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What is the strongest OTC iron out there? And what is an "appropriate-but-high enough to make a real difference" amount (mg) to take?

I was taking SlowFE (47.5mg), then recently switched to Nature Made brand from Target (65mg), but now see that Poly Iron is 150mg. If I switch to the Poly, would I take 2 a day, or more? Or if I stick with the Nature Made since it's nice and small (not a good pill swallower), could I take like 4+ a day? Or is that overkill.

Since I really only have the opportunity to take the iron/C/Lysine 2x a day (have to take Prevacid 1st thing in the a.m.), can I take more than 1 iron at once? So far I haven't had issues taking 1 on an empty stomach, but that has just been the 65mg.

I will be anxious to get my ferritin levels tested again, but I want to wait a bit since I had been taking the iron with dinner and probably not maximizing absorption :rolleyes:.

THANK YOU for any help!
Iron absorption really depends on your body. So taking more iron won't necessarily lead to better results. If you body has reached it's maximum absorption rate then that's that. I don't know if spreading the iron supplements out during the day will increase absorption. I have been taking 4 iron (65 mg) tablets a day and during the last three months my ferritin raised only one point. Good luck
When I first started iron supplements Hgb 8.5, I was on Ferris Sulfate 3X daily=195mgs. Then had to switch to Poly Iron (capsule form) 150 X2 until my Hgb stabilized at 13.8. Now I am prescribed 1X daily 150 until menopause.

I would try what you are doing 65 X2 daily if you like that little pill, empty stomach and see what happens. You can break it up until you reach the full dose to see how well you are feeling. Always check iron stats if taking supplements. I saw a great difference when taking iron with meals verses without. I think you will get great results now. Keep us posted and good luck to you. FLFLOWERGIRL:)

Edit to say, I take my Nexium at night it works better for me long after all supplements are taken. Just a thought.
Thanks for the advice! So far, so good on taking two 65mg tablets on an empty stomach. Whew! It's tough coordinating when to take these, esp since I'm a grazer and like to eat frequently throughout the day. It sure would be easier taking them with food!
I hear you on the grazing thing. Correlating eating vs. taking iron on an empty stomach is a pain. Before my last blood test I wouldn't always take iron on an empty stomach, but now I am trying really hard to have an empty stomach and not eat anything for an hour after I take the it. UGH Hopefully we will both see better results
I can tell you that when I took iron with food my blood dropped the entire time, slowly. I wasn't happy with those blood results. That's when I went back to empty stomach and it pays off tremendously, eventhough it is hard sometimes. Tonight I forgot to take my iron so I had to take it with food. That doesn't happen often. At least some is absorbed. Good luck to you both! FLFLOWERGIRL:)
I was looking for information on iron supplements when I came across this thread. I couldn't figure out why I was taking more and more and it was working less and less. Now I know why. I've been taking it with food when I should've been taking it on an empty stomach. Thanks for the information. That's going to help me a lot.
Boozjee--I did it both ways do to sensitivity in the GI tract. So I know the difference is great. Up to 50-64% decrease in absorption rate, and then how well you actually absorb after that. Comes out to very little iron intake. Good luck with your new routine. FLFLOWERGIRL:)
I have been taking mine before food, but eat very soon after (5 - 10mins after). My supplement is not in pill form, it's a powder which i have to mix with water and it vile!! Then i have to chew 2 iron phosphate tablets so that the powder i just drank doesn't upset my stomach.

FLFLOWERGIRL - how long do you wait before eating? When i take the above i don't think i could wait 20 or 30 mins. My stomach would be heaving :P

Hair envy - my treating doctor has had me taking a 50mg lysine tablet along with the iron as they believe the lysine restores the hair shaft structure and allows for greater utilization and transportation of the iron throughout the body. There are rarely side effects, but FLFLOWERGIRL told us recently about her interesting time with lysine so we know she wont be taking it. A few posters have commented that it has helped raise their ferretin faster. Hope you have made a 100% recovery from your recent adventure flowergirl :)
AudreyB--I take it 1 hour before a meal because I have a rather sluggish metabolism, I think due to the Hashi's. I don't think that my stomach is empty 2 hrs after a meal either.

Also, I noticed that you took 50mgs of (that terrible stuff) Lysine, but they only sell 500mgs here. At least that's what they said and that's what I took. Did I OD? It did take a couple of days to recover I think I had a reaction with one of my meds, not sure. Like I said before that's why it says to consult your doc, LOL. FLFLOWERGIRL:)
I haven't had any side effects from taking the Lysine. So far twice a day I have been taking 1000mg Vit C (chewable) and either 500 or 1000mg Lysine with two 65mg iron tablets, empty stomach, no problems. I try to wait an hour before eating but sometimes the hunger gets to me more than any stomach upset!
FLFLOWERGIRL - you might have a sluggish metabolism, but you have a quick eye. You caught me out on a typo :o and yes it is 500mg Lysine so rest easy, you didn't OD :)

PS: to think i even double checked the Lysine container 'just in case' prior to typing my post. Well at least i'm not seeing double and didn't type 5000. LOL :)

Just remembered something else.....my doctor did suggest for me to try taking those digestive enzymes to aid my digestion and possibly help my ferretin, but they are sitting in my refrigerator and i keep forgetting to take them!!
Well I too have hopped on the Lysine bandwagon. One 500 mg capsule twice a day with my iron and a small piece of fruit/veggie high in vitamin C. So far so good. I have been trying to take my concoction on an empty stomach. So I try to wait an hour after I eat, at least. I am wondering if an hour is long enough most of the time. I know after a big meal an hour is not long enough. Also, I have been waiting an hour after I take the iron before I eat. In addition to the two iron tablets I take with the lysine I also take two more throughout the day. So I have to plan. Would an hour be enough time to absorb the iron tablet or should I wait longer?
CD111 - good luck with the Lysine. I'm not sure which is worse with all of this: I'm not a good pill-swallower, and I like to eat all day. Timing the ingestion of all of these pills is hard! And it's hard to do when I'm an emotional eater and feel stressed about various things right now! I guess that's a whole 'nother forum ;)





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