Do Iron Pills Make You Gain Weight: Surprising Truth

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do iron supplements make you gain weight

Marlon Emmanuel Mcleod

March 20, 2023

If you’re wondering if iron pills make you gain weight, you’ve come to the right place. Iron is a vital mineral that is essential for the formation of red blood cells in the body. If you have low iron levels, your body may not be able to produce enough haemoglobin, which can result in anaemia. In some cases, doctors may prescribe iron supplements to help restore iron levels. 

However, many people worry that taking iron pills may cause weight gain. Is this true? Let’s take a closer look. In this article, we’ll explore “Do Iron Pills Make You Gain Weight?” in-depth and provide the information you need to decide about taking iron supplements.

DO Iron Pills Make You Gain Weight?

Iron pills have been controversial when it comes to weight gain. Some people believe that taking iron pills can increase body weight, while others argue that there is no direct link between the two. So, do iron pills make you gain weight?

The short answer is no. Iron pills themselves do not cause weight gain. However, there are some factors to consider when taking iron supplements that may indirectly contribute to weight gain. For example, if you take iron pills to treat iron deficiency anaemia, you may experience an increased appetite and a slower metabolism due to the anaemia. This can result in weight gain if you consume more calories than your body needs.

Some iron supplements may contain added sugars or other ingredients that can contribute to weight gain if consumed excessively. It’s important to carefully read the labels of your iron supplements and choose those that do not contain unnecessary additives.

How Do Iron Pills Work?

Iron pills give the body a concentrated source of iron, an essential mineral that plays a vital role in many bodily functions. Iron is necessary for producing haemoglobin, a protein in red blood cells responsible for carrying oxygen throughout the body.

When you take an iron pill, the iron is absorbed into the bloodstream and transported to the bone marrow, where it is used to produce new red blood cells. This process helps to replenish iron stores in the body and can help to treat iron deficiency anaemia.

There are two types of iron supplements: ferrous and ferric. Ferrous iron supplements are absorbed better by the body and are the most commonly prescribed form of iron supplement. Ferric iron supplements are not as well absorbed by the body and are generally used for individuals who cannot tolerate ferrous iron.

Factors That Can Affect Weight Gain

While iron pills do not cause weight gain, several factors can contribute to weight gain when taking iron supplements. These include:

Increased Appetite

As mentioned earlier, iron supplements can improve appetite in some people. This can lead to increased calorie consumption, gaining weight over time.

Changes in Metabolism

Iron plays a crucial role in the body’s metabolism, and low iron levels can lead to a sluggish metabolism. When you start taking iron supplements, your metabolism may increase, leading to increased calorie burning and weight loss. However, if you were previously experiencing a slower metabolism due to low iron levels, the increase in metabolism may result in weight gain.

Iron-Induced Constipation

One of the most common side effects of iron supplements is constipation. If you experience constipation from iron pills, you may feel bloated and heavy, leading to temporary weight gain.

Fluid Retention

Iron supplements sometimes cause fluid retention, making you feel bloated and heavy. This is not true weight gain, but it can make you feel like you’ve gained weight.

How to Minimize the Risk of Weight Gain When Taking Iron Pills

If you’re concerned about weight gain when taking iron supplements, there are several things you can do to minimize this risk:

Risk of Weight Gain When Taking Iron Pills

Eat a Balanced Diet

Ensure you eat a balanced diet with plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats. This will help you get all the necessary nutrients without overloading with calories.

Exercise Regularly

Regular exercise can help you burn excess calories and maintain a healthy weight. Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise most days of the week.


In conclusion, it’s important to remember that iron pills do not cause weight gain. While there are some factors to consider, such as anaemia and added sugars in certain supplements, iron pills are not directly responsible for increased body weight. Iron is an essential mineral that is crucial in many bodily functions. If you suffer from iron deficiency or anaemia, it’s important to incorporate iron into your diet in some way.

By working closely with your doctor and staying informed about the best ways to manage iron deficiency, you can get the nutrients you need without the risk of unwanted weight gain.

FAQs-DO Iron Pills Make You Gain Weight?

Can iron pills cause weight loss?

While iron pills do not directly cause weight loss, they may indirectly contribute to weight loss if taken to treat iron deficiency anaemia. This is because anaemia can cause a decrease in appetite and a slower metabolism, which can lead to weight loss if you consume fewer calories than your body needs.

How much iron should I take daily?

The amount of iron you should take daily depends on various factors, including age, gender, and overall health. Your doctor can help you determine the appropriate amount of iron for your specific needs.

Can iron supplements interact with other medications?

Iron supplements can interact with certain medications, including antibiotics and antacids. Tell your doctor about all your medications before starting an iron supplement.

Are there any side effects of taking iron pills?

Some common side effects of taking iron pills include constipation, nausea, and stomach pain. Talk to your doctor if you experience any severe or persistent side effects.

Can I get enough iron from my diet alone?

While getting enough iron from your diet alone is possible, many people require additional supplementation, especially if they suffer from iron-deficiency anaemia. Talk to your doctor about the best ways to incorporate iron into your diet and supplement as needed.

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