Side Effects of Iron Supplements

Side Effects of Iron Supplements

Iron supplements

Have you ever thought of taking iron supplements? Then you should try and find out more about the side effects of iron supplements before you start taking them.

Iron is one of the most important minerals in the body. Iron is needed for a large variety of bodily tasks, and can promote health among people, as well. A lot of people have low levels of iron in their body, so they have to rely on iron supplements to get the strength they need. However, before people start taking iron supplements, they need to know more about iron supplements and all they have to do to get them ready.

How Can Iron Help?

1. Iron and Blood: Iron is an incredibly important part of the body. Iron is found in haemoglobin, which is a component of red blood cells in the blood. It’s also found in myoglobin found in muscles. Iron is the nutrient that helps blood transport oxygen to the other parts of the body.

2. Iron and Health: Iron can actually promote athletic performance and improve health conditions. Iron can also help people who are depressed, and those who find themselves incapable of getting pregnant. Iron supplements are usually taken by women who want to heal problems relating to delayed menstrual periods, too.

What Can Iron Supplements Be Used For?

Iron supplements can be used to cure anaemia- both general and when caused by chronic diseases. Iron supplements help rebuild red blood cells in the body, causing the blood to become healthier. Iron supplements are the best way to combat problems relating to iron deficiency. People can get the iron they need from iron-rich foods, but the supplements are a bigger bet.

These supplements are known to make a difference in children and adults with learning and memory problems. It can possibly help people with heart problems, as well. After all, about 20% of people who suffered heart failure were found to have iron deficiency. Iron supplements may be able to help prevent heart failure.

There’s insufficient evidence regarding the effect iron supplements have on the following diseases, but preliminary studies show that it can help- ADHD, female infertility, fatigue, canker sores, Crohn’s disease, heavy menstrual bleeding, etc.

Side Effects of Iron Supplements

Iron supplements always need to be consumed with the right prescription from a doctor. Too much iron can cause a number of side effects. Some of the side effects include:

  • Diarrhoea
  • Constipation
  • Stomach pain
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting

Iron Supplements and Kids:

Iron supplements can be harmful for children, as well. Consuming even 60mg/kg of iron supplement can turn out to be fatal, for children. Consuming high amounts of iron supplement can cause poisoning, as well. This may further lead to stomach distress, intestinal problem, liver failure, or even death.

Iron Supplements and Cardiovascular Health:

Some doctors are still concerned about the relationship between iron supplements and heart condition. Some of them are of the opinion that consuming iron might increase the chances of heart disease, especially if the person in question has type 2 diabetes. This claim, however, is rather controversial.

Iron may also cause irritation and ulcers in the stomach, and also result in haemoglobin-related diseases, if the amount of iron taken is not kept strictly under control.

Warnings and Precautions For Those Consuming Iron

Pregnant women: Iron supplements are not good for women who are pregnant, or are breast-feeding. Iron taken by mouth, or large iron intake through food, can be harmful for pregnant women. It can cause bad outcomes, as far as the pregnancy is concerned.

Infants: Some infants do suffer from iron levels in their blood. If the infant also suffers from a vitamin E deficiency, the vitamin E deficiency should be treated first, or the iron supplements may prove fatal.

Children: Children should have a strictly limited amount of iron. It’s best for people to go to the doctor and find out exactly what type of iron supplement they should take, and how much they can consume. These instructions should be followed, strictly, as well.

Reviewed By:

Dr. Kaushal M. Bhavsar (MBBS, MD)

Assistant Professor in Pulmonary Medicine, GMERS Medical College, Ahmedabad