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If you suspect that you are allergic to iron supplements, you need to talk with an allergist to receive a clinical diagnosis. Any time you introduce a substance into your body, you have the possibility of developing an allergic reaction. You may be allergic to the iron or another ingredient in the supplement 1. Many supplements contain milk or gluten proteins that could trigger an allergic reaction unrelated to iron. If you experience any severe pain or reactions, stop taking the iron supplement and call your doctor.
Don’t take iron supplements unless instructed by your doctor. Taking too much iron can lead to health risks and further complications 1. If you’re currently taking iron supplements and you think you’re allergic to the supplement, your doctor will perform allergy testing to diagnose the cause of your symptoms. In order for your symptoms to be linked to an allergy to the iron supplement, your body must produce immunoglobulin E antibodies, or IgE antibodies. These antibodies are only created during an allergic reaction, making the condition possible to diagnose.
- Don’t take iron supplements unless instructed by your doctor.
- In order for your symptoms to be linked to an allergy to the iron supplement, your body must produce immunoglobulin E antibodies, or IgE antibodies.
Allergy to Vitamin B-12
What happens when you have an allergic reaction to an iron supplement is that your immune system mistakes the supplement as a dangerous substance. While the supplement is safe for human consumption, your body reacts to it as if it were a threat to your body. Immediately, your immune system creates IgE antibodies that attempt to fight off the iron supplement. This causes the body to create other chemicals, such as histamine, to protect the body. These chemicals trigger inflammation in soft tissue throughout the body.
- What happens when you have an allergic reaction to an iron supplement is that your immune system mistakes the supplement as a dangerous substance.
- While the supplement is safe for human consumption, your body reacts to it as if it were a threat to your body.
As with most allergic reactions, various parts of your body will be affected by the allergy. Digestive complications include cramping, stomach pain, diarrhea, vomiting and nausea. Skin reactions are common, especially with medications and supplements. Skin reactions include general irritation and inflammation, eczema and hives. Your respiratory system can become inflamed, causing wheezing, coughing, chest tightness, shortness of breath and nasal congestion. Sinus congestion can cause sinus headaches, postnasal drip and a runny nose.
- As with most allergic reactions, various parts of your body will be affected by the allergy.
- Your respiratory system can become inflamed, causing wheezing, coughing, chest tightness, shortness of breath and nasal congestion.
Skin Disorder & Vitamin D Allergy
If you’re diagnosed clinically with an allergy to iron supplements, your doctor will recommend that you stop taking iron supplements. You may also need to avoid certain cereals and bread products that are fortified with iron. Your doctor may perform allergy tests to determine if you are allergic to the iron or another ingredient in the supplement.
Allergy to Vitamin B-12
Skin Disorder & Vitamin D Allergy
Supplements That Cause a Skin Rash
Side Effects of Iron Supplements for Women over 50
Vitamin K and an Allergy or Rash
Can You Be Allergic to Vitamins?
Fish Oil and Swelling
How to Take Iron Supplements Before Surgery
Symptoms of Allergies to Chickpeas and Soy
Too Much Vitamin B12 Side Effects
- Health Tree: Vitamin Allergies
- Abbaspour N, Hurrell R, Kelishadi R. Review on iron and its importance for human health. J Res Med Sci. 2014;19(2):164–174.
- National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. Iron-Deficiency Anemia.
- Vaucher P, Druais PL, Waldvogel S, Favrat B. Effect of iron supplementation on fatigue in nonanemic menstruating women with low ferritin: a randomized controlled trial. CMAJ. 2012;184(11):1247-54. doi:10.1503/cmaj.110950
- Stugiewicz M, Tkaczyszyn M, Kasztura M, Banasiak W, Ponikowski P, Jankowska EA. The influence of iron deficiency on the functioning of skeletal muscles: experimental evidence and clinical implications. Eur J Heart Fail. 2016;18(7):762-73. doi:10.1002/ejhf.467
- Cherayil BJ. The role of iron in the immune response to bacterial infection. Immunol Res. 2011;50(1):1–9. doi:10.1007/s12026-010-8199-1
- Jáuregui-lobera I. Iron deficiency and cognitive functions. Neuropsychiatr Dis Treat. 2014;10:2087-95. doi:10.2147/NDT.S72491
- Cleveland Clinic. How to Tell If You Have Iron Deficiency Anemia. Updated October 30, 2017.
- Murat S, Ali U, Serdal K, et al. Assessment of subjective sleep quality in iron deficiency anaemia. Afr Health Sci. 2015;15(2):621–627. doi:10.4314/ahs.v15i2.40
- Dosman CF, Brian JA, Drmic IE, et al. Children with autism: effect of iron supplementation on sleep and ferritin. Pediatr Neurol. 2007;36(3):152-8. doi:10.1016/j.pediatrneurol.2006.11.004
- Office of Dietary Supplements. Iron Fact Sheet for Health Professionals. Updated October 16, 2019.
Diane Marks started her writing career in 2010 and has been in health care administration for more than 30 years. She holds a registered nurse license from Citizens General Hospital School of Nursing, a Bachelor of Arts in health care education from California University of Pennsylvania and a Master of Science in health administration from the University of Pittsburgh.