As a result, you may experience the following symptoms (1, 2): If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, consider discussing diagnostic testing options with your healthcare provider to identify or rule out low iron levels or IDA. Iron is one of the minerals in the human body. The number of supplements available in vitamin and health food stores can make selecting the right supplement overwhelming. Certain people, including pregnant women, infants, young children, heavy exercisers, and those with certain medical conditions are more prone to low iron levels and should get their iron levels tested regularly. Iron supplements, also known as iron salts and iron pills, are a number of iron formulations used to treat and prevent iron deficiency including iron deficiency anemia. Here are 7 incredibly common nutrient deficiencies. Though iron is typically linked to hemoglobin – the protein that transports oxygen around the body – it is also vital for energy production, antioxidant defense, DNA production, gene regulation, and the body’s detoxification process. This combination is most effective at identifying an iron deficiency, even in its early stages. Your doctor may recommend an iron supplement if you have certain health conditions, such as anemia. What are the Benefits of Iron Supplements? Here are 10 signs and symptoms that you're deficient in iron. Erica Kannall is a registered dietitian and certified health/fitness specialist with the American College of Sports Medicine. IDA is a condition in which your blood doesn’t contain enough healthy, oxygen-carrying red blood cells. Use of this web site constitutes acceptance of the LIVESTRONG.COM Multivitamins with iron are used to provide vitamins and iron that are not taken in through the diet. It is … Adding iron pills to your routine has been linked to a number of potential benefits. Iron is … If you are undergoing cancer treatment, you have an autoimmune condition, or you've been exposed to toxic chemicals, you may also need more iron. Things like vitamin C, … Low iron levels are common, especially in certain subsets of the population. According to the Office of Dietary Supplements, people with renal failure, celiac disease, Chron's disease and other gastrointestinal disorders may also benefit from an iron supplement. How to Increase the Absorption of Iron From Foods, 21 Vegetarian Foods That Are Loaded With Iron, 7 Nutrient Deficiencies That Are Incredibly Common, The Dark Side of Iron - Why Too Much is Harmful, difficulty regulating your body temperature or often feeling cold, hearing ringing, hissing, or buzzing noises inside your head, cravings for non-food items, such as ice or dirt — also known as, painful open sores in the corners of the mouth, an uncontrollable urge to move your legs — also known as, people with gastrointestinal disorders, such as celiac disease, ulcerative colitis, or Crohn’s disease, those taking iron-depleting medications, such as those used to reduce stomach acid, people regularly partaking in heavy exercise, those following a vegetarian or vegan diet, people with blood disorders, such as thalassemia or sickle cell anemia. 2. The health benefits of iron mainly include providing life-giving oxygen to organ systems through its role in red blood cell production. Many other health conditions can also increase your need for iron and cause you to benefit from an iron supplement. For prevention they are only recommended in those with poor absorption, heavy menstrual periods, pregnancy, hemodialysis, or a diet low in iron… used as a substitute for professional medical advice, However, they’re not considered sensitive, nor specific, and tend to only identify IDA — not the early stages of iron depletion (1). They are also used to treat iron or … When it comes to your iron needs, things can get a bit tricky. This can put them at risk for iron…. Therefore, people currently taking supplements to treat an iron deficiency should wait at least 3 months after beginning treatment, if not slightly longer, before getting their hemoglobin and ferritin levels retested. You can increase your iron intake by eating meat, such as liver, beef, turkey, tuna and chicken; vegetable foods, such as soybeans, lentils, kidney beans and tofu; and fortified foods, such as breakfast cereal and oatmeal. If taking iron supplements, improvements in hemoglobin may be noticeable within 4 weeks. Mild functional … © 2005-2021 Healthline Media a Red Ventures Company. Low iron levels are common and can, if left untreated, progress into iron deficiency anemia (IDA). Close-up of a hand holding an iron supplement. The LIVESTRONG Foundation and LIVESTRONG.COM do not endorse Iron supplements can help reverse low iron levels or treat iron deficiency anemia. 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