Restless Legs Syndrome: The Use of Iron Supplements

Taking iron helps people with Restless Legs Syndrome even though the person does not have anemia. There are many people with this condition who have low iron levels in the brain while iron blood levels seem to be normal. While you can get an iron over-the-counter, it must be taken without the recommendation of a doctor. An iron supplement may cause several side effects and some of them might be serious.

How Does Iron Work To Improve Restless Legs Syndrome?

Iron supplements increase the levels of iron in the brain. This helps the parts of the brain that control movement work better.

The supplement is usually taken by mouth. It may take up to 3 months for the symptoms to improve. Also, iron treatment may need to be continual for every 3 to 6 months. Certain people find that they can stop taking other medications for Restless Legs Syndrome if their iron levels improve.

In some cases, people with severe Restless Legs Syndrome and anemia may need IV iron if they do not respond to taking iron pills. These IVs are given during several hospital visits over up to 12 weeks. It frequently takes weeks to relieve the symptoms of the condition.

What Are The Possible Side Effects Of Iron Supplements?

Iron supplements may cause constipation, Restless Legs Syndrome, and other side effects. Particular individuals might need to take iron pills every other day or less often. Not everyone can take iron. Eating more liver, red meat, spinach, and other foods high in iron may help too.

These are not all the possible side effects of iron supplements. You may ask your doctor about what to expect or if you experience any changes that concern you during treatment with iron supplements.

Things To Know About Iron Supplements:

  • Before starting treatment for Restless Legs Syndrome, let your doctor know about all your health conditions and any other medications you may be taking as well as vitamins or supplements you take. This includes over-the-counter medications.
  • Taking iron on an empty stomach with a Vitamin C or orange juice pill will help the body absorb the iron better. You must not take iron along with antacids, calcium supplements, or dairy products such as milk. These could lessen the amount of iron that is absorbed. Taking iron at night helps the brain absorb iron better.
  • There are several types of iron available over-the-counter. Talk to your doctor about which type and what dose is right for you.
  • Your doctor will monitor your blood work throughout this time to avoid the severe complication of iron overload.

Here Some Foods That Is Rich In Iron:

  • Peas
  • Dried fruit such as apricots and raisins
  • Beans
  • Seafood
  • Red meat, poultry, and pork
  • Dark leafy vegetables  such as spinach
  • Iron-fortified cereals, pasta, and bread

Other Treatment Options For Restless Legs Syndrome:

Restless Legs Syndrome may also be treated with:

  • Devices for Restless Legs Syndrome
  • Lifestyle changes such as reducing alcohol or caffeine
  • Benzodiazepines
  • Dopamine agonists
  • Carbidopa/Levodopa
  • Alpha-2 agonists

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