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How do I choose between iron supplements?


Choosing between iron supplements can be a big decision because the amount varies depending on how much iron your body requires. Iron supplement dosages that may work for one person may be too much or too little for another. Your body requires just the right amount of iron. If you have too little, you can develop anemia from an iron deficiency. Potential causes of anemia include poor diet, blood loss, or an inability to absorb enough iron from food.

Having too little iron is a problem, but having too much iron can also be toxic to your body. If you take too many iron supplements, you lead to iron poisoning. For some people with the inherited disease hemochromatosis iron poisoning is harder to avoid because hemochromatosis causes too much iron to build up.

If you think you have an iron deficiency, you need to see a doctor or healthcare provider for proper treatment. Treatments may differ depending on factors like health, age and overall cause of the iron deficiency. Your doctor can diagnose an iron deficiency with blood tests like a Hemoglobin (measures hemoglobin in your blood) or Hematocrit (measures the percentage of red blood cells in your blood) test, but no single test can diagnose it.

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Answers to questions regarding information about medications or health conditions are not for diagnostic or treatment purposes and are not conclusive as to the presence or absence of any health condition. Consult your physician for diagnosis and treatment of your medical condition. The information provided is not a substitute for medical advice. Advances in medicine may cause this information to become outdated, invalid or subject to debate. Professional opinions and interpretations of the scientific literature may vary. Walgreens' terms of use and general warranty disclaimer apply to all services provided. If you are in need of immediate medical attention, contact your physician, poison control center or emergency medical professional. If you need to speak with a pharmacist for non-emergency matters, contact your local Walgreens pharmacist or call a pharmacist toll-free at 1 (877) 250-5823.

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