it says "take with food" -how much food really?

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Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2006
Total Posts : 3141
   Posted 1/11/2008 10:25 AM (GMT -7)   
Doc was very adamant that calcium & iron supplements should be taken with food.  I never thought to ask just how food is best.  A very long time ago, a doc told me a slice of bread was enough---but that was the '70s and she was about 900 years old then.
What is considered the amount of food to take with meds?  Frankly, I miss some pills because I am not eating anything at that time.  If a slice of bread is enough, I can work with that.
Dx'd '90 (emergency rupture), symptoms ignored long before that, '03 fistulas and bad flagyl reactions, B12 weekly, Pentasa [until I surrender to the bigger meds]
I'm riding on the escalator of life....

Veteran Member

Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 1811
   Posted 1/11/2008 10:35 AM (GMT -7)   
I would say a slice of bread is fine.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 2486
   Posted 1/11/2008 11:15 AM (GMT -7)   
Yeah, you don't need a whole lot. A few crackers or a piece of bread would definitely suffice!
Co-moderator - IBS Forum

Elite Member

Date Joined Feb 2004
Total Posts : 20577
   Posted 1/11/2008 11:32 AM (GMT -7)   
something and it doesn't have to much, even a nature bar or anything small so long as it's not an empty stomach.

My bum is broken....there's a big crack down the middle of it!  LOL  :)

Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 1885
   Posted 1/11/2008 12:21 PM (GMT -7)   
Calcium citrate is easiest on the body, and easiest to absorb. Should be in a vitamin carrying vitamin D3, which helps calcium absorption -- most Crohnnies need vit D, anyway. Dr. Weil most recently recommended at least 1,000IU daily of vit D. Make sure the vitamin doesn't have magnesium, which can cause diarhea and also irritate the GI tract. Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin, so you could try eating a rice cake with butter, peanut butter, or cheese. Don't need a whole meal...just a snack.
Your doc is probably worried iron might upset your stomach...however, s/he probably doesn't realize that food and calcium interfere with the absorption of iron. (Most docs are clueless.) You could try Solgar's "Gentle Iron."
The best way to take iron, for maxiumum absorption, is only with orange juice, no sooner than two hours after eating anything (or taking calcium, a med, or another vitamin), and also no earlier than one hour before a meal or snack (or calcium, med, other vit, etc.) 
Oh yeah, and don't take more than 500 mg calcium at a time, because your body can't absorb more than that all at once.  

Regular Member

Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 68
   Posted 1/11/2008 12:24 PM (GMT -7)   
 Whenever anything says take with food I usually eat a piece of toast or a breakfast treat,(stella doro cookie) and that seems enough.

Regular Member

Date Joined Jun 2006
Total Posts : 267
   Posted 1/11/2008 12:43 PM (GMT -7)   
My PCP told me to take my iron supplements about an hour after I eat, he said if I take them with a meal they won't absorb into my system as well. Different docs, different opinions...figures.
Marci, 38 years young, Rockledge, FL
Dx with Crohn's disease March 2006
Currently on bi-weekly Humira, daily 6mg Entocort, daily 2-3x 5mg hydrocodone (for pain), and daily 75mg Effexor,
plus 3x per day heavy iron supplements for anemia,
calcium supplement, daily multi-vitamin,
Lasix as needed for ankle/feet swelling
Self-proclaimed "recluse"  do to CD  ;)

Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 1885
   Posted 1/11/2008 12:59 PM (GMT -7)   

Well, some opinions are informed and some are not. The following link goes to the prestigious Mayo clinic, which also says iron should not be taken with food. It does say that iron may be taken with food if it bothers the stomach, but says that it is better to take it without food:

So why not try taking it without food? If it bothers the stomach, then you can always take it differently...with food. My daughter took 18 mg a day in a multivitamin with food all her life but bordered on anemia, anyway...

When we learned how iron should be taken, and then started 25 mg daily of Solgar's gentle iron with OJ, at the proper times, in only a month's time her hemoglobin, ferritin, TSAT, etc had risen to healthy levels.   

So I hate to see anybody take it with food, etc, which can reduce absorption and get in the way of what they are trying to do. Also, it can force people to take higher doses of iron, just to make sure it is absorbed.  

Post Edited (njmom) : 1/11/2008 1:09:20 PM (GMT-7)

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