How To Take Iron Supplements Safely

iron pillsSome health conditions, such as anemia, can spur a doctor’s prescription for iron supplements. These capsules, tablets or liquids work to combat the low iron levels in the body that may be causing a variety of symptoms related to iron-deficiency diseases, including extreme fatigue.

But, as with anything, there are good and bad ways to take iron supplements. The way you consume iron can make for a good day without complications or a terrible day with side effects. Also, you want to avoid getting too much iron, which could result in iron overload.

Here are some tips on how to take iron supplements safely, preventing those painful side effects:

Eat something first.

Most medications require consumption on an empty stomach. Don’t make this mistake with iron. Though iron is absorbed into the body best on an empty stomach, taking the supplement without eating first can bring on some nasty side effects – stomach cramps, nausea and diarrhea. Avoid the trouble by eating a snack or something small before taking an iron supplement.

Watch what you eat, though.

Yes, you should eat a little something before you take an iron supplement. BUT, be careful what you choose to eat. Milk, calcium and antacids don’t sit well with iron. Also, watch out for caffeinated foods and high fiber foods such as raw vegetables, bran and whole grains. It’s best to wait two hours after eating or drinking the aforementioned treats before taking iron supplements.