Eating iron-rich foods is an essential part of treating anemia. You may also need to take iron pills to rebuild your body’s iron stores. Iron is an important element for the body, and it is necessary to maintain a diet that contains good proportions of iron because it has many benefits, such as converting nutrients into energy and maintaining healthy neuromuscular coordination and the health of neurotransmitters in the body.
To avoid anemia problems, iron pills or iron supplements are used to compensate for or prevent iron deficiency that results in severe anemia. In this article, we will talk more about the importance of iron pills, their benefits, side effects, and when they should be taken.
What are iron pills?
Iron pills, which are known as iron supplements or iron salts, are a group of iron compounds that are used to prevent or compensate for iron deficiency in the blood that results in severe anemia. It is recommended to use them for those who suffer from poor absorption of iron, or during pregnancy, or for those who follow a diet. Low iron diet.
The doctor is considered the person responsible for dispensing these pills according to the person’s condition and age group as well. Iron pills contain many benefits that we will learn about in the following lines.
Benefits of iron pills
Iron pills have many benefits for the body, including:
- Helps transport oxygen to cells.
- Improve muscle functions.
- Preventing Alzheimer’s and dementia, because it enhances brain functions.
- Treating the problem of leg numbness and muscle spasms.
- Regulating temperature in the body.
- Treatment of anemia and anemia.
- Helping treat anemia in women during menstruation and pregnancy.
- Eliminate the feeling of fatigue and chronic stress.
- Enhancing metabolism and energy production in the body.
- Regulating sleep and treating insomnia.
- Symptoms of iron deficiency in the body
There are a group of symptoms that will appear if you have an iron deficiency, such as:
- Feeling dizzy.
- General weakness and feeling of fatigue.
- Shortness of breath accompanied by rapid heartbeat.
- Pale skin.
- Poor appetite.
- Chest area pain.
- Desire to eat ice, starch, and dirt.
- Feeling cold in the feet and hands.
Side effects of iron pills
1- Harmful effects of iron pills for adults
Despite the many benefits of iron pills, the most important of which is treating anemia, they have their side effects, especially when taken without consulting a doctor or causing some side effects. These damages and side effects are:
- Stomach pain: Some people believe that iron pills increase weight, but the reality is that some of the side effects of these pills may lead to constipation and stomach pain, so fiber must be added to the diet to avoid these problems.
- Vomiting and nausea: Side effects also include a feeling of nausea and vomiting. To avoid this condition, it is preferable to take iron pills with food and drink water in portions to reduce this annoying feeling for some.
- Diarrhea: There are some types of iron pills that cause diarrhea.
- Headache: A side effect of these pills is also causing headaches for some people.
- Heartburn: To avoid this side effect, you should not exceed the prescribed dose of iron.
- Loss of appetite: Due to stomach disorders and pain, such as constipation, diarrhea, and vomiting, loss of appetite is possible.
2- Harmful effects of iron pills for children
As for the side effects and harm resulting from iron pills that may appear on children, failure to adhere to the doses prescribed for children or giving them high doses of iron pills may pose a danger to them, and lead to poisoning and death in some cases, so the doses prescribed by them must be adhered to the doctor.
Cases in which taking iron pills is prohibited
Some types of diseases interfere with iron pills or cause complications, such as:
- Hemoglobin diseases
- Hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia
- Inflammatory bowel
- Premature babies
- Stomach ulcer disease
- Sources of iron from food
You can get iron naturally instead of taking iron pills. There are a group of foods rich in iron, such as:
- Red meat
When should you take iron supplements?
Usually, the doctor recommends iron supplements after conducting several tests by taking a blood sample. Cases in which one must take iron pills include:
Iron deficiency anemia: When the percentage of iron in the body decreases, this means that the amount of oxygen reaching the cells decreases, due to a lack of red blood cells or what is called anemia resulting from iron deficiency, which is called anemia. The most important symptoms of anemia are: feeling tired, exhausted, general weakness, dizziness, difficulty concentrating, hair loss, and pale skin.
Females at menstrual age: The menstrual cycle causes iron deficiency, especially in women who suffer from heavy and severe menstruation.
During pregnancy: Taking iron pills for a pregnant woman is essential because she needs to take many important nutrients during pregnancy.
Children: A breastfed infant after the age of 4 months needs iron supplements, but a formula-fed infant will not need iron because formula milk is fortified with iron. Before giving the child any fortified or iron supplement, it is necessary to consult a doctor first.
Other cases require taking iron pills after consulting a specialist doctor, such as:
- Athletes who exercise regularly
- Kidney failure patients who undergo regular dialysis
- People with hyperactivity
- People who take certain medications that cause an imbalance in iron absorption
Some tips when taking iron pills or iron supplements
- Iron tablets are not taken on an empty stomach to obtain better absorption results
- If iron pills cause digestive or stomach disorders, then they can be taken with food or replaced with iron syrup
- Avoid eating any dairy products, tea, and coffee with iron pills. It is preferable to eat these foods two hours before or after taking these pills because they reduce iron absorption.
- When taking iron tablets, doctors recommend drinking juice rich in vitamin C, such as orange or lemon juice or vitamin C supplements
- It is very important to remember that iron pills can only be taken with the advice of a doctor because he is the only person who can determine and diagnose your health condition.