The four Fs of aiding your gut while taking oral iron supplements
There are several lifestyle changes you can make to support your digestion while taking oral iron supplements.1 Moreover, the Gradumet Technology™ in Ferro-grad C® is designed to help with gastric side effects if your doctor has recommended a therapeutic oral iron supplement.2-4 Read on to find out more.
The four Fs of aiding your gut while replenishing your iron
- Fibre: Eating fibre-rich foods regularly may help keep you regular. High-fibre foods include vegetables, fruit, wholegrain breads and cereals, nuts and seeds.1,5 An added benefit for people concerned about iron deficiency is that several fibre-rich foods are also good sources of iron. These include broccoli, spinach, dried beans and several choices of iron-fortified breakfast cereal.5 Note that it’s usually best to increase your fibre intake slowly as suddenly eating lots of fibre can lead to discomfort in your gut.
- Fluids: If your iron supplement makes you feel constipated, drinking plenty of water every day may help soften your stool and aids its smooth movement through your gut.1
- Fitness: Regular exercise such as a daily walk or run may help keep your gut comfortable.1 Check in with your GP before you start exercising for the first time and remember to start slowly until you have built up your stamina.
- Ferro-grad C®: As the name suggests, Ferro-grad C® has Gradumet Technology™ that modifies the release of your therapeutic dose of iron. This prevents it from being dumped into your stomach all at once and helps reduce gastric side effects.2-4
Taking your iron with food at night may also help relieve or prevent gastrointestinal side-effects related to oral iron supplements.
Your GP or pharmacist can help6
Not everybody gets side effects from oral iron supplements6. However, if you do, they often improve over time6. Speak to your GP or pharmacist if you are if you are concerned about any side effects including stomach pain, constipation, discomfort, nausea or the appearance of your stool. They will investigate the cause, advise you on any questions you may have regarding medical conditions, and provide you with a treatment plan to help relieve the symptoms. However, some people are not able to tolerate iron tablets, in which case your GP may suggest another form of iron replenishment.
This article is for educational purposes and not intended to offer personal medical advice. Seek the advice of your healthcare professional with any questions you may have regarding adverse events or medical conditions
- NHS Ferrous sulfate medicine for treating iron deficiency anaemia Nov 2019.
- Webster JJ Current Therapeutic Research 4(4) Apr 1962 130-134 (funded).
- Blair H & Blair C J Coll Gen Pract 1967 Jan; 13(1): 117-121.
- Morrison J et al Med J Aust 1977 1: 482-484.
- GESA Iron Deficiency Clinical Update (updated October 2015).
- Government of South Australia. BloodSafe, 2017