A safe dose of iron supplements increases the effectiveness of the treatment for anemia. Many times, high dose of iron results in iron poisoning. Find out in the upcoming HealthHearty article, the recommended dosage of iron supplement for men, women, and children.
Iron is an important component of red blood cells. Iron deficiency can lead to anemia and present symptoms, like, excessive tiredness, breathing difficulty, learning difficulties (in children), frequent infections, and affected physical performance can be noticed. Increase in iron intake is necessary to recover from iron deficiency anemia. Doctors might recommend iron tablets to raise iron levels. Instructions regarding the dosage of these supplements should be strictly followed.
Types of Supplements
Several types of iron supplements are available in the market. They come in various forms, such as regular tablets and capsules, liquid and drops (used mostly for children), and coated or extended release tablets and capsules that exhibit fewer side effects, but are not well absorbed. You need to decide which supplement would be best for you. Those who have difficulty in swallowing may opt for liquid supplements, however, liquid supplements may stain your teeth. Also, it is essential to find out the exact reason behind anemia. Malabsorption of iron can also result in iron deficiency. If there is a problem in intestinal iron absorption, then that has to be treated properly. High iron foods should be included in the diet to prevent iron deficiency anemia.
Various brands produce iron supplements. You should read the labels carefully, and opt for a reliable brand. Different types of iron are provided through the supplements. You should consult your doctor before selecting any supplement, and stick to the instructions, because high iron levels in blood can prove harmful or even poisonous. Intake of ferrous sulfate is mostly recommended, but various other types of iron, such as ferrous fumarate, ferrous gluconate are also available in the form of tablets.
Infants or children under 18 should be given these supplements only under the guidance of a doctor. Women are advised to breast feed their babies at least for six months. This helps prevent iron deficiency in infants. Infants are able to absorb iron from the breast milk easily. If you are not breast feeding your baby, then you should consult your doctor and select an iron fortified formula for your baby. Infant formulas which provide 4 -12 mg of iron per liter are referred to as iron-fortified formulas. Once the baby becomes 7-8 months old, you may introduce iron-rich solid foods gradually, and may continue breastfeeding simultaneously.
|Infants 7 – 12 months||11 mg|
|Children 1 – 3 years||7 mg|
|Children 4 – 8 years||10 mg|
|Children 9 – 13 years||8 mg|
|Male Children 14 – 18 years||11 mg|
|Female Children 14 – 18 years||15 mg|
|Female adults 19 – 50 years||10-18 mg|
|Female Adults 51 years and older||10-15 mg|
|Pregnant females aged 14 – 50 years||25-30 mg|
|Nursing females aged 14 – 18 years||10-15 mg|
|Nursing females aged 19 – 50 years||10-15 mg|
|Female Children 14 – 18 years||15 mg|
|Male Adults 19 – 50 years||8-10 mg|
|Male Adults 51 years and older||8 mg|
Taking supplements regularly is not enough to raise your iron levels. Doctors may recommend higher iron dosage for anemia, depending upon the severity of the condition. However, if the iron taken is not absorbed by your intestines, then the treatment will be ineffective. Certain foods or medicines, like, antacids, alcohol or drug abuse, excessive smoking can affect absorption of iron by intestines. You need to inform your doctor about your routine medications. Caffeine-rich beverages like tea can affect iron absorption. Similarly, calcium-rich foods or beverages, and intake of calcium supplements can disrupt the process of iron absorption. If the supplements are taken with food, they are not properly absorbed. However, when taken with food, no gastrointestinal problems are experienced by the person. Another important fact is that, larger the dose of iron, smaller is the amount of iron absorbed. Therefore, you should divide the recommended daily dose in two or three equal parts, and should take it at equal intervals. To avoid any side effects, you may start with half the recommended dose, and may gradually increase it to the required quantity.
Contact your health care provider immediately, if you experience any severe gastrointestinal distress or constipation. You may try another brand or may use a mild stool softener. Intake of ascorbic acid or vitamin c promotes iron absorption. Enteric-coated iron tablets do not dissolve in the stomach, and hence, are not so effective as regular iron pills.