How long after stopping iron will stool stay black? That’s a popular question from people who take iron for iron deficiency. Iron supplements are a good way to boost your iron, but they also cause some side effects. A prevalent side effect is the blackening of stool.
If your stool blackens after taking iron, don’t worry. That is a harmless side effect of taking iron pills. It means your body has absorbed most of the iron and left a little unabsorbed iron in the digestive tract. You should notice your stool getting back to normal after a few days of stopping iron supplementation.
This article will explore the benefits and drawbacks of taking iron. We’ll also suggest a method to take iron without experiencing side effects like the blackening of stool.
The Benefits of Taking Iron
Iron is essential for regulating hemoglobin’s tasks, such as distributing oxygen in the blood. It also helps in nurturing a normal pregnancy in pregnant women.
Athletes and fitness enthusiasts can also increase their energy and performance by taking iron. Iron also improves focus by enhancing cognitive functions.
People who have difficulty taking iron-rich foods such as vegetables will benefit from taking iron supplements. That will prevent complications caused by iron deficiency, such as Anemia.
The Disadvantages of Taking Iron
While iron provides the body with many benefits, some minor side effects are associated with taking it. Some examples are stomach pain, diarrhea, constipation, and nausea. It also changes the color of stool by turning it black.
Some people may also not benefit from taking iron. An example is individuals suffering from Hemochromatosis, which causes people to absorb excess food from iron. These people will suffer serious side effects from taking any iron.
Taking excess amounts of iron can also cause side effects such as internal bleeding, organ failure, and seizures.
The Right Way to Take Iron to Avoid Side Effects
You should take your iron supplements with vitamin C to improve its absorption in the body. The ideal time to take it is an hour before meals. However, if you suffer gastrointestinal discomfort, take iron 2 hours after eating a fiber-rich snack.
Also, avoid having dairy products, coffee, tea, or calcium supplements when taking iron because they prevent its absorption.
Ensure you observe the color of your stool when taking iron. Black is a sign your body is absorbing the iron, while red streaks may be a sign of gastrointestinal bleeding. Seek medical help if you notice such streaks in your stool.
If your stool shows no color change after iron supplementation, that is a sign your body is not absorbing it properly. Try another brand or ask your doctor for help.
The consistency of your stool may also change when taking iron. For example, you could suffer constipation. Make sure you take laxatives if this happens to you.
Blackening of stool is a side effect of taking iron that goes away after you stop taking the supplement. It shows that your body is absorbing iron correctly.
If you are uncomfortable with your stool changing color, try supplementing your diet with iron-rich foods. That may increase the iron levels in your body and keep you from taking iron pills.