This Is How Long It Takes For Iron Supplements To Start Working

As the name suggests, iron deficiency is a lack of iron minerals in the body. The mineral known as iron is a major constituent of hemoglobin. This protein assists the red blood cells with the distribution of oxygen from the lungs to other parts of the body (via WebMD). This explains why iron-deficient patients can't produce enough hemoglobin, leaving them pale, tired, and susceptible to other health risks.

While there are various causes of anemia, iron deficiency is the most common (via the World Health Organization). According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 3 million Americans are anemic, meaning it's crucial not to underestimate the disease's effects. In 2020, it was linked to 1.7 deaths per 100,000 people in the United States, per the CDC.

If you think you have iron deficiency, it's important to visit a doctor for further diagnosis. Based on the deficiency's cause and severity, they might suggest iron supplementation.

How long it takes for iron tablets to start working

There's no hard and fast duration for which iron tablets will start working. How long it takes for iron supplements to begin working will depend on your individual case. Factors, such as age, anemic history, and supplement brand (and ingredients), might influence recovery speed. If you're anemic, you may notice an improvement after two to three weeks (via Livestrong). Signs you're improving might include more energy and less tiredness. However, it's crucial to get your blood tested before taking iron supplements. Your doctor may recommend a hemoglobin test to determine if you're within the correct range.

Hemoglobin is a protein that transports oxygen from your lungs, but iron is required for hemoglobin formation. The normal hemoglobin level is 13.5 in men and 11.6 in women. For children, the range is between 11.0 to 16.0 g/dL in children (via MedicalNewsToday). Based on your blood test results, you may need to be more patient with improvement in your condition.

How you take your iron supplement also matters. For more effective results, your doctor may recommend taking it on an empty stomach (via Mayo Clinic). If that's too hard, try with water or fruit juice. Avoid coffee, milk, and high-fiber foods when taking iron supplements, as they can interfere with your iron therapy, per MedlinePlus.

How long should you supplement with iron?

Iron therapy works differently in different people. While some can experience noticeable changes immediately after they begin therapy, others will need an extended period to see results, and some might have to stop early. Multiple sources indicate that the ideal duration for supplementation with iron is between two and six months. MedlinePlus reiterates that most people see an improvement in their blood count after two months of iron therapy. Your doctor may suggest monitoring your hemoglobin count frequently while supplementing with iron to record any changes.

It's also crucial to beware of the numerous side effects of iron supplement intake, including vomiting and nausea. Generally speaking, those who are anemic are diverse, so there may not be a strict duration for how long it takes the iron supplements to work. Speak to your doctor for information on the best possible treatment method for your specific situation.