With IBD iron can be poorly absorbed, especially when the small bowel is affected which is where iron is absorbed.
If you are wanting to try dietary sources it is important to know that even for people without IBD iron is poorly absorbed, although absorption increases with need. Certainly haem iron which is the iron found in animal foods (fish, chicken, not just meat) is much better absorbed than the iron in our plant and cereal foods. Haem iron can also help the absorption of the iron in plant foods and also that in the iron supplement. You can use supplementary drinks, iron fortified foods like some breads and cereals to complement the iron from haem food sources and your supplement. If using a liquid iron supplement be sure to use a straw to prevent teeth discoloration.
If you have problems with constipation using foods with soluble fibre can be effective in having a stool that is soft and easy to pass. Starting with a smaller dose then increasing can be helpful, or take the supplement every second day rather than stopping completely. Also remembering taking an iron supplement during the acute phase is not wise as this may irritate the inflammatory areas so best avoided as Prof Day as said.
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