Crohn's Disease Forum » Parents of Kids with IBD » Iron Supplementation Tips and Need to Know


12-02-2012, 11:20 PM   #1
Patricia56
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Iron Supplementation Tips and Need to Know

As promised - tips and info on giving Iron Supplements

Iron Supplements tips – compiled from doctors, nurses, online resources and personal experience
• It’s essential for your doctor to tell you how much iron to give. Too much can be deadly.

• Then when you buy iron make sure that you know how many pills it will take to get that much iron. There are many different iron formulations and some have a very small amount of actual iron compared to others.

• Be sure you know how much to give and how long to give it.

• Secure the iron from accidental ingestion by any children. Do NOT leave it on the counter OK? Post the number for Poison Control by your phone.

• It usually takes about 2 months before blood counts will return to normal but supplementation often needs to continue for 6 months or longer. This is in relatively healthy people without serious GI bleeding. So your child may need long term iron supplementation.

• Iron interacts with lots of things including a number of antibiotics. The main one of concern to us is Cipro. Iron will reduce the absorption of Cipro. Your pharmacy should run an interaction checker with prescription drugs so be sure that they know your child is on iron supplementation too. Usually you still take the med you just need to wait at least 2 hours before taking it so the iron doesn’t interfere with absorption.

• If possible take iron on an empty stomach. Otherwise take with a small amount of food.

• Wait 2 hours after taking milk products and antacids to take iron. Do NOT take iron with milk

• Avoid eating the following foods at the same time as you take iron:
oHigh fiber foods
o Caffeinated foods/drinks
o Milk
• Consider taking Vit. B complex and Vit. C at the same time as iron. Vit. C helps with absorption of iron and the B vitamins are also essential to improving anemia.

• We have had the best success treating anemia with a formula that combines all three into one pill. You have to take more pills because the amount of iron is fairly low but the absorption for my son seems to be much better than regular iron pills. And he got no side effects. This combo is usually marketed as a Stress Formula with Iron.

• Take a missed dose as soon as you remember it but if it is close to time for your next dose then skip the missed dose.

• If nausea and/or vomiting are a problem you can do two things. You can divide the doses up into smaller amounts spread over the day with the largest dose before bed. Or you can talk to your child’s doctor about doing an iron infusion. Personally I think iron infusions should be done more often but that’s just my opinion. Talk with the doctor about it.

• Don’t worry when you see black stools. This is normal. Tarry is not normal and you need to call the doc right away for that. But black is just the iron at work.

• Liquid forms of iron are available. They generally taste bad, or so I am told since I draw the line at going around tasting them just so I know how icky they taste. They will also stain your teeth. If you have to give it to a child try having them drink it with a straw. Brush with baking soda or peroxide to remove stains.

• Store in a cool place – not hot and damp like the bathroom.
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Current CD meds: Remicade, Methotrexate and Omeprazole, Vit. D, Calcium, Folic Acid, Probiotic

Nothing I say here should be construed as medical advice. I am not a doctor. These are just my opinions.

Last edited by Patricia56; 12-03-2012 at 02:10 AM.
12-03-2012, 01:33 AM   #2
David
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Thank you Patrica! Do you mind if I copy this to the Diet/Fitness/Supplements forum?
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12-03-2012, 02:09 AM   #3
Patricia56
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Nope. It's yours - some of it was copied from other sources over the past several years in bits and pieces but I never kept a record so I can't offer attributions. Plus I usually re-wrote things so it made sense to me.
12-03-2012, 06:03 AM   #4
Farmwife
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Thanks for the list.

Grace and I have tried gentle forms of iron so we don't get sick from the iron however all attempts have failed.

My question to you is can I crush the tables an or open the powder in the capsule
and sprinkle a little through out the day on or food or drink?
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12-03-2012, 09:20 AM   #5
Suzysu
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Thanks Patricia!
It would have been useful if the Dr had told us those things when Freddy first started supplementation (he was only about 15 months old and I just carried on giving his milk as normal - often just after or before the supplement!!). After no improvement with the iron levels I did an internet search and felt like a right wally!!
12-03-2012, 09:30 AM   #6
Farmwife
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Thanks Patricia!
It would have been useful if the Dr had told us those things when Freddy first started supplementation (he was only about 15 months old and I just carried on giving his milk as normal - often just after or before the supplement!!). After no improvement with the iron levels I did an internet search and felt like a right wally!!
Suzysu
Translation PLEASE

I assume that meant you felt like an idiot.
I need to know I might start using it.
12-03-2012, 11:42 AM   #7
Patricia56
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I don't know about crushing the tabs. I would ask the pharmacist personally. I have a real respect for my pharmacist and ask her all kinds of things other people ask their doctors because I don't trust the docs to really have the most correct answer when it comes to meds.

Iron is very irritating to the intestines. That is why I think iron infusions should be used more often in people with Crohn's. You have someone who is already so sick they are anemic from GI irritation/inflammation and give them something that is irritating to help them get better? How does that make any sense???
12-03-2012, 03:23 PM   #8
Suzysu
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FW - yes 'right wally' = 'idiot'
12-03-2012, 06:58 PM   #9
Crohn's Mom
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thanks Patricia ~ this is great and very resourceful
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12-03-2012, 08:56 PM   #10
Jmrogers4
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FW - yes 'right wally' = 'idiot'
oh I agree with farmwife. I think I will have to start using that. Love it.
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currently none due to liver issues
12-03-2012, 09:03 PM   #11
kimmidwife
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Thanks Patricia for the informative post. For those looking for a liquid form of iron that is also naturally base and tastes nice consider Floradix. It is over the counter and available at most health food stores. It has iron plus vitamins. It is very well absorbed and does not cause constipation like the others do. It actually works pretty fast. The recommended dosage on the bottle is for mild anemia. If your child has more severe anemia call the company and ask what dose to give. The actual elemental iron in it is lower then a lot of other supplements but since it is so well absorbed it raises the blood levels very nicely and quickly. This supplement is derived from a flower. I have had very good success with it in my daughter and my patients was well.
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Crohn's Dx'ed Sept 08
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01-27-2013, 04:57 PM   #12
Patricia56
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