Question :

Taking iron supplements for Anemia but experiencing severe constipation

Dear Ask The Doctor:
Over the last couple of years, I have been experiencing shortness of breath and heart palpatations. I looked this up on this website and it was answered with what I just told you. It also said that a main cause of these two conditions is anemia. I am anemic, and have taken suplements in the past to help. They do help, the only problem I have when taking the iron suplements is that they cause me become extremely constipated, to the point that I will stop taking them. I am curious if there is something I can take to help, or what you would recommend I do. Thank you


Answer :

Dear Patient: 
Although iron supplements are recommended for correction of anemia, you also need to concentrate on your diet with an increased supplementation of iron rich foods including lots of veggies and fruits, date, fig, spinach, cereals, grains, eggs, milk and meat. By supplementing with diet iron, you may be able to reduce the oral iron supplements, thereby reducing constipation. You may also try slow release forms of iron supplements to deal with the problem. However intake of 6 - 8 glasses of water and high fibre diet along with regular exercise would help reduce constipation.


 


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