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issues with iron tablets

(14 Posts)
dragonstail Wed 22-Jun-16 21:34:31

Sorry should have warned tmi!

started iron tablets in March (ferrous sulphate). They caused lots of diarrhoea at first then settled down (I think!). I had them last year and I don't remember being affected particularly.

Recently it's been getting worse - very bad achy bruised pain on some mornings in my lower gut/ rectum at times then loose stools. Plus struggling to keep weight on.

It might be a red herring but I cut out lactose a few days ago and have noticed a difference in stomach gas. I then stopped the iron and have definitely been better today.

I think I'll need to carry on taking iron as I dropped quickly when I stopped this time last year, perhaps one rather than two.

- what other types could I ask gp for?
- could the lactose issue be linked to the iron (ie general stomach mayhem)


secretsignal Wed 22-Jun-16 21:49:17

I have anaemia and also struggled with ferrous sulphate. I take a supplement called Hema-Plex. Have taken it for about a month, no issues, tons more energy; might be worth a look.

gobbin Wed 22-Jun-16 22:00:42

Try ferrous fumarate or ferrous bisglycinate, these are both kinder on the body (still give me the raging shits, but I have Crohns, everything gives me the raging shits lol). An infusion is my only method.

dragonstail Wed 22-Jun-16 22:18:09

Thanks - the vitamin pill looks interesting, I'm taking conception tablets at the mo though. I'm not sure 85 mg is going to be enough though as I've been taking 400mg daily. But maybe I'm shitting most of it out!! Spatone was useless.

I will ask for those types (sorry on phone can't remember name!) thanks. Sorry to hear about your chrones sad

dragonstail Wed 22-Jun-16 22:18:35


Waterlemon Wed 22-Jun-16 22:28:23

I was going to recccomend spatone but then read that it didn't help was the only thing that me helped me!

You need to avoid having diary/calcium around the same time that you take the iron as it prevents absorption but do take the iron with vitamin c rich foods as that increases absorbtion

Equiem89 Wed 22-Jun-16 23:53:33

I took Fefol and didn't get any tummy idsues

Equiem89 Wed 22-Jun-16 23:53:40


HopeClearwater Wed 22-Jun-16 23:59:33

Iron tablets are awful. You could tell your GP you cannot tolerate them. You could get a monthly iron injection (horrible in a different way).

MountainDweller Sat 25-Jun-16 01:02:32

I couldn't take high dose tablets, gave me terrible indigestion. I had a transfusion in the end which was so much more effective. Not sure if NHS will do it though due to cost.

dragonstail Sat 25-Jun-16 10:09:12

Thanks for your advice; my ferritin was only borderline and is probably good now (over 70) but I still had some symptoms. So they wouldn't inject.

I either need to try a different iron to take long term via GP (maintenance dose) or a supplement that's higher than most.

No, spatone didn't work; I clearly needed a higher dose.

I've also worked out I may be having some issues with lactose too so might have to have a diet overhaul anyway. Obviously milk can interfere with iron anyway (I'd been taking apart as much as possible)

MC1R Sat 25-Jun-16 16:45:15

Iron tablets are notorious for causing irritation to the digestive system.
Try liquid iron supplements instead, as well as eating foods high in iron - I know that's obvious but some people aren't aware of the difference between the iron found in meat (heme iron) and that found in veg (non-heme.) The latter is not as easy for the body to absorb, so is much less beneficial if you're anemic.

Also be aware that tea, chocolate and coffee adversely affect iron absorption by up to 60% when taken within a hour of a meal, and calcium or oxalate-rich foods likewise inhibit iron. Eggs contain phosvitin, which can reduce iron uptake by 30%.

spookyelectric Sat 25-Jun-16 20:52:29

Ferrous fumerate are a bit less severe. I think Spatone is good for maintaining iron but you need 2-3 scahets to raise iron levels. Have you tried Floradix liquid iron ? - more expensive than tablets but saved me during pregnancy.

Fairylea Sat 25-Jun-16 20:56:24

I have severe anaemia and cannot tolerate any of the main iron tablets. The only thing that seems to agree with me is Holland and Barrets ultra woman vitamin which has 17mg of iron in it alongisde tons of other vitamins, I think it's absolutely great.

When I was pregnant I was so anaemic I had to be kept in hospital and had daily iron injections in my bum! It was awful. They worked though - Jectofen. Wouldn't recommend unless it was an absolute last resort!

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