Iron supplements and constipation, how are they linked?

Why do people take iron supplements?

Did you know that almost a third of the world’s population is iron deficient and that up to 5% of the Australian population has iron deficiency anemia*?

A variety of reasons result in iron deficiency, but the most common causes include a diet not rich in iron, pregnancy and even vigorous exercise.

More and more people are turning to iron supplements to counter the effect and symptoms of iron deficiency. But, the challenges don’t end there…

Side effects caused by iron supplements

You might know of someone that has or is taking iron supplements. And you may have heard them speak about some of the unwanted effects that they experience when taking these supplements.
Besides nausea and diarrhoea, constipation is one of the most common side effects of taking iron supplements.

But why do iron supplements cause constipation?

Well, the answer is in the iron! What happens when we take iron supplements is that there is now an excess of iron that passes through the system. And when iron absorption is weak in the body, the unabsorbed iron that passes through actually feeds bad bacteria in the gut.

The result all too often is constipation.

Does constipation caused by iron supplements feel different to ‘regular’ constipation?

Is it the same kind of feeling, or does constipation from taking iron supplements feel different? Well, iron supplement-promoted constipation is quite similar to “regular” constipation.
Some of the symptoms of iron supplement-induced constipation are:

  • Feeling bloated
  • Needing to push down on the abdomen when trying to pass a stool
  • And feeling like your bowels aren’t empty when passing a stool

What can I do to treat my iron supplement-induced constipation?

There are many ways which have been found to treat constipation. The most common things that you can do today are:

  • Drinking at least 8 12 ounce glasses of water a day
  • Increasing the amount of fibre you consume by integrating high-fibre foods such as fruit, fibrous vegetables and even grains.
  • Keep your body moving! Try exercising 3 times a week for 20-30 minutes at a time. It can be a simple yoga routine or an evening jog.
  • Make a routine of making a bowel movement.
  • When you have to go, GO!

If you would like a more in-depth discussion around what you can do to treat constipation please read Constipation: Pain, cause and treatment.

How can laxatives give me the relief that I’m after?

Laxatives offer a safe short-term solution to constipation relief. But with so many laxatives available on the market, finding the right solution for your specific condition may be challenging.

Laxettes have developed a wide range of constipation relief solutions including Laxettes mini tabs, Laxettes Chocolate and more recently, Laxettes Liquid – all made from 100% natural Senna.

For those requiring a stronger laxative, Laxettes now have new extra strength, one-a-day, soft gel liquid capsules for 8 hour, overnight relief.

To view the full range of Laxettes variants, visit the homepage to see the side-by-side comparison of the different product features and find the right product for you.


  • A.Aro, M.Mutanen, M.Uusitupa. Ravitsemustiede, 4.-7.köide, 2017.


Got some Questions?

Is Laxettes lactose free?

All Laxettes products are lactose free.

Is Laxettes gluten free?

All Laxettes products are gluten free.

Is Laxettes sugar free?

All Laxettes products are sugar free.

Can I take Laxettes at the same time as my other medications or supplements?

Some medications might not work properly if taken with Laxettes. The best way is to find out from your GP.

Can I take Laxettes while pregnant or breastfeeding?

All Laxettes products are safe to be taken while pregnant or breastfeeding. We recommend to check with your doctor before consumption.

Do I need a prescription from my doctor to buy Laxettes?

All Laxettes products are available at leading groceries & pharmacies as an Over The Counter medicine.