Iron supplements are commonly recommended to combat anemia. Unfortunately, taking iron can cause complications such as constipation. Signs of constipation include infrequent bowel movements or hard stools. If left untreated, constipation can bring on other problems like gas and bloating. However, there are ways to prevent and remedy constipation from taking iron supplements.
Things You'll Need
Consider taking iron supplements with a meal. Ask your doctor if you can take the supplement with food, to reduce the risk of constipation. Typically, iron supplements are taken on an empty stomach for better absorption.
Get regular exercise. Movement and activity promote regular bowel movements and your digestive health. Prevent constipation by taking part is some form of exercise three to five times a week. Jog in your neighborhood, ride a bike, go swimming or join a sports team.
Soften stools with water. Hard stools are common with constipation from iron supplements. Increase your fluid intake to maintain moisture in your intestinal tract and stimulate the movement of stools. Drink eight glasses of water daily.
Eat at least five servings of fruits and vegetables a day. A low-fiber diet plays a role in infrequent bowel activity. Avoid fatty foods, which slow digestion, and instead eat a healthy diet of fruits, vegetables and whole grains to keep bowel movements soft and regular. If necessary, take liquid or capsule fiber supplements.
Ask about a slow-release iron supplement. Several options are available to prevent constipation. If home remedies don't improve or stop constipation, talk to you doctor about a slow-release iron supplement or a lower dosage.