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Iron Supplement Review - Benefits Of Iron Supplements

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Iron supplements are usually considered as prescription drugs, and administered to avoid the deficiency of iron in the body.  Today you might come across several iron supplements in the market, which claim to offer multitude of health benefits, but it remains to be seen how effectively they serve you. This iron supplements review gives you a general idea about product. 


 


Overview

An iron supplement is mostly used to treat anemia. The anemia is normally caused by iron deficiency.  In humans iron is of great importance. It helps to transport oxygen and is considered as essential for the cell differentiation and cell growth. An iron deficiency leads to poor work performance, increased fatigue, and decreased immunity. On the other hand over dosage of iron may lead to death.


 



Iron absorption is the term used to depict the amount of iron absorbed (by the body) from dietary supplements or iron supplements.  Any healthy individual can absorb about 10-15% of iron, but the absorption is affected by several factors. One of the prime factors is iron storage levels of the body. If the iron stores in the body are low then iron absorption is always high, and if the iron stores in body are high then iron absorption is always low to strike out the possibility of toxicity caused due to overload of iron.


 


Iron supplements are administered to pregnant women in the second and third trimester of pregnancy period, normally in conjunction with folic acid.  In some specific health conditions like pregnancy, menstruation, and growth, the bodily requirement for iron increases.


 


Method of Administration


  • Oral: Mostly iron sulfate is served as a oral supplement because it is cheaper and most commonly available form of iron supplement. Other than that sometimes complex iron supplements like dextran, gluconate, and carbonyl iron are also administered. Some of these supplements are combined with ascorbic acid for improving the rate of absorption by body.


    Iron supplements like heme iron polypeptide are administered to patients who have problems in absorbing regular iron supplements like ferrous fumarate and ferrous sulphate. Some of the other alternatives are ferroglycine sulfate and ferrous glycine sulfate. But both these forms are expensive and administered only in case of emergency of medications for serious variants of gastritis.


 


  • Parenteral: This form of iron supplementation is only administered if a person fails to react to the oral iron supplementation. This form of iron supplementation is expensive than the regular oral supplements. Parenteral form of iron supplementation is associated with morbidity, hence it is not recommended to pregnant women. However,  it is highly preferable in cases of iron deficiency caused due to inflammatory bowel disease, or  iron deficiency induced by renal replacement therapy. The side effects are rarely reported but at times it may give out severe side effects such as collapse, loss of consciousness, swelling, hives, convulsions and hypotension.


 


Side Effects
Abdominal discomfort and allergic reactions are the most reported side effects in some of the iron supplements. The instances of side effects can be curbed if the supplement is taken after a meal. The side effects are normally related to dosage and it can be adjusted by making necessary changes in dosage. Black stools are one of the noticeable side effects of having irons, but that is absolutely perfect. If administered in liquid form, the side effect may be in form of teeth discoloration. Intramuscular injection can cause swelling in muscles.


 


Conclusion
Iron supplements may give some undesirable side effects when they combine with certain drugs, so it is advisable to seek the expert’s intervention before you start iron supplementation externally. Also, remember to use it judiciously. 


 


Image Courtesy: ifood.tv 

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