How Much Iron Is Recommended For Anemia

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Oral Iron Supplementation

Iron is one of the minerals in the human body. If you do not have enough iron, your body cannot make hemoglobin, and you may develop anemia. One way of treating anemia is with oral iron supplements, including pills, capsules, drops, and extended-release tablets. The purpose of oral iron supplementation is to treat your symptoms by increasing the levels of iron and hemoglobin in your body.

 

What is iron?

Iron is one of the minerals in the human body. It is one of the components of hemoglobin, the substance in red blood cells that helps blood carry oxygen throughout the body.

If you do not have enough iron, your body cannot make hemoglobin, and you may develop anemia. This is known as iron-deficiency anemia, the most common type of anemia.

Factors that can lower your body’s supply of iron include:

  • Blood loss (caused by ulcers, some cancers, and other conditions; and, in women, during monthly periods)
  • A diet that doesn’t have enough iron in it
  • An increase in the body’s need for iron (for instance, in women during pregnancy)

What are the symptoms of anemia?

There are several symptoms that may occur in all types of anemia. They are:

  • Feeling tired
  • Paleness
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Fast heartbeat
  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Feeling cold (including the sensation that your hands or feet are colder than usual)
  • Infections (caused by problems with the immune system)

Who is most likely to develop iron-deficiency anemia?

Anyone can develop iron-deficiency anemia, although the following groups have a higher risk:

  • Women: Blood loss during monthly periods and childbirth can lead to anemia.
  • People over 65, who are more likely to have iron-poor diets.
  • People who are on blood thinners such as aspirin, Plavix®, Coumadin®, or heparin.
  • People who have kidney failure (especially if they are on dialysis), because they have trouble making red blood cells.
  • People who have trouble absorbing iron.

How is anemia diagnosed?

Your healthcare provider can perform blood tests to tell if you have anemia. The type and number of blood tests will depend on what type of anemia your doctor thinks you might have.

The blood tests will measure your hemoglobin and how much iron is in your body. If these levels are low, the doctor can make a diagnosis of anemia.

How is anemia treated?

Your healthcare provider will decide on the proper treatment, depending on the type of anemia and what is causing it.

Your doctor must first find out if the anemia is being caused by a poor diet or a more serious health problem. You can then be treated for both the anemia and its cause.

Iron-deficiency anemia is treated by eating foods that are high in iron, or with oral (taken by mouth) iron supplements.

What foods are high in iron?

The following foods are good sources of iron:

  • Oysters
  • Kidney beans
  • Beef liver
  • Tofu
  • Beef (chuck roast, lean ground beef)
  • Turkey leg
  • Whole wheat bread
  • Tuna
  • Eggs
  • Shrimp
  • Peanut butter
  • Leg of lamb
  • Brown rice
  • Raisin bran (whole grain-enriched cereals)
  • Blackstrap molasses
  • Lentils
  • Beans
  • Spinach

What is oral iron supplementation?

In addition to eating foods that are rich in iron, you may have to take oral iron supplements. There are many different types of oral iron supplements, including pills, capsules, drops, and extended-release tablets. The purpose of oral iron supplementation is to treat your symptoms by increasing the levels of iron and hemoglobin in your body.

You don’t need a prescription to buy iron supplements. Working with your doctor, you can choose which type is best for you.

The iron in your body is called “elemental iron.” Oral iron supplements contain different amounts of elemental iron. When you choose a supplement, be sure to check the label to see how much elemental iron it contains; a greater amount means that more iron will be absorbed by your body.

What dose of iron is usually prescribed for the treatment of iron deficiency anemia?

Your doctor will tell you how much iron you need to take every day. For the treatment of iron deficiency anemia in adults, 100 to 200 mg of elemental iron per day has been recommended. The best way to take the supplement so that you absorb the greatest amount of iron is to take it in two or more doses during the day. However, extended-release iron products may be taken once a day.

Please note the following:

  • Although the supplements work best on an empty stomach, you may want to take them with food so that they don’t upset your stomach.
  • You shouldn’t take iron supplements with milk, caffeine, antacids, or calcium supplements. These can decrease the amount of iron that is absorbed.
  • Try to take your iron supplement with vitamin C (for example, a glass of orange juice) to increase absorption.

When will I start to feel better?

When you should start to feel better depends on your particular situation. Normally, it may take from a week to a month (after you start your iron supplement) before you start to feel better. Continue to watch your symptoms and take note of side effects that might be caused by the supplements. If you have any questions or concerns, talk to your healthcare provider.

What are the side effects of oral iron supplements?

Oral iron supplements can cause the following side effects:

  • Dark stools
  • Upset stomach
  • Constipation (you may need to take a stool softener)
  • Heartburn

How long will I have to take an oral iron supplement?

Your doctor will let you know how long you will have to take the iron supplement. Usually, after your hemoglobin and iron levels are back to normal, you will continue to take the iron supplement for another six months. Afterward, you will have regular blood tests to measure your iron level.

Oral Iron Supplementation

Iron is one of the minerals in the human body. If you do not have enough iron, your body cannot make hemoglobin, and you may develop anemia. One way of treating anemia is with oral iron supplements, including pills, capsules, drops, and extended-release tablets. The purpose of oral iron supplementation is to treat your symptoms by increasing the levels of iron and hemoglobin in your body.

 

What is iron?

Iron is one of the minerals in the human body. It is one of the components of hemoglobin, the substance in red blood cells that helps blood carry oxygen throughout the body.

If you do not have enough iron, your body cannot make hemoglobin, and you may develop anemia. This is known as iron-deficiency anemia, the most common type of anemia.

Factors that can lower your body’s supply of iron include:

  • Blood loss (caused by ulcers, some cancers, and other conditions; and, in women, during monthly periods)
  • A diet that doesn’t have enough iron in it
  • An increase in the body’s need for iron (for instance, in women during pregnancy)

What are the symptoms of anemia?

There are several symptoms that may occur in all types of anemia. They are:

  • Feeling tired
  • Paleness
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Fast heartbeat
  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Feeling cold (including the sensation that your hands or feet are colder than usual)
  • Infections (caused by problems with the immune system)

Who is most likely to develop iron-deficiency anemia?

Anyone can develop iron-deficiency anemia, although the following groups have a higher risk:

  • Women: Blood loss during monthly periods and childbirth can lead to anemia.
  • People over 65, who are more likely to have iron-poor diets.
  • People who are on blood thinners such as aspirin, Plavix®, Coumadin®, or heparin.
  • People who have kidney failure (especially if they are on dialysis), because they have trouble making red blood cells.
  • People who have trouble absorbing iron.

How is anemia diagnosed?

Your healthcare provider can perform blood tests to tell if you have anemia. The type and number of blood tests will depend on what type of anemia your doctor thinks you might have.

The blood tests will measure your hemoglobin and how much iron is in your body. If these levels are low, the doctor can make a diagnosis of anemia.

How is anemia treated?

Your healthcare provider will decide on the proper treatment, depending on the type of anemia and what is causing it.

Your doctor must first find out if the anemia is being caused by a poor diet or a more serious health problem. You can then be treated for both the anemia and its cause.

Iron-deficiency anemia is treated by eating foods that are high in iron, or with oral (taken by mouth) iron supplements.

What foods are high in iron?

The following foods are good sources of iron:

  • Oysters
  • Kidney beans
  • Beef liver
  • Tofu
  • Beef (chuck roast, lean ground beef)
  • Turkey leg
  • Whole wheat bread
  • Tuna
  • Eggs
  • Shrimp
  • Peanut butter
  • Leg of lamb
  • Brown rice
  • Raisin bran (whole grain-enriched cereals)
  • Blackstrap molasses
  • Lentils
  • Beans
  • Spinach

What is oral iron supplementation?

In addition to eating foods that are rich in iron, you may have to take oral iron supplements. There are many different types of oral iron supplements, including pills, capsules, drops, and extended-release tablets. The purpose of oral iron supplementation is to treat your symptoms by increasing the levels of iron and hemoglobin in your body.

You don’t need a prescription to buy iron supplements. Working with your doctor, you can choose which type is best for you.

The iron in your body is called “elemental iron.” Oral iron supplements contain different amounts of elemental iron. When you choose a supplement, be sure to check the label to see how much elemental iron it contains; a greater amount means that more iron will be absorbed by your body.

What dose of iron is usually prescribed for the treatment of iron deficiency anemia?

Your doctor will tell you how much iron you need to take every day. For the treatment of iron deficiency anemia in adults, 100 to 200 mg of elemental iron per day has been recommended. The best way to take the supplement so that you absorb the greatest amount of iron is to take it in two or more doses during the day. However, extended-release iron products may be taken once a day.

Please note the following:

  • Although the supplements work best on an empty stomach, you may want to take them with food so that they don’t upset your stomach.
  • You shouldn’t take iron supplements with milk, caffeine, antacids, or calcium supplements. These can decrease the amount of iron that is absorbed.
  • Try to take your iron supplement with vitamin C (for example, a glass of orange juice) to increase absorption.

When will I start to feel better?

When you should start to feel better depends on your particular situation. Normally, it may take from a week to a month (after you start your iron supplement) before you start to feel better. Continue to watch your symptoms and take note of side effects that might be caused by the supplements. If you have any questions or concerns, talk to your healthcare provider.

What are the side effects of oral iron supplements?

Oral iron supplements can cause the following side effects:

  • Dark stools
  • Upset stomach
  • Constipation (you may need to take a stool softener)
  • Heartburn

How long will I have to take an oral iron supplement?

Your doctor will let you know how long you will have to take the iron supplement. Usually, after your hemoglobin and iron levels are back to normal, you will continue to take the iron supplement for another six months. Afterward, you will have regular blood tests to measure your iron level.

Best iron supplements

Elm & Rye are just one of the featured brands for the best iron supplement for anemia. Take a look at all of the best iron supplements on the market as we dig further into each brand to help you buy now.

There are many iron supplements available in the market, but not all of them are effective. When you go searching to choose one for yourself, be sure to study its ingredients; otherwise, you will end up with useless stuff.

In this article, we will take a look at some of the best iron supplements available in the market; these are considered highly effective and safe options.

Iron pills can be found in many forms including capsules, tablets, and drink mixes. The other popular form which is gaining momentum these days is liquid iron shots or drops that come with droppers for accurate dosage. Also, some of these can be mixed with water or fruit juice for absorption.

Iron supplements are divided into two categories – elemental iron and total iron content. Elemental Iron refers to the actual weight percentage of the active ingredient in the medicine, while Total Iron Content refers to its weight along with inactive elements like fillers, binders, coatings, flow agents, etc.

Thus, you should opt for those supplements that have high amounts of elemental iron as it is the active form that gets absorbed from your intestine and is used by your body to produce red blood cells.

What Are Iron Supplements?

An iron supplement is a type of dietary supplement that usually comes in the form of capsules or chewable tablets. It contains over 30mg of elemental iron, not including any additional organic ingredients that provide essential vitamins and minerals.

Iron supplements are usually recommended for people who suffer from anemia or who have low levels of red blood cells in their bodies. They’re also used to treat chronic conditions like sickle cell disease and thalassemia which is a type of inherited blood disorder.

How to Choose the Best Iron Supplement for Anemia

The next thing you need to keep in mind is the absorption rate of the supplement. The large intestine absorbs only a certain amount of iron, and anything that is more than this will simply pass out from your body without being absorbed.

Thus, it is important to know about the percentage of elemental iron in the medicine and how much does it absorb in the body.

For instance, some iron supplements contain ferrous sulfate with an absorption rate of 4% while others may have the same amounts of elemental iron but with an absorption rate of 12%.

You need to see if you are getting the most out of your money; another important factor is how much it can treat your particular type of anemia.

There are two types of iron supplements available in the market – Heme, and Non-Heme. Heme iron is derived from animal sources which include red meat, fish, poultry, etc. It is a better option if you have anemia that has been caused due to iron loss from your body on account of menstrual bleeding or a high number of blood transfusions.

Non-Heme iron is derived from plants including dried fruits, beans, etc. This type of iron does not work well with patients suffering from gastrointestinal problems like diarrhea, vomiting, etc. Also, if you have any other diseases that can affect your gut health or suffer from ulcers in the stomach or intestine, this type of supplement is not meant for you.

17 Best Iron Supplements

  1. Elm & Rye
  2. Ritual
  3. Care/of
  4. Persona Iron with Vitamin C
  5. Nature Made Iron
  6. Thorne Iron Bisglycinate
  7. Mason Natural Vitamins Iron Ferrous Gluconate
  8. Zahler Iron Complex
  9. Garden of Life Vitamin Code Raw Iron
  10. NOW Iron
  11. New Chapter Fermented Iron Food Complex
  12. MegaFood Blood Builder
  13. Salus-Haus Floradix Iron + Herbs
  14. Vitamin Friends Adult Vegan Iron Gummies
  15. Pure Encapsulations Iron-C 60 vcaps
  16. Slow Fe Iron Supplement tablets
  17. Mary Ruth’s Liquid Iron

What to Look For in an Iron Supplement

There are many factors that must be kept in mind while choosing the best iron supplement for anemia.

First of all, you need to make sure whether your condition is caused due to lack of intake or lack of absorption. The type of iron supplement you choose depends on this factor.

You also need to weigh the pros and cons of taking an oral or injectable form of iron. For instance, the former is popular among seniors because it has a lower risk of over-dosing and can be easily swallowed in one gulp.

Injectable forms are usually effective when you have lost a lot of blood due to surgery, cuts, or injuries. In such cases, you must opt for those that do not have any additives and can be mixed easily with saline solution.

Injectable iron supplements have a lower risk of side effects as they are taken once in a month or so, but oral forms must be consumed regularly to ensure that blood levels stay high enough. Sometimes, you may need both types to deal with the symptoms of anemia.

Best Iron Pills to Buy Today

Now that we have discussed the types of supplements available in the market and how to choose one based on its ingredients, let’s take a look at some 17 iron supplements that are considered the best options for anemia sufferers; these are considered highly effective and safe options.

The following is an individual review of the 17 best Iron supplements that you can buy right now.

17 best iron supplements

Image courtesy Elm & Rye

Elm & Rye

Elm & Rye Iron Supplement Pills are the best gluten-free iron supplement that you can buy. It is one of the safest options for anemia treatment as it does not contain any added sugar, yeast, wheat, soy, GMO ingredients or harmful preservatives.

It has no artificial flavors or synthetic colors either.

17 best iron supplements

Ritual

Ritual is a food-based iron supplement that comes in the form of tasty chewable tablets. It has been clinically tested to contain 18% elemental iron, and it absorbs well into your body to reduce anemia symptoms.

17 best iron supplements

 

Care/of

Care/of has an effective iron supplement that contains 18% elemental iron which is much more than most of its competitors. It comes in the form of easy-to-swallow capsules which are made up of plant cellulose and do not contain any binders, fillers, or coatings like magnesium stearate.

17 best iron supplements

Image courtesy Persona

Persona Iron with Vitamin C

Persona Iron with Vitamin C is a gluten-free and vegan-friendly iron supplement that comes in the form of small and easy-to-swallow capsules.

It contains 18% elemental iron and does not contain any preservatives, soy, lactose, or yeast. It also has no artificial flavors or colors.

17 best iron supplements

Image courtesy Nature Mad

Nature Made Iron

Nature Made Iron is a decent iron supplement that contains 18% elemental iron. Its capsules are easy to swallow and do not contain any binders, fillers, or coatings like magnesium stearate.

17 best iron supplements

Image courtesy Thorne Iron

Thorne Iron Bisglycinate

Thorne Iron Bisglycinate is a vegan and gluten-free iron supplement that has been tested for quality and purity.

It comes in the form of easy to swallow capsules that contain 18% elemental iron each, with no fillers or coatings like magnesium stearate.

17 best iron supplements

Image courtesy Mason Natural

Mason Natural Vitamins Iron Ferrous Gluconate

Mason Natural Vitamins Iron is a non-GMO and gluten-free iron supplement that comes in the form of delicious cherry flavored chewable tablets.

It contains 18% elemental iron per serving, making it one of the most effective supplements on our list today.

17 best iron supplements

Image courtesy Zahler

Zahler Iron Complex

Zahler Iron Complex is one of the least expensive iron supplements that you can buy right now. It has no GMO ingredients, lactose, gluten, yeast, wheat, soy or any artificial flavors or preservatives.

Each serving of this supplement contains 18% elemental iron with no fillers like magnesium stearate.

17 best iron supplements

Image courtesy Garden of Life

Garden of Life Vitamin Code Raw Iron

Garden of Life Vitamin Code Raw Iron is an iron-rich vegan supplement that comes in the form of easy-to-swallow capsules. It is made up of fermented soy ingredients and does not contain any harmful artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives.

17 best iron supplements

Image courtesy NOW

NOW Iron

NOW Iron is one of the most effective iron supplements on our list today. It has been tested to have an impressive 18% elemental iron which makes it perfect for people suffering from anemia.

17 best iron supplements

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