The Side Effect of Iron Supplements
Iron is essential in maintaining healthy body systems since iron is important in the ability of the red blood cells to transport oxygen. Without adequate iron in the body, a person is lethargic, sickly and has decreased energy to do any activity. Taking iron supplements is the most common treatment for individuals with this condition however too much iron can also cause severe adverse effects.
One of the most common side effects of taking iron supplements is having gastrointestinal conditions like diarrhea, stomach upset, nausea, vomiting and heartburn. Taking iron supplements also make your stools abnormally black in color. Other than these side effects there are serious medical conditions that may result to an increase in elemental iron in the blood. Serious side effects like high fever and chills, difficulty in breathing, fainting, dizziness, headaches, increased cardiac rate, flushing or redness, numbness of the extremities and unusual pain located at the back, at the groin and also in the deep muscles.
An iron overdose is also possible and this happens when you take in massive amounts of iron supplements. Detecting early symptoms can save the life of an individual. Symptoms such as high fever, vomiting, diarrhea and stomach cramps are initial signs of iron overdose. Late symptoms would be bluish discoloration of the lips and nails, pale colored skin, rapid and shallow breathing, feeling of tiredness and seizures. Medical intervention is needed right away at the first sign of iron overdose.
It is thus important to consult a doctor regarding taking any type of supplements as well as iron supplements. Although iron is needed by the body for optimum development, too much can also cause life threatening side effects. It is a must to never misuse any supplements and to stick to the prescription given for you.
For women, there is a significant loss of iron during menstruation and it is common to have anemia because of this condition. It is still important to seek the advice of a medical professional on the appropriate dosage of iron supplements to take. It is also important to consider eating food rich in iron like red meat, liver, sea food, dark leafy vegetables, egg yolks, beans, lentils, iron-enriched milk, iron-fortified breakfast cereals and grains, dried fruit and artichokes. These will significantly add iron in your diet as well as vitamins and minerals that you may need every day.