Iron supplementation & Constipation

Here you can share your experiences with substances that are ingested, inhaled, or otherwise consumed for the purpose of relieving RLS/WED, other than prescription medications. For example, herbal remedies, nutritional supplements, diet, kratom, and marijuana (for now) should be discussed here. Tell others of successes, failures, side effects, and any known research on these substances. [Posts on these subjects created prior to 2009 are in the Physical Treatments forum.]

Important: Posts and information in this section are based on personal experiences and recommendations; they should not be considered a substitute for the advice of a healthcare provider.
rlsgal70
Posts: 8
Joined: Sun Dec 30, 2018 5:08 pm

Iron supplementation & Constipation

Postby rlsgal70 » Sun Dec 30, 2018 5:17 pm

A month back, my blood test showed mild low iron levels & I started taking Iron Supplements. Within 3-4 days, my RLS symptoms almost reduced by half. Unfortunately, by 6-7 days, I was suffering from severe constipation - having no bowel movement for 4 days. I didn't connect it to the iron tablets at all. I took Milk of Magnesia & got motion after days. But the constipation got worse even if I was taking milk of magnesia. I went to the doctor & he said it's because of the iron & he changed the iron tablet to one with a stool softener. But that also didn't really help, so the doctor said to stop iron for sometime. However, after stopping iron, my RLS symptoms increased again.

Has anyone else faced issues with Iron Supplements. What is the solution?

Can I take Milk of Magnesia & Stool softeners continuously with Iron? I am not pregnant or anything. Iron has been a lifesaver for me & I want to take it.

stjohnh
Posts: 911
Joined: Sun Feb 14, 2016 3:13 pm
Location: Palo Alto, California

Re: Iron supplementation & Constipation

Postby stjohnh » Sun Dec 30, 2018 5:28 pm

Not good to take continuously. Much safer for long term use (and more effective) is to use Miralax. OK to take Miralax with Iron
Blessings,
Holland

Rustsmith
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Location: Pueblo, Colorado

Re: Iron supplementation & Constipation

Postby Rustsmith » Sun Dec 30, 2018 5:33 pm

Very recently the RLS experts changed the order for the various RLS treatment procedures. Treating iron deficiencies (not just anemia, the critical parameter is ferritin), are first treated with oral iron supplements. For those who cannot tolerate oral iron, the next step is an iron IV. This is very new development that your doctor may not be familiar with. Even if (s)he is familiar with them, the treatment has to be done by a hematologist and most of them are only used to treating anemia and not RLS, so they often resist performing the treatment.

Here is a link to the iron recommendations:

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1389945717315599?via%3Dihub

Print a copy and take to your doctor. Highlight section 5.3.4.

"5.3.4. Expert-consensus clinical recommendations Ferric carboxymaltose should be considered as one of the first-line treatments in patients with RLS. IV iron treatment should not be given to patients with serum ferritin levels >300 m g/l or transferrin saturation >45%."
Steve

Augmentation Evaluation http://bb.rls.org/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=9005

Opinions presented by Discussion Board Moderators are personal in nature and do not, in any way, represent the opinion of the RLS Foundation, and are not medical advice.

Yankiwi
Posts: 386
Joined: Wed Sep 10, 2014 7:20 am
Location: West Coast, South Island, New Zealand

Re: Iron supplementation & Constipation

Postby Yankiwi » Sun Dec 30, 2018 9:44 pm

As well as taking iron tablets I take a tramadol daily and 60mg codeine about three times a week. This cocktail causes constipation.

This is my solution.
For breakfast almost every day I have a half cup of healthy yoghurt with 1/3 cup of All Bran, 1/3 cup of Active Balance cereal (fairly high in fiber and tastes good), a kiwifruit and a small pear chopped up. Pears are higher in fiber than apples and go well on cereal. I choose bread that is high in fiber too and generally check the amount of fiber in food.
Recently I've been taking a fairly high dose magnesium tablet too, not because it helps with my rls but it does help with the constipation.

Polar Bear
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Location: N. Ireland

Re: Iron supplementation & Constipation

Postby Polar Bear » Sun Dec 30, 2018 11:23 pm

I take 150mg codeine daily and have done so for several years. I have never suffered from constipation.
Started iron tablets last week, lets hope they don't be the straw that starts the constipation. I do drink a great deal of water.
Betty
http://www.willis-ekbom.org/about-rls-wed/publications
Opinions presented by Discussion Board Moderators are personal in nature and do not, in any way, represent the opinion of the RLS Foundation

Rustsmith
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Location: Pueblo, Colorado

Re: Iron supplementation & Constipation

Postby Rustsmith » Mon Dec 31, 2018 12:58 am

I had constipation issues during the 2.5 yrs that I was on methadone, but put up with it. Interestingly enough, that problem went away when I switched to Tramadol ER. It will be interesting to see if my doctor wants me to switch back when I see her in 3 weeks. Even though the Tramadol is more expensive, I like the absence of constipation and the way that it has helped me with depression. The only thing that I miss about methadone is the way that I would start to feel some withdrawal symptoms about 4 hrs after I forgot to take it at lunchtime. With Tramadol, I don't get those warnings until about 8 hrs later, which means that I will not get much sleep that night.

As for iron supplementation, I stopped taking iron sulfate earlier this year and didn't see much change. But I was still taking methadone then.
Steve

Augmentation Evaluation http://bb.rls.org/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=9005

Opinions presented by Discussion Board Moderators are personal in nature and do not, in any way, represent the opinion of the RLS Foundation, and are not medical advice.

rlsgal70
Posts: 8
Joined: Sun Dec 30, 2018 5:08 pm

Re: Iron supplementation & Constipation

Postby rlsgal70 » Mon Dec 31, 2018 1:25 am

Yankiwi wrote:
Recently I've been taking a fairly high dose magnesium tablet too, not because it helps with my rls but it does help with the constipation.


How high dose are you taking?

Yankiwi
Posts: 386
Joined: Wed Sep 10, 2014 7:20 am
Location: West Coast, South Island, New Zealand

Re: Iron supplementation & Constipation

Postby Yankiwi » Mon Dec 31, 2018 7:31 am

The magnesium is 550 mg. I also drink a lot of water.

My new GP wanted me to go on a keto diet but I said no. A) because I didn't think it would work and B) because I'd then have to take medication for constipation. She then suggested I go on a gluten free diet which I did for 28 days even though I thought the prospects of helping with my rls were nil. I was right.

rlsgal70
Posts: 8
Joined: Sun Dec 30, 2018 5:08 pm

Re: Iron supplementation & Constipation

Postby rlsgal70 » Mon Dec 31, 2018 1:33 pm

stjohnh wrote:Not good to take continuously.


How long can it be taken without a problem?
stjohnh wrote: Much safer for long term use (and more effective) is to use Miralax. OK to take Miralax with Iron


Unfortunately, Miralax or anything similar is not available in my country

stjohnh
Posts: 911
Joined: Sun Feb 14, 2016 3:13 pm
Location: Palo Alto, California

Re: Iron supplementation & Constipation

Postby stjohnh » Mon Dec 31, 2018 4:04 pm

rlsgal70 wrote:
stjohnh wrote:Not good to take continuously.


How long can it be taken without a problem?
stjohnh wrote: Much safer for long term use (and more effective) is to use Miralax. OK to take Miralax with Iron


Unfortunately, Miralax or anything similar is not available in my country


Milk of magnesia can make your magnesium level go too high, especially if you are over 65 or have any kidney problems. Stool softeners are fine. Bulking laxatives like Citrucel, Benefiber, and psyllium are fine. I wouldn't take daily milk of magnesia more than a month without talking to my doctor.

rlsgal, It would help if you put your location in your profile. To do this, click on your user name at the top right of your screen, then user control panel, then the edit profile tab.
Blessings,
Holland

rlsgal70
Posts: 8
Joined: Sun Dec 30, 2018 5:08 pm

Re: Iron supplementation & Constipation

Postby rlsgal70 » Mon Dec 31, 2018 4:17 pm

stjohnh wrote:Milk of magnesia can make your magnesium level go too high, especially if you are over 65 or have any kidney problems.


I am 45 & without kidney problems.

stjohnh wrote:Stool softeners are fine. Bulking laxatives like Citrucel, Benefiber, and psyllium are fine.


Already taking psyllium for a month - but that also doesn't help.

ViewsAskew
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Re: Iron supplementation & Constipation

Postby ViewsAskew » Tue Jan 01, 2019 10:22 pm

rlsgal70 wrote:
stjohnh wrote:Milk of magnesia can make your magnesium level go too high, especially if you are over 65 or have any kidney problems.


I am 45 & without kidney problems.

stjohnh wrote:Stool softeners are fine. Bulking laxatives like Citrucel, Benefiber, and psyllium are fine.


Already taking psyllium for a month - but that also doesn't help.


How much water are you drinking?

I think a lot of us find that our bodies require different things to work. From a very high fiber diet (helps me, but not quite enough), water intake, magnesium, stool softrners, exercise, to fiber supplements.

I do the following:
try to walk at least 2-3 miles a day
set aside at least 60 ounces of water in the morning to drink during the day along with the tea, juice and coffee I drink
Eat high fiber foods that provide a mix of fiber type - beans, oats, pears, romaine lettuce, etc.
1 magnesium capsule a day (2 every day along with the other methods give me very loose stools even while on opioids)

When I do that, I am fine. As soon as I travel (likely dehydration), or slack on the healthy foods...then I pay! I used to use a stool softener - worked very well. Eventually I was able to get the right mix of other things that I didn't need it. But, I add it in when I goof up with other things.

I read of a technique to press on the perineum - works REALLY well when needed! https://perinealpressure.yale.edu/
Ann - Take what you need, leave the rest

Managing Your RLS

Opinions presented by Discussion Board Moderators are personal in nature and do not, in any way, represent the opinion of the RLS Foundation, and are not medical advice.

Polar Bear
Moderator
Posts: 7553
Joined: Tue Dec 26, 2006 4:34 pm
Location: N. Ireland

Re: Iron supplementation & Constipation

Postby Polar Bear » Wed Jan 02, 2019 10:12 am

For several years I have on occasion pressed on the perineum to help. This does work.... I thought it was only me who did this !!
Betty
http://www.willis-ekbom.org/about-rls-wed/publications
Opinions presented by Discussion Board Moderators are personal in nature and do not, in any way, represent the opinion of the RLS Foundation

ViewsAskew
Moderator
Posts: 15739
Joined: Thu Oct 28, 2004 6:37 am
Location: Los Angeles

Re: Iron supplementation & Constipation

Postby ViewsAskew » Fri Jan 04, 2019 10:36 pm

Polar Bear wrote:For several years I have on occasion pressed on the perineum to help. This does work.... I thought it was only me who did this !!


Smart woman!
Ann - Take what you need, leave the rest



Managing Your RLS



Opinions presented by Discussion Board Moderators are personal in nature and do not, in any way, represent the opinion of the RLS Foundation, and are not medical advice.

rlsgal70
Posts: 8
Joined: Sun Dec 30, 2018 5:08 pm

Re: Iron supplementation & Constipation

Postby rlsgal70 » Fri Jan 04, 2019 11:48 pm

How long & how hard to press on perineum? When do you do it?


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