Women often find themselves low on iron due to the loss of blood during menstruation. The fix may be as simple as a little iron supplement.
If you're a woman and you constantly feel tired, maybe a little iron could help. A new study found that iron supplementation may be helpful even for women who have iron levels that are not low enough to be diagnosed with anemia. However, read on before you run out and buy a bottle of iron supplement.
Researchers conducted a randomized controlled trial of nearly 200 women between the ages of 18 and 50 who were still menstruating and had gone to their physicians complaining of fatigue. Fatigue is a common complaint in primary patient practices, particularly among female patients. Fourteen to 27 percent of patients suffer from fatigue with women three times more likely to report the problem to their physician than men. Needless to say, low iron is far from the only cause of women's fatigue.
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None of the women in the study had iron levels low enough to be diagnosed with anemia, but they reported considerable fatigue without any observable medical explanation. The study participants were randomly assigned to take either a daily oral supplement of 80 milligrams of prolonged-release ferrous sulfate or a placebo for 12 weeks. Neither the physicians nor the study participants knew which group of women was taking the supplement versus the placebo. After 12 weeks, fatigue was decreased by 50 percent in the women taking the iron supplement.