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Iron Supplements for Anemia

Jan 17th 2014 at 8:56 PM

Iron Deficiency Anemia

The CDC notes iron deficiency is the most common nutritional deficiency in the United States. According to the Mayo Clinic, when your body lacks sufficient iron, it is unable to produce enough hemoglobin for the red blood cells to carry oxygen throughout the body. The resulting condition, iron deficiency anemia, can lead to fatigue, lethargy, weakness, and a number of other unpleasant symptoms. These symptoms may be mild or quite severe, depending on how depleted your red blood cells are.

Supplementing Iron to Treat Anemia

While your physician will want to understand the cause of your anemia and may order further testing, he or she will also recommend you take iron supplements in order to begin to rebuild your red blood cells.

Recommended Dosage

The National Institutes of Health recommends that adults with iron deficiency take between 50 and 100 mg elemental iron three times per day. Children with iron deficiency should take 4-6 mg per day, divided into three separate doses.

Dosage by Type

Different iron types of supplements contain varying volumes of elemental iron, depending on the type of iron used. Since iron supplements contain different amounts of elemental iron per volume, dosage may vary depending on the type of iron you take.

Read supplement labels to determine the type of iron you are taking and find the correct dosage. While the table below gives general recommendations, it is important to talk to your doctor about the type of iron you are taking in order to supplement appropriately.

Type of Iron% Elemental IronDoseAmount of IronRecommended Dosage AdultsRecommended Dosage Children Ferrous gluconate 12 percent 1 gram 120 mg elemental iron 400 to 800 mg three times per day 32 to 48 milligrams divided over three doses Ferrous sulfate 20 percent 1 gram 200 mg elemental iron 250 to 500 mg three times per day 20 to 30 mg divided over three doses Ferrous fumarate 33 percent 1 gram 330 mg elemental iron 150 to 300 mg three times per day 12 to 18 mg divided over three doses


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