Tips for taking Iron
- Iron is best absorbed on an empty stomach. Yet, iron supplements can cause stomach cramps, nausea, and diarrhea in some people. You may need to take iron with a small amount of food to avoid this problem.|
- Milk, calcium and antacids should NOT be taken at the same time as iron supplements. You should wait at least 2 hours after having these foods before taking your iron supplements.
- Foods that you should NOT eat at the same time as you take your iron include: High fiber foods, such as whole grains, raw vegetables, and bran Foods or drinks with caffeine
- Some doctors suggest taking a vitamin C supplement or drinking orange juice with your iron pill. This can help the iron absorb into your body. Drinking 8 ounces (240 milliliters) of fluid with an iron pill is also OK.
- Iron tablets may cause other drugs you are taking to not work as well. Some of these include tetracycline, penicillin, and ciprofloxacin and drugs used for hypothyroidism, Parkinson disease, and seizures.
- Medicines that reduce stomach acid will impair iron absorption. Your provider may suggest changing these.
- Wait at least 2 hours between doses of these drugs and iron supplements.
- Constipation and diarrhea are very common. If constipation becomes a problem, take a stool softener such as docusate sodium (Colace).
- Nausea and vomiting may occur with higher doses, but they can be controlled by taking the iron in smaller amounts. Ask your provider about switching to another form of iron rather than just stopping.
- Black stools are normal when taking iron tablets. In fact, this is felt to be a sign that the tablets are working correctly.
Talk to your provider right away if:
- The stools are tarry-looking as well as black
- If they have red streaks
- Cramps, sharp pains, or soreness in the stomach occur
- Liquid forms of iron may stain your teeth.
- Try mixing the iron with water or other liquids (such as fruit juice or tomato juice) and drinking the medicine with a straw.
- Iron stains can be removed by brushing your teeth with baking soda or peroxide.
- Keep tablets in a cool place. (Bathroom medicine cabinets may be too warm and humid, which may cause the pills to fall apart.)
- Keep iron supplements out of the reach of children. If your child swallows an iron pill, contact a poison control center right away.
Tips for taking Calcium
- Calcium dissolves in the stomach and is absorbed through the lining of the small intestine into the bloodstream. Once in the bloodstream, calcium builds bone, regulates the expansion and contraction of the blood vessels, and performs other important functions.
- If you take calcium supplements, be sure to follow these rules: avoid taking more than 500 milligrams at once. Take supplements with food for best absorption. Do not take supplements with high-fat or high-fiber foods, as these foods interfere with the absorption of calcium.
The best sources of iron in the diet.
- Fortified breakfast cereals.
- Cooked oysters. ...
- White beans. ...
- Dark chocolate. ...
- Organ meats. ...
- Soybeans. ...
- Lentils. ...
- Ride fruits, such as prunes, figs, and apricots.
Sources of calcium include:
- Milk, cheese and other dairy foods.
- Green leafy vegetables – such as broccoli, cabbage and okra, but not spinach.
- Soya beans.
- Soya drinks with added calcium.
- Bread and anything made with fortified flour.
- Fish where you eat the bones – such as sardines and pilchards
- Apricots. Out of the many calcium-rich fruits, apricots top the list.
Sources of Protine Include:
- Lean meat, poultry and fish.
- Dairy products like milk, yoghurt and cheese.
- Seeds and nuts.
- beans and legumes (such as lentils and chickpeas)
- Soy products like tofu