What are my treatment options for iron deficiency anemia?

Iron-deficiency is common now-a-days deficiency that occurs if you do not have enough iron in your body. People with mild or moderate iron-deficiency may not have any signs or symptoms. However, more severe iron-deficiency anemia may cause fatigue or tiredness, shortness of breath, or chest pain. If you have been diagnosed with iron deficiency, you have quite a few options when it comes to treatment. It is likely that your doctor will recommend a combination of an iron-rich diet along with an iron supplement.

Treatment for iron-deficiency anemia will depend on its cause and severity. Treatments may include iron supplements, procedures, surgery, and dietary changes. Here is an overview of the options so that you, together with your doctor or pharmacist, can come up with the best plan of action

Healthy lifestyle changes

To help you meet your daily recommended iron levels, your doctor may recommend that you:

  • Adopt healthy lifestyle changes such as heart healthy eating patterns.
  • Increase your daily intake of iron-rich foods to help treat your iron-deficiency. For example, spinach, lentils, baked beans, soybeans, tofu, fried fruits, cereals are excellent sources of iron.
  • Increase your intake of vitamin C to help your body absorb iron.
  • Avoid drinking black tea, which reduces iron absorption.

Iron Supplementation

Your doctor may recommend that you take iron supplements, also called iron pills or oral iron, by mouth once or several times a day to increase the iron in your body. This is the most common treatment for iron deficiency. It generally takes three to six months to replenish your iron stores.

Pharmacies generally carry a good selection of iron supplements for both adults and children but choosing the right one for you is important. Since everyone has different needs, a discussion with your doctor or pharmacist is a good idea to help you understand what is available - ask about the different formulations, amount of available elemental iron, severity of side effects, and dosing regimens. Remember that compliance (taking the full course of treatment) is the key if you want to see results!

Intravenous Iron

Although oral iron supplementation is the preferred method of therapy, intravenous (IV) iron therapy may be beneficial for patients experiencing inadequate iron absorption, continued blood loss, or who are unable to take iron supplements by mouth due to another medical condition. This involves injecting iron into an IV line in a blood vessel or into a muscle. Your doctor will help to determine if this is the right route for you.

EBMfer capsules and liquid are oral iron supplements that contain vitamin C. As iron supplements are advised to be taken with orange juice or vitamin C for increased absorption, EBMfer offers increased iron absorption without the need to take separate vitamin C supplementation.

EBMmoms capsules is a vegetarian friendly prenatal supplement.