Iron supplements for diabetics are a major source of iron, one of the most important minerals in the human body. It helps the body to produce blood and is in every cell in our body. Iron is so vital for the body that a lack of it can result in reduced quality of life.
The human body requires iron to make oxygen-carrying proteins like hemoglobin and myoglobin. Myoglobin is in the muscles, and hemoglobin is typically in the red blood cells.
You can find iron in several food sources and in many proteins in the body. Nevertheless, some foods have higher amounts of iron than others. Iron from food sources is in two categories, heme iron, and nonheme iron.
Without iron, our body can’t produce hemoglobin, and without hemoglobin, the body can’t produce the required amount of healthy red blood cells. Despite its importance, iron must be moderate. Too much of it can cause stroke and organ and tissue damage. At the same time, too little of it can cause anemia and several other health complications.
Anemia is one of the most common blood disorders in diabetics, especially type 1 diabetics. Several studies have shown that a lack of iron can affect blood sugar levels. A 2014 study showed a direct link between anemia caused by iron deficiency and higher amounts of glucose in the blood.
Since diabetes is primarilya case of high blood sugar levels, people with diabetes must ensure that they provide their bodies with enough iron. You can give your body adequate iron by consuming iron-rich foods or iron supplements for diabetics.
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Importance of Iron Supplements for Diabetics
Iron is essential for muscle metabolism, brain cell development, gastrointestinal processes, physical growth, and hormone synthesis, which makes giving your body the right quantity of iron crucial.
For people with diabetes that don’t get enough iron-rich food for their diabetes, iron supplements provide the needed iron to the body. Other benefits of taking iron supplements for diabetics include:
Iron transports oxygen to the brain and muscles and is essential for physical and mental health. Therefore if we have insufficient iron in our body, our physical and mental well-being will not be at its best. Inadequate iron in the body also cause increased irritability, lack of focus, and reduced stamina.
During pregnancy, the body increases its red blood cell production and blood volume to cater to the fetus’ oxygen and nutrients. The increase in blood cell production and blood volume also leads to an increase in iron requirement. Although the body absorbs the needed iron during pregnancy, insufficient iron and several other factors can lead to low iron intake.
Iron deficiency during pregnancy can lead to low birth weight and premature birth. It can also cause impaired cognitive or behavioral development in the baby. Because iron improves the immune system, lack of it in pregnant women can make them prone to infection.
Improved Athletic Performance
If you’re a person with type 1 diabetes and an athlete, iron supplements are just the thing for you. You need iron for your body to produce myoglobin which provides oxygen to your muscles.
Because of the strict dietary requirements athletes go by, many need more iron from their diets. For female athletes, especially those involved in endurance training like cycling or marathon running, the low iron intake is even more pronounced because of menstruation.
However, iron supplements can bridge the gap between strict dietary requirements and low iron intake. Consuming iron supplements every day can enhance exercise performance in menstruating people.
Additionally, taking iron supplements can help improve cognition. Lack of iron in the body leads to a decline in focus and concentration. Iron is responsible for pushing oxygen to the brain. When it’s absent, it is impossible to retain focus and attention. A study has shown that getting iron to the optimal range improves cognitive performance and focus.
Also, iron supplements help control restless leg syndrome. This health challenge makes people have the uncontrollable urge to move their legs even during sleep, interrupting their rest.
Iron supplements for diabetics ensure diabetics who already have plenty of things to avoid or limit don’t lack iron. Here are five iron supplements for diabetics.
Thorne Iron Bisglycinate Capsules
Thorne iron capsules are for athletes. If you’re an athlete needing iron supplements for diabetics, Thorne capsules are the perfect fit. They’re NSF certified. The National Sanitation Foundation was founded in 1944 to help standardize sanitation and food safety.
The NSF is a global organization that provides services to more than 160 countries, so a product must have merit before they certify it. What does this mean for you as a diabetic athlete? The certification shows that Thorne Iron Bisglycinate capsules contain no substances banned by sporting organizations. These substances include diuretics, narcotics, stimulants, steroids, masking agents, and beta-2 agonists.
The manufacturers of Thorne iron capsules have also stated that their product does not contain artificial flavors, soy, dairy, and gluten. The company assures you that you can take iron supplements for diabetics without worrying about digestive discomfort, a common side effect of most iron supplements.
Benefits for Type 1 Diabetes
Thorne iron supplement helps your body to absorb iron without any gastrointestinal side effects optimally. These stomach upsets are in other iron supplements because the body poorly absorbs those non-conventional forms of iron.
Thorne ensures that they stand apart from others by guaranteeing that every 25 mg of their capsule contains elemental iron that has been reacted with glycine to ensure optimal absorption in the gastrointestinal tract. This way, the gastrointestinal side effects are minimal.
Also, Thorne iron capsules help in the formation of red blood cells. It also helps fight fatigue and other symptoms of iron deficiency, like dizziness, irritability, loss of libido, shortness of breath, weakness, tinnitus, fatigue, infrequent menstruation, spots before the eyes, and drowsiness.
These symptoms usually manifest more in athletes and menstruating women with low iron levels. For athletes, especially diabetic athletes with type 1 diabetes, endurance training means they burn up their body’s iron storage and need nearly twice the amount of iron a non-athlete requires.
Because iron is responsible for taking oxygen to the cells and muscles, a low amount in the body can negatively impact aerobic performance and work capacity.
According to the United States Centers for Disease Control, iron deficiency is more pronounced in toddlers younger than three years and menstruating women. It is also important for type 1 diabetics. Therefore, these groups need to consume more iron-rich foods or use iron supplements for diabetics.
With Thorne iron supplements for diabetics, they can get the required iron without gastrointestinal side effects.
Vegans and people who consume diets with lower protein also need iron, sometimes more than athletes. Fortunately, Thorne iron supplement for diabetics is suitable for vegans and can fulfill their iron needs.
Each Thorne iron capsule contains 25 mg of iron or Ferrochel Ferrous Bisglycinate Chelate, the active ingredient. However, it contains other inactive ingredients like Silicon Dioxide, Hypromellose capsules, and Leucine Microcrystalline Cellulose.
If you have type 1 diabetes, you should take one capsule daily or as instructed by your doctor. Pregnant women and people with serious medical conditions should consult their physician before taking the iron capsule.
One of the major drawbacks of Thorne iron supplement for diabetics is that it doesn’t have sufficient active ingredients. Although it is affordable and free from sugar, gluten, soy, and artificial flavors and color, it has some side effects you should know about.
These side effects are mostly noticed in the first few days of taking the vitamins. After that, they disappear. The side effects include the following:
- Stomach upset or cramps.
If you need supplements that are good for diabetes, then check out SugarMD products at sugarmds.com.
Nature Made Iron 65 mg Tablets
Unlike several iron supplements for diabetics, Nature Made iron tablets are verified by the United States Pharmacopeia, USP. The USP is a third-party organization that checks for potency, purity, quality, and performance in a given product.
Nature Made iron is for those who need to maximize their body’s iron requirement, including people with type 1 diabetes. The supplement is essential for forming red blood cells in the body. It can help type 1 diabetic get the required iron in their system due to its high iron dosage. It has high-quality ingredients, is gluten-free, and contains no synthetic dyes, artificial flavors, or colors.
People with type 1 diabetes are often at risk of iron deficiency. Still, Nature Made Iron tablets can provide them with sufficient iron needed. For adult males who are iron deficient, a 65 mg Nature Made iron tablet taken daily can support iron in their bodies.
Benefits for Type 1 Diabetics
Each Nature Made 65 mg tablet contains an equivalent of 325 mg ferrous sulfate heptahydrate. Other ingredients sealed in the tablets include croscarmellose sodium, cellulose gel, hypromellose, Polysorbate 80, polyethylene glycol, magnesium stearate, dibasic calcium phosphate, and triethyl citrate.
These ingredients work together to ensure that one daily tablet provides enough iron or ferrous sulfate to improve your health if you have type 1 diabetes.
Nature Made iron supplements for diabetics are easy to swallow and leave no aftertaste. However, like most iron supplements, it can cause stomach upsets, nausea, or constipation. If you notice any of these side effects, add more water and fiber to your diet or consult your doctor on the next steps.
Ferrous sulfate, the main active ingredient in Nature Made Iron tablets, is an effective supplementary iron with high solubility. The high solubility means it releases iron ions faster so your body can easily absorb them. Also, Nature Made Iron is very affordable. You don’t have to break the bank to get a pack.
For diabetics, it is important to remember that this iron supplement is a dietary supplement that provides you with iron which may be due to diet choices or health conditions. The supplement can cure, treat, diagnose, or prevent any health condition or disease.
Despite these benefits, you must refrain from overdosing on this iron supplement for diabetics. If you’re not iron deficient, you should consult your doctor before taking iron supplements. An overdose of iron can lead to the accumulation of iron in vital organs of the body.
If you have kids or are working with kids, you must keep the supplement out of their reach. Accidental overdose leads to iron poisoning in children under six years and is fatal. You should immediately contact a poison center or doctor if a child takes the supplement.
Check for the imprinted seal under the cap to ensure you get value for Nature Made Iron tablets. If it is missing or broken, the supplement has been tampered with. I recommend you don’t use it.
Also, I do not advise buying over-the-counter iron supplements for diabetics if you’re taking prescription medications, have a serious medical condition, or are pregnant or nursing. You should consult your healthcare provider before using this supplement to be safer.
Pure Encapsulations Iron Liquid
Pure encapsulation iron supplement for diabetics is unique in its liquid form. Due to strict dietary requirements or health conditions, many people, especially diabetics, do not get the required amount of iron their body needs to function optimally.
The supplement market is saturated with various iron supplements for diabetics that come as tablets. Many people, including type 1 diabetics, do not like chewing tablets or swallowing pills. However, Pure Encapsulation iron liquid has provided them with another way of getting their iron needs without swallowing pills or chewing tablets.
Benefits for Type 1 Diabetics
Pure encapsulation iron liquid seeks to address that deficiency and provide iron to type 1 diabetic, adolescent, and adult women in their reproductive years. Several others were diagnosed with iron deficiency but did not like pills.
This liquid iron supplement for diabetics increases your transferrin, Ferritin, and hemoglobin saturation level. Transferrin is a glycoprotein that binds to and consequently ensures the passage of iron through blood plasma.
It is an essential protein that transports iron via the blood to several issues like bone marrow, spleen, and liver. Ferritin is a protein that stores and releases iron within the cells. An increase in the saturation level of these vital proteins can lead to improved well-being and an energetic outlook.
Pure encapsulation Iron liquid contains a special blend of iron and SunActive Fe with increased bioavailability. SunActive Fe is obtained from lime rock, micronized, and made water-soluble.
It is also infused with smaller molecules that aid its absorption by the body. But that’s not all. The iron supplement also contains a proprietary mix of wild blueberry and cranberry extracts called CranBlue.
This extract can protect your cells from harmful radicals by releasing antioxidants into your system. It also maintains the microvascular system, which contains the smallest but most vital circulatory vessels, such as capillaries.
Pure encapsulation iron liquid comes in a four-ounce white bottle and can last anywhere from two to three weeks. For iron liquid, I recommend one teaspoon serving daily; however, for best results, you can take one teaspoonful in the morning after meals and one again in the evening after meals. Each teaspoon of iron liquid provides you with 15 mg of SunActive Fe.
Iron liquid also contains other ingredients like natural vegetable glycerin, rapeseed lecithin, potassium sorbate, purified water, apple juice concentrate, xanthan gum, natural pomegranate with other natural flavors, and maltodextrin. Interestingly, your body easily absorbs and tolerates this iron supplement, and it doesn’t cause nausea or gastrointestinal side effects.
Iron liquid tastes great as it’s flavored with natural pomegranate flavor and sweetened with apple juice concentrate. This great taste makes it a perfect iron supplement for kids. However, it should be tightly closed and kept out of reach of children as accidental intake of iron supplements can be fatal. For supplement without iron in it, try SugarMD DiaVitamin. It will help restore your strength and endurance.
Also, the Pure Encapsulations iron liquid is a great alternative for adults who often experience constipation, stomach upsets, and other gastrointestinal side effects. It has also been tested for quality and purity by United States Pharmacopeia, USP, and third-party laboratories.
Despite being a great alternative to pills and chewable tablets and a gluten-free, vegetarian-friendly, non-GMO, and peanut-free iron supplement for diabetics, Pure Encapsulation’s iron liquid is expensive. It needs to be refrigerated constantly, or it goes bad.
Side effects include but are not limited to
- Abdominal upsets or pain
- Nausea and vomiting
NOW Iron Supplements 18 mg
This iron supplement for diabetics is a non-GMO, halal, and kosher supplement. NOW has made a name for itself by providing high-quality products at affordable prices. The company has been a trusted brand in the natural products industry since 1968.
In the 1960s, iron supplements for diabetics were not as mainstream as they are now, yet NOW has maintained its mission of providing value in products and services that will enable people to lead healthier lives.
The family-owned company’s guide has always been on providing quality that everyone can afford. That is what they delivered in the NOW iron capsule. Each pack contains 120 capsules, and each capsule contains 18 mg of iron which comes in the form of Ferrochel iron bisglycinate.
Ferrochel iron bisglycinate has been clinically proven to be gentle and non-constipating; it was also shown to have superior absorption. Besides Ferrochel iron bisglycinate, a registered trademark of Albion Laboratories, Inc. The NOW iron supplement for diabetics also contains several other ingredients, such as stearic acid, rice flour, cellulose, and silica.
The production of this iron supplement is in facilities with Underwriters Laboratories (UL) certifications. Underwriters laboratories is a third-party organization that ensures that products are manufactured according to rigorous safety standards.
Benefits for Type 1 Diabetics
The NOW iron supplement for diabetics is important in energy production and promotes neurological health and immune system function for type 1 diabetics. With NOW iron supplements, you do not have to worry about major allergies because the company ensures that the product is nut-free, soy-free, dairy-free, GMO-free, egg-free, wheat-free, and gluten-free.
It is viewed by many as a vegetarian diet. However, the supplement is manufactured in facilities that process dairy, wheat, and other ingredients containing these allergens.
The recommended dosage for the supplement is one capsule every day. Admittedly, the supplement is expensive. However, many consider it a fair price to pay for easier iron absorption and non-constipation. Like in other supplements, you must take at most the recommended dosage.
You should follow the recommendations because failure to do as instructed can lead to iron deposits in your organs and death, especially in children less than seven years. NOW insists that the supplement is for adults. Still, you need to seek your doctor’s opinion if you’re pregnant, nursing, or have a serious medical condition.
Side effects of Now iron supplements for diabetics include the following:
- Abdominal upsets or pain
- Nausea and vomiting
Care/of iron supplement is a subscription-based vitamin service that requires you to take a quiz to personalize your supplements. The iron supplement is one of the company’s several vitamin and supplement services.
The supplement is a great iron supplement for diabetics. It is formulated to provide your iron needs without gastrointestinal side effects. To achieve this, the company infused its iron supplement with 18 mg of iron. The iron comes as ferrous bisglycinate chelate, which makes gastrointestinal side effects like constipation and stomach upsets less likely. Also, it makes the supplement easily absorbable.
Benefits for Type 1 Diabetics
Care/Of recognizes that iron is critical for producing red blood cells, especially for people with type 1 diabetes. To promote optimal production of red blood cells, they formulated the supplement with vitamin c for maximum absorption.
Other ingredients used in the formulation of the Care/Of iron include citric acid, organic brown rice flour, spirulina, rice hulls, hypromellose, acacia, sunflower oil, and rice extract.
Although, that is not compulsory as the supplement includes a chelated form of iron. When a mineral is chelated, it is combined with a chelating agent such as amino acid. The function of the chelating agent is to prevent the minerals from interacting with other compounds.
This way, your body focuses on digesting the required minerals. Nevertheless, if you’re on medications, you should consult your doctor before taking any supplements, whether chelated or non-chelated.
As a subscription service, you must choose a plan and place your order. The company will deliver a month’s worth of supplements every 30 days. Also, because it’s a personalized service, you can retake the quiz and update your recommendations.
This way, you’ll get supplements that will serve your current needs. On the flip side, the company doesn’t accept the one-time purchase of their products.
There are no known drawbacks of Care/of iron supplements for diabetics, probably because the capsules are third-party tested and don’t contain unnecessary fillers. They have also been certified CLEAN, which means Conscious, Life, Ethical, Active, and Nourishing. CLEAN certifications are holistic system certifications for packaged food products and supplements.
They accept the principles of HACCP and FSMA, among others, and integrate multiple aspects of the production process, from selecting the ingredient through its manufacturing and delivery. To be certified CLEAN, the products must be safe, organic, non-GMO, bioavailable, and nutritious.
However, being pricey and requiring a subscription will make it out of reach for most type 1 diabetics.
Is too many Iron Supplements bad for Type 1 Diabetics?
Although iron is an essential mineral needed in our body, and lack of it can lead to several health issues, still, too much of it isn’t good. One common side effect of taking iron supplements is nausea. Many users have also reported having an upset stomach and constipation. If you experience constipation, add more fiber and water to your diet.
“Diabetics with medical conditions like hemochromatosis are prone to iron overload because they absorb more iron from food than other people without hemochromatosis. Therefore, I advise that they don’t take iron supplements because it can lead to an overload of iron which can cause iron buildup in some organs like the liver.”
It can also create free radicals, which can cause damage to body cells, tissues, and organs like the heart, liver, and pancreas. There are also reports that it increases your risk of certain cancers. Iron overdose can be fatal or lead to organ failure.
I advise you to keep iron supplements away from the reach of children, as iron overload in children can be fatal. Before the 1990s, iron poisoning was the commonest cause of death for children under six years.
Although modifications and distribution methods of iron supplements have now changed, it is important to bear in mind just how dangerous an accidental consumption of iron consumption supplements by a kid is. Iron supplements now come in childproof bottle caps; some are subscription-based, helping reduce the risk of death from an overdose.
However, in taking iron supplements, you mustn’t take them with antacids. If you must take iron supplements, you should take them two to four hours after taking your antacids. Antacids and other medications that help manage heartburn prevent your body from absorbing iron.
Iron supplements for diabetics are great for type 1 diabetics. Still, an overload can be dangerous, so it is best to take iron supplements based on the guidance of your healthcare provider or doctor and to take them as directed.
If you have issues getting any of these iron supplements for diabetics, you can reach out to SugarMD.com and check out our collection of iron supplements for diabetics that might be just what you need.
About Dr. Ergin
Who is Dr. Ergin? Dr. Ahmet Ergin is an endocrinologist interested in and passionate about diabetes care. Dr. Ergin earned his medical degree with honors at Marmara University School of Medicine in Istanbul, Turkey, and completed his internal medicine residency and endocrinology fellowship at Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland, Ohio.
He is a board-certified Internal Medicine, Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Metabolism Physician; a certified diabetes education specialist, the author of The Ultimate Diabetes Book; and the Founder of the SugarMD youtube channel. He practices in Port Saint Lucie, FL as an endocrinologist physician.
Disclaimer: Any information on diseases and treatments on this website is for general guidance only and must never be a substitute for the advice your doctor or other qualified healthcare professional provides. Always seek the advice of your physician, health provider, or other qualified healthcare professional’s advice with questions regarding your health.
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