Iron is a unique mineral because not having enough can severely affect your health, but having too much can do the same. It’s important that you get the recommended daily amount of iron. People who have anemia or other depleting health conditions might need supplements to help with their intake. Iron is available in pill or liquid form, as well as slow-release formulas that will help avoid issues like constipation that are common with sudden increases of iron intake.
It’s important to talk to a doctor about iron supplements and which ones are right for your needs. You might have to try a few different options, such as in the case of digestive upset that occurs from taking regular iron pills. There are slow-release formulas and liquids that make it easier for your body to digest the iron so that you can get more of the nutrients and fewer stomach complications.
This nutrient is best absorbed on an empty stomach, but this might not be possible for everyone. If you must, take it with a very small amount of food, so that it gets maximum absorbency without affecting your stomach. You shouldn’t take calcium supplements or consume foods with high amounts of calcium for two hours after taking this supplement. Additionally, you shouldn’t be eating high fiber foods or caffeinated foods or beverages. Sometimes, a vitamin C supplement or juice is suggested to help with absorption.
There are a lot of medications that have contraindications with iron supplements, which is why this is one of the situations where it is critical to talk to a doctor before you start taking them. The nutrient can affect the efficacy of antibiotics and seizure medications, among others. As long as you do it safely, however, iron supplements can be a good health move.