I’m Iron Deficient… What Are the Treatment Options?

If you’ve been diagnosed with iron deficiency, you have a few different 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.

Here’s an overview of the options so that you, together with your doctor or pharmacist, can come up with the best plan of action.


Iron-Rich Foods

Incorporating more iron-rich foods into your diet is important when it comes to preventing and treating iron deficiency. And you know what? It’s pretty easy to do, since iron-rich foods are easily found in the grocery store and there are enough of them that even the pickiest of eaters is sure to find something tasty. For example, red meat, oysters, dark leafy greens, some nuts and seeds, and many cereals are among foods that have high iron content.

Furthermore, if you’re making a conscious effort to incorporate more iron-rich foods into your diet, then you’ll also want to ensure that you’re absorbing as much iron as possible from these foods. You can do this by avoiding ‘iron absorption inhibitors’ (such as coffee, tea, chocolate, grains, etc.) for a couple of hours before and after you eat your iron-rich meals.


Want to know more?

Check out the Top 12 Iron-Rich Foods to Add to Your Diet Pronto  

Check out iron absorption inhibitors; the Things You Should Avoid When Consuming Iron


Iron Supplementation

In most cases, a doctor will recommend an oral iron supplement once you’ve been diagnosed with iron deficiency. 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 key if you want to see results!


Want to know more?

Check out A Quick & Easy Guide to Choosing the Right Iron Supplement

Check out a comparison of Iron Supplements for Adults & Iron Supplements for Children


Intravenous Iron

Although oral iron supplementation is the preferred method of therapy (as stated by the British Columbia Ministry of Health Guidelines and Protocols), intravenous (IV) iron therapy may be beneficial for patients experiencing inadequate iron absorption, continued blood loss, or who cannot tolerate oral iron tablets/liquids. Patients who are required to take an erythropoietin-stimulating agent (to increase red blood cell production) may also require IV iron. Your doctor will help to determine if this is the right route for you.


Want to know more?

Check out more information about Getting Your Iron Through IV Injection


If you’re reading this article and you suspect that you might have iron deficiency, fill out this Symptoms Checker, then take it to your doctor for proper diagnosis. Also keep in mind that the triad of symptoms related to iron deficiency is: chronic fatigue, irritability and inability to concentrate.


Content and advice provided on The Iron Maiden is for information purposes only and should not serve as a substitute for a licensed health care provider, who is knowledgeable about an individual’s unique health care needs

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