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  #1  
Old 06-03-2003, 05:50 PM
Zsofia Zsofia is offline
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My iron pills make me sick. Remedies?

I've recently been diagnosed with anemia and prescribed iron pills (Hemocyte Plus, specifically.) I was warned to take them with food or they'd upset my stomach, so I do take them with food, but they still make me miserable.

Unfortunately, they also work for all the symptoms I went into the doctor's for in the first place.

So before I call her and ask about alternative medications, I was wondering if anybody had any simpler, easier fix - are there certain foods that work better, is there something I can take for nausea and upset stomach that won't interfere with the iron pills, anything like that. Suggestions?
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  #2  
Old 06-03-2003, 05:55 PM
Q.E.D. Q.E.D. is offline
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Are these the sort of pills you break into halves or even quarters? If so, perhaps you can take a smaller dose more often. For example if you have to take one pill a day, try taking a half a pill twice a day. You'll still get the same daily dose, but spread out so your stomach doesn't get cross about it.
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  #3  
Old 06-03-2003, 05:58 PM
Zsofia Zsofia is offline
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No, I take whole pills, twice a day.
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  #4  
Old 06-03-2003, 06:08 PM
Sionach Sionach is offline
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Hemocyte Plus is a LOT of iron - 324mg Ferrous Fumarate. By contrast, the amount of iron in Twin Labs Iron Caps is 18mg Ferrous Fumarate - 100% of the US RDA for iron. You're currently taking 18x the RDA for iron. I realise you're under a doctor's supervision, but it is possible that you're simply getting too much iron for your body to assimilate.

Nausea, stomach pains, and vomiting are symptoms of iron poisoning; you may be experiencing a low-grade effect of too much iron. I'd suggest you contact your doctor and discuss your symptoms with her, and possibly ask for a lower dose of iron & see how you do with it. Any time you have adverse affects from prescribed medications or vitamins, you need to talk to your doctor about it, even if it seems like it's "nothing."

FWIW, I was diagnosed with serious anemia last year and have been doing just fine with the RDA of 18mg per day (YMMV, of course).
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  #5  
Old 06-03-2003, 06:19 PM
Sionach Sionach is offline
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A quick correction - somehow the fact you're taking two pills per day just sunk in. That means you'd be taking 648mg of Ferrous Fumarate (iron) - 36x the US RDA (not 18x as in my original post). Sorry about that.
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  #6  
Old 06-04-2003, 04:58 AM
Colophon Colophon is offline
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Actually, 324mg of ferrous fumarate only contains 106mg of iron. (Cite).

200mg a day is still a lot of iron, though.
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  #7  
Old 06-04-2003, 08:03 AM
irishgirl irishgirl is offline
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Do you like liver?
Maybe you could up your intake of iron containing foods in the mean time.

I can't even take iron in multivit tablets as it makes me sick, and that's just the RDA.
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  #8  
Old 06-04-2003, 08:05 AM
Grey Grey is online now
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Iron pills tend to make my wife nauseous. She switched to a liquid iron supplement (Floradix brand I believe) and it helped immeasurably. You should check with your doctor/health practitioner to make sure everything is ok though.
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  #9  
Old 06-04-2003, 08:19 AM
Crafter_Man Crafter_Man is offline
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For iron, I drink Guinness. Much more fun than taking a pill.
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  #10  
Old 06-04-2003, 08:23 AM
Colophon Colophon is offline
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More fun maybe, but hardly as efficacious. A pint of the black stuff contains only 0.3mg of iron. Cite.

To get as much Fe as there is in one bowl of Weetabix, you'd have to drink 14 pints. I guarantee the Weetabix will make you feel better.
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  #11  
Old 06-04-2003, 08:48 AM
DeVena DeVena is offline
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When I was anemic, my doctor put me on the 2 pills a day, which made me nauseous. When I called him about it, he switched me to 1 pill a day, taken at bedtime with milk. That way the nausea came while I was asleep. He also put me on the Geritol liquid to help "build me up". It has Iron and B vitamins. It tastes nasty, but didn't make me as nauseous. Just a thought...
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  #12  
Old 06-04-2003, 09:03 AM
Gravity Gravity is offline
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Yeah, I have to take 3 pills a day, 325 mg. of ferrous sulfate. I was miserable for a while, and I was hesitant to take that much, but when I skipped a pill a day, my tests still came back too low.

When I took them on an empty stomach was the worst. My doc told me to take them with meals to help ease the symptoms. That was OK, but I find that it works best when I take them in the middle of the meal. So I eat half, take a pill, then finish eating. Now I don't have any problem at all as long as I keep my fiber intake up. (I just found All Bran - Extra Fiber cereal. Low in carbs, high in fiber. Just the thing for a diabetic anemic like me.)
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  #13  
Old 06-04-2003, 10:45 AM
Lyllyan Lyllyan is offline
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I was told to take the "Slow FE". Regular iron pills were making me nauseous as well, but the "Slow FE" seemed to do the trick. As far as foods, try eating those high in Vitamin C along with your pills, it's helps your body absorb the iron.
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  #14  
Old 06-04-2003, 12:09 PM
Crafter_Man Crafter_Man is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by r_k
More fun maybe, but hardly as efficacious. A pint of the black stuff contains only 0.3mg of iron. Cite.

To get as much Fe as there is in one bowl of Weetabix, you'd have to drink 14 pints. I guarantee the Weetabix will make you feel better.
Oops. Guess I fell for an old myth. Oh well, time to give up Guinness.1

1 Not!
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  #15  
Old 08-18-2011, 08:17 AM
sweetnurse64 sweetnurse64 is offline
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I juzt realized the date of these posts! I came to it through a Google search but if anyone else sees this maybe they can help me. My Dr. said my iron levels came back extremely low and put me on Ferrous Fumarate 100 mg three times a day. The pharmacist said to take it on an empty stomach as the iron would not absorb if you have food or even milk/juice. I started taking them yesterday and by this morning they are making me vomit! Not even just nauseau... I could NOT hold anything in. I hate throwing up! So now I am not sure what to do? If I take it with food then my iron levels won't go up and if I take it on empty stomach makes me sick. I think 900 mg/day is quite a bit though?
Thanks for any help!
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  #16  
Old 08-18-2011, 09:37 AM
Colibri Colibri is offline
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Medical advice is better suited to IMHO than GQ, so I have moved this.

Also, those responding should note this thread dates to 2003.

Colibri
General Questions Moderator
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  #17  
Old 08-18-2011, 10:02 AM
Vihaga Vihaga is offline
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The last time I had a particularly exhausting bout of anemia, I suffered through the pills for a while, taking just plain Feosol until my first retest. I also tried changing birth control to seasonique for fewer periods, but that didn't really work for me, so I gave up on it.

After that, I decided to fix my shit through diet and I haven't had trouble since. I have either frosted shredded wheat (I hate total and it's one of the few that has 100% of your RDA of iron per serving) or Cream of Wheat for breakfast every freaking morning, without fail, I keep dried apricots on hand as snacks, and I make sure I get red meat at least once or twice a week.



I haven't tested low at a physical in a couple of years, and I haven't had any of the crushing fatigue I get when I'm anemic, either.

/edit. Dammit! Are braaains high in iron?

Last edited by Vihaga; 08-18-2011 at 10:02 AM..
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  #18  
Old 08-18-2011, 11:00 AM
Peremensoe Peremensoe is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Colibri View Post
Also, those responding should note this thread dates to 2003.
I trust that Zsofia has worked something out, but others with iron issues may be interested in this list (small PDF) of foods that supply iron.
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  #19  
Old 08-18-2011, 01:14 PM
Zsofia Zsofia is offline
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You know, I just kind of quit taking those damned things. I should probably be on something, though. I do usually test barely high enough to give blood.
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  #20  
Old 08-18-2011, 01:35 PM
Scubaqueen Scubaqueen is offline
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i developed anemia after giving too much blood over too short a period of time. my hematologist suggested five weeks of transfusions, once a week. i responded so well to it he cut it to four weeks and i was back to normal.

ymmv, depending on the type of anemia, but i'd check with your doctor about them.
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  #21  
Old 08-18-2011, 01:37 PM
The Devil's Grandmother The Devil's Grandmother is offline
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Zsofia, if you can find a children's chewable vitiman with iron, you might try those. Adult iron supplements give me nausea, but the kids stuff (if I can remember to take them before bed) have been working for me.
Sweetnurse64, a friend of mine with a really delicate tummy swears by liquid supplements. I don't know what kind she uses, but a google search turned up several.
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  #22  
Old 08-18-2011, 01:44 PM
pbbth pbbth is offline
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You might also try prenatal vitamins. They have a decent amount of iron in them but not so much that they make me ill.
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  #23  
Old 08-18-2011, 05:17 PM
Zsofia Zsofia is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Devil's Grandmother View Post
Zsofia, if you can find a children's chewable vitiman with iron, you might try those. Adult iron supplements give me nausea, but the kids stuff (if I can remember to take them before bed) have been working for me.
Sweetnurse64, a friend of mine with a really delicate tummy swears by liquid supplements. I don't know what kind she uses, but a google search turned up several.
I thought the kids' vitamins didn't have iron in them anymore because the little bastards kept ODing on them?
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  #24  
Old 08-18-2011, 05:23 PM
purplehorseshoe purplehorseshoe is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scubaqueen View Post
i developed anemia after giving too much blood over too short a period of time. my hematologist suggested five weeks of transfusions, once a week. i responded so well to it he cut it to four weeks and i was back to normal.

ymmv, depending on the type of anemia, but i'd check with your doctor about them.
Wait. You got anemia because you donated too much blood, so to fix that you ... accepted some donated blood?

I think I see where you could have skipped a few steps ...
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  #25  
Old 08-18-2011, 06:06 PM
Avarie537 Avarie537 is offline
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Whenever I'm concerned about my iron levels, I eat a big spinach salad with deli roast beef on it and wash it all down with a big glass of OJ. Always works for me.
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  #26  
Old 08-19-2011, 09:58 AM
Infoseeker Infoseeker is offline
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The whole spinach as a great source of iron was a typo, that was corrected a while ago.

You'd have to eat ten kilos of red meat for 300mg of iron. ^-^; Non of the iron-foods are a practical option for you.

You NEED to take the pill.

On another note though, 'how to take a pill and get over the nauseous feeling?"

You can try eating ginger candy like Chime's Ginger chews or Reed's Ginger chews.
Other option is shocking yourself out of the feeling taking a tablespoon full Applecider vinegar directly. Then drinking water after to get its taste out and dilute it in your stomach.

Last edited by Infoseeker; 08-19-2011 at 09:58 AM..
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  #27  
Old 01-23-2016, 12:22 PM
Melanie12 Melanie12 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sweetnurse64 View Post
I juzt realized the date of these posts! I came to it through a Google search but if anyone else sees this maybe they can help me. My Dr. said my iron levels came back extremely low and put me on Ferrous Fumarate 100 mg three times a day. The pharmacist said to take it on an empty stomach as the iron would not absorb if you have food or even milk/juice. I started taking them yesterday and by this morning they are making me vomit! Not even just nauseau... I could NOT hold anything in. I hate throwing up! So now I am not sure what to do? If I take it with food then my iron levels won't go up and if I take it on empty stomach makes me sick. I think 900 mg/day is quite a bit though?
Thanks for any help!
Coming from personal experience I wouldn't think too much into things like nausea. You're more than likely backed up from the amount of iron being brought into your body so it's going to set some things off. As for the food thing, that's bull poop. You can eat. Just stick away from things dairy based and coffees as such. I strongly suggest you try taking some sort of vitamin c tablet or eating foods containing vit c to help absorb the iron and also eating or taking supplements which are high in fibre to help unclog your system. Still best off contacting your doctor (especially due to the frequent vomiting) rather than googling things or even listening to the ladies at the pharmacy. Im sure they mean well but you're better off going by what the dr says.
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  #28  
Old 01-23-2016, 12:41 PM
nearwildheaven nearwildheaven is offline
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Iron should ALWAYS be taken with food, especially foods rich in vitamin C. If solid tablets upset your stomach, you can use liquid (diluted, because it can stain your teeth) or chewable tablets.

Using cast-iron pans also helps with iron levels, because a bit of the iron leaches into the food. This is harmless unless you have hemochromatosis, and you definitely don't have that if you're anemic.
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  #29  
Old 01-23-2016, 12:48 PM
QuickSilver QuickSilver is offline
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Zombies need brains, not iron.
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  #30  
Old 08-24-2016, 11:41 AM
SheilaVG SheilaVG is offline
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Iron Pills

What I am having a hard time finding an answer on is? Why is it recommended to take iron pills when the stomach is empty? So it's absorbed in the bloodstream as opposed to digested in the digestion system? I'm assuming that is correct but can't find an answer - even on Web MD.

When I took my first one, I think it was far enough from my last meal. I almost instantly felt queasy and felt that way this morning until I ate and too my daily vitamin. Just curious.
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  #31  
Old 08-24-2016, 12:52 PM
TriPolar TriPolar is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SheilaVG View Post
What I am having a hard time finding an answer on is? Why is it recommended to take iron pills when the stomach is empty? So it's absorbed in the bloodstream as opposed to digested in the digestion system? I'm assuming that is correct but can't find an answer - even on Web MD.

When I took my first one, I think it was far enough from my last meal. I almost instantly felt queasy and felt that way this morning until I ate and too my daily vitamin. Just curious.
This is an old thread that has been revived now more than once.

The reason is to promote absorption of the iron, and to avoid it reacting with other foods such as dairy products. Here is a link to an article on the subject. If you are having a problem with iron supplements you should discuss the subject with your doctor. Iron supplements are usually recommended to restore the body's iron reserves maintained in the liver as ferritin due to some form of anemia.
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  #32  
Old 08-24-2016, 02:04 PM
Merneith Merneith is offline
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Since this is a recurring question - I wanted to point out that they make all sorts of chewable and melt-in-your-mouth versions of iron pills. I can't vouch for their flavors, but chewables are less likely to screw up your stomach.

Here's one that's "Chewy Bite Chocolate Raspberry Truffle" flavor:
https://www.amazon.com/Bariatric-Adv...=chewable+iron

There's an Orange flavor from Centrum -
https://www.amazon.com/Centrum-Multi...hewable%2Biron

Berry flavored -
https://www.amazon.com/Celebrate-Iro...=chewable+iron

Even Flintstones has a chewable with Iron -
https://www.amazon.com/Flintstones-C...=chewable+iron


So it'd be more expensive, because you'd have to take several a day to meet your prescribed dosage, but it's an option. Maybe it can be mixed in to take 1 pill a day and then a couple chewables. Maybe that would help with stomach problems.

It's something to ask the doctor about, anyway.
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  #33  
Old 08-24-2016, 04:31 PM
Aspidistra Aspidistra is offline
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Since this seems to have devolved into a general iron advice thread, other things I have had recommended to me in the past are:

-Stop drinking coffee (NOOOOOO!)
-Cook acidic foods like tomato in an iron skillet (which helps leach some of the iron into the food - make your dinner more generally irony)
-Drink OJ with your iron intake.

A glass of milk with your iron tablet at night seems counterproductive - milk is one of those things that inhibits iron absorbtion.
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  #34  
Old 08-25-2016, 02:48 PM
Zsofia Zsofia is offline
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You know, I quit taking the pills years and years ago (obviously) but I should probably start again. Maybe I'll try the chewables. This thread has officially come full circle.
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  #35  
Old 08-25-2016, 03:11 PM
Merneith Merneith is offline
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From the day we arrive, on the planet ...
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