In this Article We learn about When Should You Use Iron Supplements?
WHO estimates that nearly 80 percent of people in the world do not have enough iron in their bodies. Are you worried you don’t have enough iron?
If you need iron, you may want to consider taking iron supplements. There are certain times when your body needs more iron, such as pregnancy. Check out this guide to see if you should take supplements.
What Does Iron Do?
Your body needs iron for development and growth. It uses iron to make protein in red blood cells that carry oxygen to all parts of the body from the lungs. It also makes a protein that gives oxygen to the muscles.
You also need iron to make hormones that regulate your body.
Signs Your Body Needs Iron
It is common to have low levels of iron. However, if you don’t treat it with the proper iron supplement dosage, it can lead to more serious conditions such as iron deficiency anemia.
Symptoms that you may have an iron deficiency include:
- Hair loss
- Lack of energy
- Pale skin
- Hissing or ringing sounds in your head
- Sore tongue
- Shortness of breath
- Feeling cold often
- Difficulty concentrating
- Heart palpitations
- Change in taste
- Open sores in the mouth
- Spoon-shaped nails
If you have any of these symptoms, you should consider seeing your physician and getting your blood tested.
When Do You Need Iron Supplements?
Taking the right iron supplement dose can help reverse your low iron levels. They can also work quicker than changing your diet.
Here are some times when you especially susceptible to low iron and should talk to your doctor about taking supplements. These conditions include:
- Gastric surgery
- Heart failure
- Frequent blood donors
- Heavy periods
- Infants and young children
- Gastrointestinal disorders like Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, or celiac disease
If you are a vegan, vegetarian, or exercise excessively, you may also need iron supplements. Young children and infants may also need to take iron supplements.
However, you shouldn’t take iron supplements if you don’t need them. Having too much iron can cause digestive issues, damage cells, and damage organs.
So, it is always important to discuss the supplements with your doctor and find the right iron supplement dosage.
Choosing an Iron Supplement
There are various types of iron supplements. You can get them in a liquid, tablet, or capsule form. Regardless of your choice, it’s important to remember how much you need.
Women need about 18 mg of iron daily, and men need about 8 mg daily. Your body needs higher levels of iron if you are pregnant or nursing. Check for side effects and ask your doctor for recommendations.
You can also try food supplements, like special dairy products shown here. Other foods high in iron include:
- Red meat
- Pumpkin seeds
- Iron-fortified breakfast cereals
- White beans
You should wait for about three months to have your blood tested again after changing your diet and starting supplements.
Feel Better Today
If you are sluggish and have some of the symptoms above, you should get your iron tested. If you are pregnant, an avid exerciser, or have medical conditions, you may need iron supplements. Talk to your doctor today and have your blood tested to see if you have low iron levels.
Want to find other ways to feel better? Check out our health section for advice about your well-being to help you look and feel your best.