When Do You Need To Take Iron Supplements?

Iron supplements help to increase iron deposits in the body. Who will take them and what should they expect from them? Read on to learn more.
When do you need to take iron supplements?

Iron supplements are ideal for people whose diet does not contain enough of this mineral. Who really needs to take iron supplements? Is there anything you need to ingest often?

Iron is important for the formation of hemoglobin and red blood cells. Thus, a deficiency can lead to complications. Read on to learn more about this.

Causes of iron deficiency

The body finds it difficult to carry oxygen to the tissues when the iron level in the blood drops. For this reason, weakness, fatigue, headaches, pallor and cold in the hands and feet are the main symptoms of this deficiency. Thus, these manifestations may indicate the presence of anemia.

Note that the body’s work capacity and motor activity are reduced as a consequence of this deficit. All this changes the immune system and thus increases the risk of disease. Low levels of this mineral have an impact on the lack of mobilization of vitamin A in the liver.

A variety of foods high in iron.
Foods that contain iron can help counteract the risk of anemia. At times, however, it is not enough.

When should I take iron supplements?

Fortunately, iron supplements can prevent or treat these complications once they have begun. It should be part of a well-balanced diet for better results.

According to several studies, some population groups have increased demands on this mineral. It may be a consequence of poor diet or developmental stages associated with anemia such as :

Pregnancy

Pregnant women need more iron for themselves and their babies. There is an increased risk of anemia if the iron deficiency during pregnancy is severe. If the child has a low birth weight, was born prematurely or had a low number of red blood cells early, one can also experience anemia.

The World Health Organization states that more than 40% of all pregnant women in the world have anemia. This may indicate that half of this population suffers from iron deficiency.

Thus, pregnant and lactating women should consult their doctor about the ideal supplement to prevent this problem. They may prescribe it in the form of drops or tablets. Severe cases will require injection, especially if the pregnant woman experiences uncontrollable vomiting.

Babies and toddlers

Iron deficiency can lead to delays in psychological development, social isolation and a reduced ability to pay attention. Infants born at term can also develop a deficiency if the mother does not include sufficient amounts of food that contains this mineral in her diet.

Women and teens ovulating

Some women of reproductive age are prone to deficiencies of this nutrient. In general, it is due to heavy menstrual bleeding. Thus, the loss of iron is greater than in other people.

In addition , adolescents have an increased demand due to their development, which is exacerbated by heavy menstrual bleeding. Metrorrhagia in young women who have just had their period is a common cause of anemia.

Regular blood donors

These people are prone to iron deficiency, but can prevent it by respecting the optimal time frame between one donation and the next.

Anemia due to chronic disease

According to several studies, chronic diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis (arthritis), inflammatory bowel disease, gastrointestinal disorders and certain types of cancer can interfere with the body’s ability to absorb and use iron. This is why people with these conditions often suffer from deficiencies.

Things to consider when taking iron supplements

Iron supplements are available in the form of capsules, tablets, chewable medicines and liquids. Ferrous sulphate is the most common, but there are also some other chemical variants such as gluconate and fumaric acid.

It is important to remember that these are better absorbed when taken on an empty stomach. However, ingestion can lead to stomach cramps, nausea and diarrhea. You should therefore consume them along with a small amount of food to prevent these problems.

In addition, calcium and antacids interfere with their absorption, so you must wait at least two hours before consuming milk, cheese, raw vegetables, caffeine and other medications. On the other hand, foods that contain vitamin C, such as citrus and kiwi, can promote more efficient iron absorption.

Routine blood tests are recommended to confirm an iron deficiency. This method determines the exact number of red blood cells and the hemoglobin values. It is also possible to measure the concentrations of iron in the blood and its transport proteins if necessary.

A capsule with iron supplements.
Iron supplements should be prescribed by a doctor, as they are not always useful.

Should you take iron supplements?

These drugs are an effective strategy to increase the body’s reserves, but their use is not suitable for everyone. Remember that taking a drug that is not prescribed by a doctor is contraindicated, as excess also leads to complications.

In addition, it is best to follow a well-balanced diet with a high content of iron. Remember that supplements are not magical, nor do they represent the only strategy against anemia. Similarly, the reduction in red blood cells is not always due to a lack of iron.

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