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 Iron Supplements and its Side Effects

Iron Supplements and its Side Effects

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Why Iron Supplements?

Monday, February 27th, 2017

You will be asked to take iron supplements during your pregnancy. Iron supplements are advised to prevent maternal anaemia. Anaemia can make you feel tired and can also impact the birth-weight of your child. So, it is important that you take your recommended dose of iron supplements without fail.

Iron Supplements and Food Interactions

Avoid taking iron supplements along with milk, tea or coffee as it can hinder iron absorption. Keep at least 2 hours gap between these foods and iron supplements.

Iron supplements are absorbed best if they are taken on an empty stomach. Certain foods such as milk, high fibre foods, calcium supplements and caffeine can hinder iron absorption and therefore, you should avoid taking these foods along with your iron pills. It is advisable that you keep 2 hours gap between intake of these foods and the iron supplement.

Side Effects

However, iron supplements may cause side-effects such as abdominal cramps, nausea, constipation, diarrhoea and heartburn.

How to Deal with Side Effects of Iron Supplements?

You can reduce or manage the side-effects of iron supplement by:

  • Asking your doctor whether you could introduce iron supplements in small doses (one pill initially) and gradually increasing the same
  • Taking iron supplement with small quantity of food
  • Trying a different brand of iron supplement in consultation with your doctor
  • Avoiding iron supplements at bedtime

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