SHOULD YOU STOP TAKING IRON SUPPLEMENT ON FEELING FINE?
Patients tend to stop their course of antibiotics the day they are feeling better. However, it has been widely accepted that stopping antibiotic treatment early encourages bacteria to develop antibiotic resistance. As a result, current medical advice is to finish taking a prescribed course of antibiotics as recommended by a healthcare professional, even if you start to feel better.
Same goes for iron supplements too. People tend to take them as advised because they feel run down, but as soon as they start to feel like themselves again, they might push their iron supplement to the back of the medicine cabinet. So, here is everything you should know, if you are wondering if you should stop taking the supplement or are considering going off it:
Trust your Healthcare professional:
Your doctor knows your situation best. Because of this, he/she will advise how often and for how long you should take your iron supplement which will typically depend on a few factors, such as:
- How severe your Iron Deficiency Anemia is
- The cause of your anemia
- How well your body absorbs iron
- How diligent you have been in taking your iron supplement
These things will all help your doctor determine how much iron you need to take and for how long. Your doctor will probably have you take iron supplement pills and eat foods rich in iron to treat your anemia. Most people begin to feel better after a few days of taking iron pills and tend to stop taking the pills. But remember, you will need to keep taking the pills for several months to build up the iron stores in your body. If your doctor finds an exact cause of your anemia, such as a bleeding ulcer or excessive blood loss during menstruation, your doctor will also treat that problem.
Now that you are felling better:
People often confuse that if they are feeling better, they are actually better. While it is true that oral iron supplements can take effect rather quickly, just because you feel better does not mean that your iron level or iron stores are back to normal!
Here is an idea of how your iron supplement should work, based on the Anemia Guidelines for Family Medicine (2014). Assuming there are no exceptional underlying medical conditions:
- Therapeutic doses of iron should increase hemoglobin by about 10 g/L each week.
- A hemoglobin response of less than 20 g/L after 3 weeks warrants further evaluation.
- After the iron deficiency anemia is corrected, iron supplementation should be continued for 3 months to replenish iron stores.
- Depending on your situation, your doctor may need to monitor your hemoglobin and red blood cell levels for an additional 3 to 6 months.
That is all!
If you think you have anemia, do not try to treat yourself. Do not take iron pills on your own without seeing your doctor first. If you take iron pills without talking with your doctor first, the pills may cause you to have too much iron in your blood, or even iron poisoning. Your low iron level may be caused by a serious problem, such as a bleeding ulcer or colon cancer. These other problems may need different treatment than iron pills.
Do as your doctor say and continue taking your iron diligently for as long as you are told. It is the only way to ensure that you get the most from an oral iron supplement and get your iron back to where it needs to be for optimal health.
EBMfer, a ferrous ascorbate based vegan iron supplement, that also provides vitamin C to help increase iron absorption. EBMfer is suitable in pregnancy and in menstruating women for the prevention and treatment of iron deficiency anemia. EBMfer is available in capsules and liquid dosage forms.
EBMmoms capsules is a prenatal supplement that is suitable for use in pregnant women having iron deficiency so that don’t have to take iron supplement and multivitamin supplement separately as EBMmoms contain 100 mg of elemental iron along with other multivitamins and minerals.