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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    Will taking a higher dose of iron pills bring my iron level up faster?

    Related Topic
    I have been eating a particularly poor diet lately due to emotional stress & have been extremely tired and fatigued, to the point where I can only stay awake about 7 hrs a day.

    I found out my iron level is low (although not anaemic). I have started taking iron pills with vitamin c, one pill once a day. I have also started eating lots of steak and eggs.

    Does anyone know how long it will take to feel a bit better? Or if taking double the dose of iron will speed up the process?
    Also, are there any foods which might hamper the iron absorption, such as calcium or caffeine?
  • Find a professional to answer your question

  • 1

    Thanks

    Lyn Christian

    Nutritionist

    As a Naturopath and Nutritionist I am passionate about the promotion of health using functional foods to correct nutrient imbalances.All health conditions need to be … View Profile

    When we are iron deficient, our red blood cells and muscles are not receiving enough oxygen. This causes the fatigue you are experiencing. Adequate iron levels are also required for optimal immune system function. As you say, your diet has been less than optimal, but other factors may be at play with iron deficiency. Poor digestion, prolonged use of antacids, long term illness and a diet high in phosphorus, strenuous exercise are all contributors.
    Taking an iron supplement will improve your iron levels plus you also need to follow an iron-rich diet. It is not advisable to take more than the recommended dose of iron due to the fact that excess is stored and causes the production of free radicals.
    Separate iron supplements and calcium and Vitamin E. That is, don’t eat a high calcium food along with your iron rich food.
    As you are aware, excessive amounts of Coffee, tea, bran and wheat germ inhibit iron absorption.
    Do take the supplement with Vitamin C and choose either ferrous gluconate or ferrous fumarate which are more easily absorbed. Haem iron sources include red meat, poultry, fish, eggs.
    Non haem iron, poorly absorbed , is mostly from plant sources. Green leafy vegetables-broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, whole grains, avocadoes, legumes, pumpkin, Nuts-almonds, cashews, hazelnuts, tofu, miso, dates, peaches, pears. Combining non-haem and haem iron foods will increase absorption.

  • 1

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    Elizabeth Newsham-West is committed to optimising the health and well-being of people across all ages within the Mount Tamborine community.  She works as a domicillary … View Profile

    Increasing your iron can take a long time, 6-9 months, and you just need to wait for this. You often feel better before your iron values increase. Take your supplement with the meal that contains meat ( haem iron this will help the absorption as Lyn said) . Don't take a dose higher than your GP recommends as this can cause constipation and can be dangerous if you take too much. If you are low you body will absorb more. It is important to keep checking your levels with your GP ,they will advise you.

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