Thank you for the additional information. Well the your iron level is 43 ug/dl while the normal range for women is between 40-155 ug/dl. Even if this is not classified as deficient it is certainly on the lower end of the spectrum. Secondly, before starting iron supplementation i would advise a complete CBC as well as other iron studies which would include serum ferritin, iron binding capacity (TIBC). These additional studies would show if you had a true deficiency or not. Before starting, you should get these done.
If you dont have any severe anemia, then you can use simple OTC iron supplements, the supplements which are mixed with vitamins contain approximately 18 mg of iron in them. These have a low amount of iron and a single tablet a day can be enough provided you dont have anemia and your ferritin levels are adequate. The advantage of these would be that it would not cause problems with your stomach.
If you have anemia then you would need a stronger dose of iron this would involve using a supplement which contains 45-65 mg of iron per pill. The best form to use here would be a single tablet of ferrous gluconate containing supplement, this should be able to help in improving the iron levels. However in case of severe anemia you would also need IV iron supplements, usually they are given once a week for two - three to replenish immediate deficiency and the oral supplement is started.
In the meantime you also need to adjust your diet to include more green leafy vegetables like spinach, apples, lentils, breakfast cereals (fortified), white beans....all these contain a large amount of iron which would also help in improving your levels.
Now as to how much iron you need? I think with your levels, the iron should come back up after using the diet and low dose supplement after 3-4 months and with the high dose supplement after 1-2 months. BUT as i said before starting do get the other tests done, they will help us determine whether you need a high dose supplement or not.
Do you have any more questions?
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