Iron is essential to maintaining the healthy transfer of oxygen through the blood, muscle metabolism, cellular functions, neurological development, and several other functions. While it’s ideal to get your iron from a well-balanced diet, people sometimes need a supplement to get a sufficient amount of iron. Unfortunately, these supplements can have unfortunate side effects or may not work as well as you hope.
Typical Side Effects Of Iron Supplements
Iron supplements usually have a few common side effects, though the severity may vary with the dosage. Here are the ones you should look out for.
Constipation and dark stools – It might take some time for this effect to occur but in time, iron can build up in the digestive system. That explains the darkened and hardened stools. The best way to deal with this is to take stool softeners, keep hydrated, and increase the amount of fiber in your diet.
A persistently upset stomach – The stomach issues can include vomiting, nausea, diarrhea, pain, and bloating. For this one, health experts recommend reducing your dose and never taking the supplement on an empty stomach. Instead, try taking it with meals or even a snack.
Chronic heartburn – This is another side effect that can be avoided if you take the supplement with your meals. Additionally, you shouldn’t take it before going to bed. By doing that, your digestive system won’t be placed under any extra stress and cause heartburn.
A metallic taste in your mouth – Since you’re dealing with iron, the metallic taste may not come as a surprise. However, it’s possible to get rid of this taste by drinking copious amounts of water or chewing water. If it persists, it’s a good idea to talk to your doctor about the options.
Stained teeth – It’s estimated that iron can stain your teeth if there isn’t a buffer between the supplement and the pearly whites. As such, it’s recommended that you combine the supplement with water or juice, then drink the combination through a straw. If the damage has already been done, using a toothpaste with baking soda can help to remove the stains.
Of course, this is not an exhaustive list of possible side effects. If you think the iron supplement is affecting your health,