Why are my iron supplements not working?

The most common reason for iron supplements not working is that they are not taken or not taken correctly. Be sure to follow your doctor’s recommendations exactly, even if you’re feeling better.
If tests show that the iron supplement you’ve been taking hasn’t raised the level of iron in your blood enough, it’s possible that your body isn't doing an effective job of absorbing the iron. Calcium, the tannins in tea, and some substances in legumes, whole grains and soybeans can make your body absorb less. On the other hand, vitamin C and some proteins in meat can make your body absorb more.

It’s also possible that you need a higher-strength supplement. But the most likely reason your supplement hasn’t worked is simply that you’ve been forgetting to take it sometimes. Just to be safe, though, check with your doctor to see if you need treatment for the underlying cause of your iron deficiency.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.