Iron deficiency: Herbal blood or iron tablets – which helps better?

Constantly tired, weak and pale, to torn mouth and difficulty concentrating - the symptoms of iron deficiency are unpleasant and stressful. Doctors prescribe iron tablets are often in diagnosing iron deficiency. But many men and women have to fight while taking iron pills with side effects such as nausea and constipation. As an alternative, herbal blood offers.

This extract from plants is available over the counter in pharmacies and can be drunk easily. The taste reminiscent of sour grape juice. But how useful herbal blood is real? This form of additional iron intake just as helpful as taking iron tablets?

We have to the internist and nutritionist Dr. med. Klaus Winckler interviewed. He is the Vice President of the Federal Association of German nutrition expert.

Iron deficiency Klaus WincklerPhoto: private

Dr. Winckler, at what point would you recommend as a nutrition expert people to take iron-containing dietary supplements to be?

Dr. med. Klaus Winckler: Generally, I would recommend not to take additional iron on suspicion. The use of dietary supplements containing iron should always be done only after the diagnosis of iron deficiency by a doctor. That is done quickly - even draw blood, you know whether the additional iron is really necessary. This is important because too much iron in the body can also have negative effects, such as damage to the organs and joints. So to achieve iron overload is difficult to pure vegetable preparations.

Are those iron preparations as suitable for long-term use, or I should always make only short treatments thus, for example, more than three months?

Dr. Winckler: As a rule, such revenue is intended to compensate for a deficiency. Now there are people who are constantly dealing with a lack of iron, for example, women who regularly lose blood through menstruation and even vegetarian or vegan diet in addition - without meat and fish, which are with the iron-rich foods - since it be that these women often have to take iron supplements. but purely prophylactically no one should take iron. If a defect is there, I prescribe a rule for a few weeks taking iron tablets and this deficiency has also settled first again. A continuous iron supplementation we do not prescribe doctors actually.

Many doctors prescribe for iron deficiency as the first iron tablets - why is that?

Dr. Winckler: This probably has to do with the durability of different preparations. Active ingredients in tablet form are considerably longer than those in liquid form, such as in herbal blood. Is a bottle opened with herbal blood, it must be used within a few weeks, iron tablets hold for years. In addition, the dosage can be determined accurately in the pharmaceutical preparations in tablet form.

What about the recoverability of - animal or vegetable iron, which can process the human body better?

Dr. Winckler: For food the iron is absorbed so well from animal sources such as meat and fish about twice as that from plant sources such as peppers and beetroot. The additive preparations such as iron tablets and herbal blood no comparative studies are known to me. I think it is both effective and both there are also different thicknesses. Ultimately, each patient must try, which preparation he is most compatible and which works best.

At the pharmacy, iron supplements are available without a prescription - you can see the critical?

Dr. Winckler: As the responsibility lies with the pharmacist should ask why the person wants to take this preparation. Must we not ask at all prescription yes.

What would you recommend for more - iron tablets or herbal blood?

Dr. Winckler: It all depends on the compatibility. If I am suffering from vonEisentabletten taking with side effects such as stomach pain and constipation, is an attempt to iron intake can certainly pay off in liquid form. I prescribe in practice in a subject in need of iron deficiency anemia usually iron tablets because they have proven themselves. If this iron deficiency results from the laboratory values, the cost of this drug are also covered by health insurance.

And as your patients cope with the iron tablets?

Dr. Winckler: Good! These are perhaps ten percent who do not tolerate these tablets. If the deficiency is very strong, you can then consider giving iron infusions. There are patients with severe obesity who had a gastric bypass surgery, for example, which can accommodate almost no iron, because the section of the intestine, which is responsible, is where off. When going in these patients the hemoglobin level in the basement, so below 10 g / dl, then I'll give as iron infusions. And if I have a woman as a patient that such surgery had not, but has tried all iron supplements and get along with anyone, you might as well as superior to give iron infusions. The corresponding preparations are very expensive and burden the budget of the physician, but they are now also much better tolerated than a few years ago. The previous preparations were often not as well tolerated as we often had allergic reactions to life-threatening situations. With such infusion can cause as much as swallow tablets three months. But it is an engaging, albeit a small one. because it pushes a needle under the skin, which does not have to be necessarily.

Would you recommend pregnant women and those iron infusions to get their iron values ​​faster to the normal range?

Dr. Winckler: No, I would first work with tablets. Infusions makes you really only when a severe iron deficiency with anemia is present and tablets are so not tolerated.

There are many in the supermarket fruit juices that advertise with special iron additives - what to make of it, suck the thing?

Dr. Winckler: There is a fixed daily requirement of iron for women of 15 milligrams and 10 milligrams for men, the recommended the German Nutrition Society. This daily requirement can be covered to some extent also those juices. But a shortage situation, you will never be able to compensate with such additives.

And how can I best long-term hedge against it, to get an iron deficiency at all?

Dr. Winckler: Meat and fish are clearly the best sources of iron for the human body. They are the richest and most effective iron foods with regard to prevention of iron deficiency. In addition, while the combination with citrus fruits helps, for example in fruit juices, the body to absorb this iron. People who eat vegan or vegetarian, be if they want to stick with it, however, hardly be able to avoid taking iron supplements.

Thank you for your time, Dr. Winckler!


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