How to Take Iron Supplements Before Surgery

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Having any type of operation can be a scary and stressful time. Your doctor may advise you to start taking iron supplements before your surgery. Taking an iron supplement before and after surgery can help replenish your body's iron stores, which may be depleted after the operation. Adding an iron supplement can help fight off a surgical infection that could strike your immune system. It will also aid in the production of new red blood cells.

  • Before taking any supplements, discuss them with your doctor. This will help reduce the possibility of an adverse reaction with any medications you may be taking.

  • Take your iron supplement with food. It is best to take it on a full stomach or with a glass of milk. Taking it on an empty stomach could cause your stomach to become upset and you could feel nauseated. Your doctor will tell you the recommended dose of iron to take. Take your supplements at the same time everyday.

  • If you become constipated, take an over-the-counter laxative or stool softener. Some people experience constipation when they take an iron supplement. This is common and nothing to worry about.

  • Monitor any changes in your stool. Iron supplements are known to change stool to a dark or black color. This is perfectly normal. However, if you notice blood in your stool, contact your physician immediately.

  • Consider adding foods that are rich in iron to your diet. Liver, oysters and sardines all contain a good amount of iron. Eating foods enriched with iron will boost your iron intake naturally.

Tips & Warnings

  • Make sure all your iron sources, from supplements and/or food, do not exceed your doctor's recommended intake. Too much iron can lead to toxicity.

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