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A 23-year-old member asked:

Are upset stomach and constipation normal after starting to use iron supplements?

3 doctor answers7 doctors weighed in
Dr. Jeffrey Crespin
Gastroenterology 29 years experience
Yes: Iron frequently leads to upset stomach and constipation. Although iron can be dosed up to 3 x per day. Most patients cannot tolerate that often due to the abdominal pain that it causes. Sometimes adding vitamin C helps with iron absorption.
Dr. Jack Hinkle
Specializes in Family Medicine
Yes: Both of these are common side effects to the use of iron supplements and can be a challenge to there effective use.
Dr. Helle Lukk
Family Medicine 41 years experience
Yes: Constipation when using iron products is very common, but it also depends on diet, activity and fluid intake. All of these help to lessen symptoms of constipation overall. Having a high fiber diet also helps. If you have significant constipation when using iron- be sure to talk to your doctor to see if you have other options.
Last updated Oct 3, 2016

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