Sigh. Irritable bowel syndrome. For up to 45 million people in the US alone, this common gastrointestinal disorder is a daily struggle. IBS causes symptoms like abdominal pain, cramps, and sudden changes in bowel movements. And although it doesn’t directly cause anemia, IBS can increase the risk of developing it.
In this article, we’ll explore the links between IBS and iron deficiency anemia and how a Liposomal iron supplement can be a game-changer for those affected by both conditions.
What is irritable bowel syndrome?
Irritable bowel syndrome is a chronic disorder that comes with a world of frustrating and unpleasant symptoms. Stomach pain, bloating, gas, inflammation, cramps, diarrhea, constipation, mucus in your stool—you get the picture.
Unfortunately, researchers don’t know exactly what causes IBS. It could be gut bacteria, infection, food intolerances, or even childhood stress. On top of that, everyone’s IBS symptoms and triggers are unique, which makes the condition even more complex to solve.
But what researchers do know is that IBS is caused by a miscommunication between your brain and your gut. When the two aren’t working together properly, your digestive function starts to break down. We also know that women are twice as likely to get diagnosed with IBS.
(Ironically, anemia is also more common in women. But more on that later.)
What are the different types of IBS?
When it comes to bowel movements, most people have normal days and flare-up days. IBS is categorized based on how your stool looks during flare-ups. There are 3 main categories:
- IBS with diarrhea (IBS-D): Your stool is loose and watery
- IBS with constipation (IBS-C): Your stool is hard and lumpy
- IBS with mixed bowel habits (IBS-M): Your bowel movements are a mix of lumpy and loose
It’s important to work with your doctor to find out which type of IBS you have. The type of treatment you’re prescribed will depend on your category of IBS.
Can IBS lead to iron deficiency anemia? Why?
What is iron deficiency anemia? It’s a condition that occurs when your body lacks hemoglobin—the molecule formed by iron that helps transport oxygen to the rest of your body. When you have low iron, your hemoglobin drops too.
IBS doesn’t cause anemia but it does increase the risk of developing it. There are a few reasons for this.
First, many people with IBS avoid certain iron-rich foods to steer clear of symptoms. Without that natural iron intake, the body can become iron deficient.
Second, the changing bowel movements associated with IBS can hinder iron absorption. Diarrhea, in particular, can cause iron to leave the body before being absorbed for hemoglobin production. Over time, this depletes your body’s iron stores and causes iron deficiency anemia.
What are the common symptoms of anemia?
The many symptoms of iron deficiency anemia can include:
- Extreme fatigue, even with adequate sleep
- Dizziness or lightheadedness
- Lack of focus or mental clarity
- Frequent or severe headaches
- Cold hands or feet
- Pale or yellowish skin
If you have IBS and you’re also experiencing any of the above symptoms, talk to your doctor about how to increase your iron intake through diet or high-quality iron supplements for anemia.
What is the best iron supplement for IBS?
Most iron supplements cause nasty gastrointestinal side effects. That’s why it’s crucial for people with IBS to choose an iron supplement that will boost their iron levels without angering their digestive symptoms. The answer: Liposomal iron supplements.
Liposomal technology encapsulates the iron within a protective layer. This makes it easier for the iron to avoid stomach acid breakdown and be absorbed into the small intestine. In fact, the absorption rates of Liposomal iron are similar to certain doses of IV iron. (Psst. You can learn all about Liposomal iron right here.)
Ferosom Forte is a Liposomal iron supplement with the highest absorption rate on the market—and the fewest side effects for our friends with IBS (in fact, 88% of Ferosom Forte customers did not experience any side effects). Available in both capsule and sachet form, Ferosom Forte is an effective solution for those who struggle with IBS and iron deficiency anemia.
Don’t let IBS mess with your iron.
Understanding the connection between IBS and anemia is so important. Now that you know how the two are linked, you can start taking action to avoid iron deficiency. Pay close attention to your dietary choices, seek regular advice from your trusted medical team, and take a Liposomal iron supplement to protect your well-being. Because you deserve to feel healthy, energized, and empowered in managing your condition.