How soon after taking iron supplements, will I feel better?

I took iron supplements when I was pregnant and need to continue doing so until now, after giving birth. Taking care of the newborn means sleepless nights, fatigue, and less appetite. All I ever want is to rest and get some “me” time and sleep.

Hence, it is inevitable to take iron supplements. How soon after taking iron supplements, will I feel better? I know you can relate since that is the usual question once one starts to swallow a pill, tablet, or liquid of iron. Do you know when it starts kicking in?

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Why do you need iron supplements?

Iron is one of the many minerals that are essential for our health. It helps our body to produce hemoglobin. A substance in the red blood cells aids the blood in carrying oxygen in our whole system. The best supplement to fight anemia (iron-deficiency) is iron. When eating a diet rich in iron does not suffice your body’s need for iron, blood loss, or when you are pregnant, then the doctor will recommend an iron supplement for you. 

This may come in the form of a capsule, tablet, or liquid, but all the same, the purpose of which is to make up for your need that in merely eating your food cannot completely fill. Your doctor will give you specific instructions on when and how many you should take in a day. I want you to take this seriously since an overdose of iron can cause severe medical problems.

How soon after taking iron supplements, will I feel better?

When you are in iron therapy, expect to feel better two months after the first day you took the supplement. By then, your blood count returns back to the normal level. Usually, your doctor will advise you to continue the therapy for the next six months to a year to give time for your body to build up iron stores in your bone marrow.

What is there to expect?

  • Taking iron supplements also have side effects. The most common complaint of people undergoing the therapy is diarrhea and constipation. Taking a stool softener may not be an issue, and it can help you with constipation.
  • Nausea and vomiting may also occur especially with high dosage. Taking it in small doses within the day or changing to another form of iron may be a big help for relief.
  • Do not worry if your stool turned to black since it is just normal. You must be happy since it is a sign that the supplement is taking its effect. However, if you notice red traces, pains, and cramps in your stomach, seek help from your doctor right away.
  • If you are like me who consider swallowing capsules and tablet as torture, the liquid form of iron could be your only choice to take. However, take note that the liquid form can stain your teeth. To avoid this, I mix the iron with water before I drink.

    This way, the iron is not that concentrated anymore to stain my teeth. I suggest drinking it with orange juice since vitamin C helps absorption of iron faster. Or else, it is easier to use a straw while drinking to keep the liquid from contaminating your teeth. Anyway, if ever it did leave stains, brushing your teeth with baking soda will make it white again.

Important tips on taking an Iron supplement:

  • Take your iron supplement before a meal. Iron is best absorbed when taken in an empty stomach. I know that it may be different for you, but when I had my iron therapy, I suffer from nausea, diarrhea, and stomach cramps. Others also claim that they experience constipation and drowsiness.
  • This is important: Never take iron together with calcium, milk, and antacids because it can block the absorption of iron. Take note that you should wait 2 hours after taking these other supplements before it is time for your iron. It also includes food that is high in fiber like bran, whole grains, and vegetable.
  • Talk to your doctor before starting the iron supplement. It is important that you tell your doctor about all the medications and other supplements that you are currently taking before starting with iron therapy. There are chances of risks of negative reaction with the combination.
  • Keep your tablets in a cool area. A warm or hot place like the medicine cabinet may cause the tablets to break. Lastly, you should keep it in a spot that the children cannot reach. Otherwise, you need to call for medical help if your child accidentally swallows your tablets.

Conclusion

The iron supplement has plenty of advantages to our health. Make sure to take it under a doctor’s supervision and be serious in following the dosage required. The tips I provided for you will serve as a guide while you are on your therapy.

How soon after taking iron supplements, will I feel better? It usually takes two months, but who knows, yours may be sooner or longer. All are different in so many ways. So, are you ready to take your iron supplement now?

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Sarah Palmer
 

Hi! I'm Sarah. My husband and I have a beautiful little girl; plus we’re anxiously awaiting the arrival of Baby #2, so this is a very exciting time for us. Throughout this amazing journey called Parenthood, I’ve learned so much and love sharing my experiences with other parents at SarahsLovelyFamily.com. I'd love to share my discoveries with you too!

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