If I Feel Tired A Lot, Do I Need To Take An Iron Supplement?

Brent Bauer, M.D., Mayo

Question: If I feel tired a lot, do I need to take an iron supplement?

Answer: Well I think the first question is: Why do you feel tired? And that's a very common reason for people to come to their physician. So the first thing that we can do on our own is ask questions about: what am I doing in terms of my own nutrition, exercise, my sleep? And what about stress management? -- because those are probably the most common areas where we're going to run into problems with fatigue.

Now once you've answered those questions and have tried to fix those things to the best of your ability and you're still having fatigue, that's a great time to sit down with your primary care team and try and look for different things. Yes, a low iron can sometimes cause fatigue, but it's not all that common and I'd be much more concerned about finding other causes before we just empirically try something like an iron supplement or for that any matter any dietary supplement without having a good reason or indication for it.

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