Best iron supplements for bariatric patients is an essential nutrient for healthy bodies, and bariatric surgery patients can become deficient in iron. This can result in anemia.
Iron can be found in foods such as red meat, fish, poultry, and leafy vegetables. Our bodies are able to absorb more heme iron (found in hemoglobin) from these sources, but our body is not as efficient at absorbing nonheme iron.
Most iron supplements come in tablet, capsule or syrup form and contain ferrous sulfate, ferrous fumarate, and ferrous gluconate. Ferrous fumarate is the preferred form of iron for post-operative patients as it can be more easily absorbed by the body following gastric surgery.
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It is important to note that iron absorption can be inhibited by antacids and calcium-containing foods and drinks, as well as some medications (proton pump inhibitors and H2 receptor antagonists). When combined, these compounds may decrease the absorption of iron.
In general, patients should not be administered an iron supplement within two hours of taking a calcium-containing product or antacid. Vitamin C can also help in iron absorption, but should be given separately if it is not part of the supplement.
Iron deficiency can be serious, with symptoms such as weakness, easy fatigability, exercise intolerance, palpitations, paleness of the palms and soles, difficulty breathing, and symptoms of heart failure. Bariatric patients should be sure to get their iron levels checked regularly by their bariatric surgeon or primary care physician.