As they supply your body with the necessary nutrients and vitamins that your meals cannot fully provide everyday, multivitamins are efficient supplements that allow you to maintain a healthy lifestyle. A multivitamin with iron is one of the most common supplement highly recommended for adults nowadays.
The Importance of Iron
Iron is commonly present in beans, dried fruits, fish, fortified bread and cereals, green and leafy vegetables, nuts, peas, poultry, red meat, seafood, whole grains, among others. It helps counter deficiencies in iron and other vitamins, which are commonly caused by unhealthy diet, pregnancy, and some disorders and conditions. It is important for you to consume iron regularly because it naturally becomes an integral part of your hemoglobin, which is responsible for carrying oxygen to your organs through your blood, and myoglobin, which is responsible for storing oxygen in your muscle cells. About 67% of your body’s iron is found in your hemoglobin while a few of it is found in your myoglobin. In short, iron plays an important role for your circulatory system to function accordingly.
Roughly 15% of your body’s iron is put in storage to meet the future needs of your body (i.e. when your diet cannot provide enough iron).
For men, the recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for iron is 8 mg per day. For women aged 50 years old and below, the RDA for iron is 18 mg per day while for those aged above 50 years old, the RDA for iron is 8 mg per day. For those who are pregnant, the daily RDA for iron is 27 mg.
Iron Deficiency Anemia
Iron deficiency anemia is the most common result of inadequate levels of iron in the body. Without enough iron in your system, your organs and tissues will not have the right amount of oxygen required for them to function properly.
Those who are commonly at greater risk for iron deficiency anemia include children— most especially those who had been born prematurely, individuals who frequently donate blood, pregnant women, vegetarians, and women of childbearing age.
You may suffer from iron deficiency anemia for so long without even knowing it since the symptoms can be extremely mild. These symptoms include brittle nails, cold hands and feet, dizziness, fatigue, irregular heartbeat, pale skin, strange cravings for inedible items, and swollen tongue. As a result, individuals only find out that they have iron deficiency anemia when they undergo regular blood testing procedures.
Typically, a complete blood cell (CBC) test is the best way to diagnose iron deficiency anemia. It is part of a regular physical examination, which determines your general well-being. CBC measures the five essential blood elements: hematocrit, hemoglobin, platelets, red blood cells (RBCs), and white blood cells (WBCs).
While CBC confirms iron deficiency anemia, further blood tests, on the other hand, determine its severity. These additional blood tests let your physician know your blood’s iron levels, the color and size of your RBCs, ferritin levels, and total iron-binding capacity (TIBC).
To prevent suffering from this moderate-to-severe condition, you must always include in your diet meals that are rich in iron. This is probably the best way you can counter iron deficiency anemia— to optimize your iron intake.
Multivitamins with Iron Intake
Take multivitamins with iron orally with one glass of water. For this supplement to fully work its magic, of course, you need to take it regularly. It seems easy. However, like with any other medication or supplement, you need to be cautious about your intake of multivitamins with iron. You must strictly observe the prescribed dosage in order to prevent adverse reactions and side effects. Some of these can seriously be life-threatening.
As per usual, to avoid making things worse for you, always consult with your physician whether it is safe for you to take multivitamins with iron— or any multivitamins for that matter, especially if you have a history of allergic reactions to certain medications and ingredients. Make sure that you consult a physician who is highly familiar with your entire medical history. Do not take multivitamins on your accord. This is most especially true if you are pregnant since multivitamins can post harm to fetuses. Because multivitamins with iron can pass through breast milk, you also need to consult your physician before you proceed with breastfeeding.
It is also important to note that you must not take other multivitamins at least two hours before and after taking a particular multivitamin. The same holds true for other medications, especially antibiotics. The interaction of drugs can lead you to overdose or suffer from serious side effects.
Moreover, in order to ensure the best vitamin and iron absorption by your body, you must be mindful not to take multivitamins with iron at least an hour before and at least two hours after consuming fish, liver, meat, and whole grains— food items that are rich in iron. It is also prohibited to take multivitamins with iron along with antacids with calcium, calcium supplements, and dairy products. Calcium can post a bad effect on your body’s absorption of vitamins and iron.
If you have missed a scheduled dose of multivitamins with iron, take it as soon as you possibly can. However, if you only remember to do so when the time for the next dose is near, it is better that you skip it instead of doubling your dose. Make sure that you avoid missing your scheduled doses to prevent the occurrence of adverse reactions and side effects. Doing so will most importantly allow you to get the most out of your multivitamins with iron intake.
Risks and Side Effects
All drugs come with certain side effects. For multivitamins with iron, the most common and the most experienced side effects include constipation, dark-colored stool nor urine, diarrhea, headache, heartburn, nausea, stained teeth, unusual taste in the mouth, and upset stomach.
On the other hand, serious side effects include blood in stool, and chest or throat pain when taking a tablet.
There can also be some serious allergic reactions associated with taking multivitamins with iron. Signs of these include breathing difficulties, hives, and swelling of the face, lips, throat, and tongue. Should you observe any of these signs, you must seek immediate medical attention for these can be fatal.
There is nearly no need to worry about these risks and side effects if you take your multivitamins according to prescription and the recommendation of your physician. To make sure that you are really getting better and healthier with multivitamins with iron and not getting worse, always check with your physician regularly as well.