Iron is a mineral that is necessary for life. It plays a key role in the making of red blood cells, which are vital for carrying oxygen through the body. Iron is most commonly used as a supplement. Iron supplements are most often used for certain types of anemia. Anemia is better known as a low level of red blood cells that can cause fatigue. There is very good evidence that iron supplements can treat anemia in patients caused by the following:
· Pregnancy, heavy menstrual periods, kidney disease and chemotherapy to name a few.
Iron is most commonly recommended for infants, toddlers, teenage girls, women of childbearing age, and women who are pregnant or might become pregnant. Iron supplements are also used for other types of anemia and have been used to treat ADHD.
For most people, a healthy, rich diet provides a sufficient amount of iron. Natural food sources rich with iron inclue:
· Meat, fish and poultry
· Veggies such as spinach, kale and broccoli
· Dried fruits and nuts
· Beans, lentils and peas
· Iron is also added to many fortified foods, such as cereals and enriched breads.
Iron supplements often come in basic tablets, pills or capsules. Iron is also a standard ingredient in multivitamins.
Do not start taking iron supplements unless your doctor has told you that you need them. Iron can negatively interact with many different drugs and supplements including antacids, anti-inflammatory painkillers, antibiotics, calcium, and several others. If your doctor recommends that you take an iron supplement let him or her know of any other medication that you are on.