Iron is hard stuff. In metalwork, iron is valued for its strength and in nutrition, it’s valued for the strength it gives our bodies. This strength can make iron hard to digest and hence lead to constipation. Fortunately, there are ways to avoid this.
Best Iron Supplement For Anemia Without Constipation - Use a gentle iron supplement
Do an internet search on “iron supplement” and you will probably get, literally, countless results. Do an internet search on “gentle iron supplement” and you may narrow it down a bit, but we suspect you’ll still find the sheer number of options pretty overwhelming. We’ll, therefore, share our pick of the top three gentle non constipating iron supplements and therefore the Best Iron Supplement For Anemia Without Constipation are:
21st Century Slow Release Iron Tablets
Nature's Bounty Gentle Iron
Solgar - Gentle Iron Vegetable Capsules
The order is purely alphabetical, we’d be happy to recommend any of them. They’re all gluten, wheat and dairy free.
Once you have chosen your supplement, here are our tips for taking it so as to cause minimal disruption to your digestive system.
Start low and slow
Ultimately, of course, when you're armed with even the best iron supplement for anemia without constipation you want to get the full dose of your supplement but going from having too little iron to having enough iron may be a bit of a shock to your digestive system. With this in mind, you could try starting with a smaller dose and increasing it every three days as your body becomes accustomed to it. As you increase your overall dosage, you can divide it so that instead of taking one pill per day, you take half a pill twice a day or even a quarter pill four times a day, whatever works best for you.
Eat plenty of fibre
If you’re constipated, your diet may be to blame rather than your iron supplement (or at least to a far greater degree). High-fibre foods are often unglamourous, but they are vital to the overall health of our digestive systems and, in particular, to keep our bowel movements regular and comfortable.
We’d suggest that you approach increasing the level of fibre in your diet in much the same way as we recommended that you approach increasing the amount of iron in your diet - namely low and slow and for much the same reasons. Fibre basically gives the digestive system a detox and a workout, that’s its nutritional purpose. If you suddenly go from getting too little fibre to getting enough fibre, then your body may find it difficult to cope and you can wind up feeling gassy and bloated. So start to make the following changes gently.
- Replace highly-processed breakfast cereals with whole-grain ones.
- Switch out brown rice for white rice, whole grain pasta for regular pasta and whole grain bread for regular bread.
- Try to have at least one serving of beans or legumes (such as lentils every day)
- Fill up on raw or lightly-cooked vegetables. Leave the skins on them whenever possible.
- Snack on nuts and seeds (or air-popped popcorn) rather than chips.
- It may be a cliche but prunes are good for keeping your regular, to get the most benefit, eat them whole rather just drinking prune juice.
Since we’re on the subject of food, calcium inhibits the absorption of iron so try to avoid eating calcium-rich foods such as yoghurt, cheese and calcium-fortified products for at least an hour after taking your iron supplement (two is better). Vitamin C, by contrast, helps iron absorption and while this may trigger thoughts of eating oranges, if you’re not an orange person, there are plenty of other options out there from kiwifruit to kale.
Drink plenty of fluids
Lack of fluid is another major cause of constipation. By fluid we mean water and drinks which are close to water in nature. Strong alcohol (like wine and spirits) provides nothing in the way of meaningful hydration. If you must drink alcohol, then stick to longer drinks such as beers and please note we’re making this recommendation on the logic that many people enjoy a social drink and if you are one of these people then it makes sense to have your social drink in the way which is least bad for your health. Obviously in terms of pure health, we should be recommending that you lay off alcohol completely if you have any sort of health issue such as anemia.
On a similar note, if you have to satisfy a craving for fizzy drinks, then at least go for the sugar-free options.
Looking at healthy drinks, dairy milk and calcium-fortified nut milks will inhibit iron absorption so again avoid taking any meaningful quantity of them around the same time as you take your iron supplement. Small quantities of milk in tea or coffee is unlikely to have any major negative impact.
A quick note on orange juice
As oranges are full of vitamin C, drinking orange juice will certainly help with iron absorption. The problem is that juicing fruit keeps the sugar but loses the fibre and hence fruit juices are actually more treat foods (albeit the healthier end of them) than the super-healthy foods their marketing often suggests. That being so, it’s better to get your vitamin C from solid foods than from juices.
Take plenty of exercise
Exercise gets you moving in every sense of the phrase. It speeds up your metabolism, which means that it gets your digestive system moving more quickly and it literally shakes up the food in your colon to get it to its end destination more quickly. Exercise and anemia is often a vicious circle in that anemia lowers your energy levels making it harder to take the exercise which might go some way to raising them, albeit probably not enough to compensate for your low hemoglobin levels. Once you start taking a gentle iron supplement, you should feel your energy levels start to improve, which should put you in a better place to take exercise. Again, start upping your activity levels gradually (you may be noticing a pattern here), remembering that even though you hopefully feel more energetic, the chances are that you are still unfit.
Go to the toilet immediately you feel the need
Delaying going to the toilet can actually make your more likely to suffer from constipation. In today’s world you may be tempted to hold off until you’ve finished a task, especially at work, or a commercial break but resist the temptation and if you are in a meeting then excuse yourself and take your comfort break.
Keep a constipation remedy on hand
If you follow these tips for the Best Iron Supplement For Anemia Without Constipation, you’ll greatly reduce the chance that you need it, but it’s better to have it and not use it than vice versa.
Constipation and children - Non Constipating Iron
Children have a particularly high need for iron (to support their growth) and are therefore at particular risk of anemia. All the tips we’ve mentioned so far apply to them too. In children, however, constipation is often triggered by overfeeding and/or stress. In fact constipation can be a reaction to potty or toilet training, basically children don’t want to make the change and hence hold it in for as long as they can, which, as previously mentioned, can trigger constipation. As a short-term measure, massaging their tummies in a clockwise direction using a circular motion can relieve their discomfort (never go counterclockwise as this may make the constipation worse). Over the longer term, however, you may need to address their anxiety about using a potty or toilet.
- Gluten free
- High potency formula
- Gentle on your system
- Serving Size - 1 veggie cap
- Does Not Contain: Sugar, salt, starch, corn, yeast, wheat, soy, dairy products, preservatives, artificial flavors or colors.
- A necessary component of hemoglobin
- Supports energy use
- Helps maintain normal red blood cell production
- Supports women's health
- These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration