and constipation may be linked to a common hormonal cause that plagues many menstruating women.

    Can I Overdose On Iron

    Hidden Cause #22 Why You STILL Have Low Thyroid Symptoms – Vitamin A Deficiency

    Yes, you can overdose on an iron supplement. Be smart and follow the dosage instructions on the Feosol package.

    In fact, if you have small children in your home, take extra precaution as accidental overdose of iron-containing products is a leading cause of fatal poisoning in children under age 6. In case of accidental overdose, call a doctor or call poison control center immediately. If you suspect that your child has overdosed, note that treatment is effective if instituted early enough and should be sought immediately.

    Recommended Reading: Can Turmeric Give You Diarrhea

    Ferrous Sulfate Versus Iv Iron

    For the 23 studies that included intravenous iron as the comparator a significant increase in the incidence of gastrointestinal side-effects was observed with ferrous sulfate with an OR = 3.05 . Furthermore, mean hemoglobin increase was reported for 20 of the 23 eligible IV iron-controlled trials . Overall, for these 20 trials, the mean increase in hemoglobin for the ferrous sulfate arm was lower than for the IV iron arm although formal comparative analysis was not undertaken being outside the a priori objectives of our analysis .

    Effect of daily ferrous sulfate supplementation on the incidence of gastrointestinal side-effects and hemoglobin repletion in intravenous iron-controlled RCTs.

    The IBD subgroup analysis also showed a significantly higher incidence of gastrointestinal side-effects in the ferrous sulfate arm than in the IV iron arm with OR = 3.14 . The same was observed in the pregnancy subgroup analysis , with OR = 9.44 .

    Nine out of the 23 IV-iron comparator studies reported zero GI side-effects in the IV-iron arm so, as detailed in Methods, we added the standard correction of 0.5 of a side-effect to each arm to enable calculation of the study-specific log odds ratio. Nevertheless, when we excluded these 9 studies from the meta-analysis the same overall effect was observed with an OR = 2.41 for ferrous sulfate .

    What If I Forget To Take It

    If you forget a dose, take another as soon as you remember. If it’s almost time to take the next dose, then do not take the missed dose at all.

    Do not take a double dose to make up for a forgotten dose.

    If you often forget doses, it may help to set an alarm to remind you. You could also ask your pharmacist for advice on other ways to remember your medicine.

    Recommended Reading: Does Rice Help With Diarrhea

    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.

    More articles

    Popular Articles