Study: Iron Supplements Help Women Battling Fatigue

Women who are low in iron but not severe enough to be considered anemic may want to ask their doctor if they need to take iron supplements.

A study published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal found that women taking iron supplements cut their fatigue by nearly 50 percent.

Women report fatigue three times as often as men, according to a news release from the Canadian Medical Association Journal.

In the clinical trial, which included nearly 200 menstruating women from 18 to 50 years old, participants took either a placebo or 80 mg of ferrous sulfate. After six weeks, those taking the supplement saw an effect on hemoglobin, ferritin and other blood levels. After 12 weeks, iron supplementation lowered fatigue by almost 50 percent.

“Iron deficiency may be an under-recognized cause of fatigue in women of child-bearing age,” the author wrote. “If fatigue is not due to secondary causes, the identification of iron deficiency as a potential cause may prevent inappropriate attribution of symptoms to putative emotional causes or life stressors, thereby reducing the unnecessary use of health care resources, including inappropriate pharmacologic treatments.”

Source: Canadian Medical Association Journal press release

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