136 – Overcoming Iron Deficiency Anemia – My Interview with Dr. Erin Stokes, ND

Finally, an iron supplement that won’t upset your stomach or cause constipation.

Dr. Erin StokesWomen's HealthI have advised many women over the years who have struggled with resolving iron deficiency anemia. The most common challenge is the iron supplements that are commonly recommended (ferrous sulfate) as a solution is not well tolerated or absorbed. It is not easily absorbed. It commonly causes nausea, upset stomach and constipation. These effects are not only unpleasant but make it difficult to be compliant with the treatment. There is a better way.

Blood BuilderMany years ago, I discovered Blood Builder by MegaFood. This is an amazing supplement. It is the perfect supplement for women struggling with iron deficiency anemia. First of all it works seemingly much better than ferrous sulfate or ferrous fumerate. Women feel much better when taking Blood Builder. It does not upset the stomach or cause constipation. It includes the other nutrients required for iron absorption. And like all MegaFood supplements it contains food-state nutrients including AND real food including organic oranges and beet root.

In this interview Dr. Erin Stokes discusses MegaFood Blood Builder as a supplement and how she has used it in her personal life and clinical practice.

The following excerpt is from NIH.gov (National Institutes of Health) READ MORE
The signs and symptoms of iron-deficiency anemia depend on its severity. Mild to moderate iron-deficiency anemia may have no signs or symptoms. When signs and symptoms do occur, they can range from mild to severe. Many of the signs and symptoms of iron-deficiency anemia apply to all types of anemia.

Signs and Symptoms of Anemia

  • Anemia SignThe most common symptom of all types of anemia is fatigue (tiredness). Fatigue occurs because your body doesn’t have enough red blood cells to carry oxygen to its many parts.
  • Also, the red blood cells your body makes have less hemoglobin than normal. Hemoglobin is an iron-rich protein in red blood cells. It helps red blood cells carry oxygen from the lungs to the rest of the body.
  • Anemia also can cause shortness of breath, dizziness, headache, coldness in your hands and feet, pale skin, chest pain, weakness, and fatigue (tiredness).
  • If you don’t have enough hemoglobin-carrying red blood cells, your heart has to work harder to move oxygen-rich blood through your body. This can lead to irregular heartbeats called arrhythmias (ah-RITH-me-ahs), a heart murmur, an enlarged heart, or even heart failure.
  • In infants and young children, signs of anemia include poor appetite, slowed growth and development, and behavioral problems.

Signs and Symptoms of Iron Deficiency

  • HemoglobinSigns and symptoms of iron deficiency may include brittle nails, swelling or soreness of the tongue, cracks in the sides of the mouth, an enlarged spleen, and frequent infections.
  • People who have iron-deficiency anemia may have an unusual craving for nonfood items, such as ice, dirt, paint, or starch. This craving is called pica (PI-ka or PE-ka).
  • Some people who have iron-deficiency anemia develop restless legs syndrome (RLS). RLS is a disorder that causes a strong urge to move the legs. This urge to move often occurs with strange and unpleasant feelings in the legs. People who have RLS often have a hard time sleeping.
  • Iron-deficiency anemia can put children at greater risk for lead poisoning and infections.
  • Some signs and symptoms of iron-deficiency anemia are related to the condition’s causes. For example, a sign of intestinal bleeding is bright red blood in the stools or black, tarry-looking stools.
  • Very heavy menstrual bleeding, long periods, or other vaginal bleeding may suggest that a woman is at risk for iron-deficiency anemia. (End excerpt)

About Dr. Erin Stokes, ND

Dr. Erin Stokes, is a Naturopathic Doctor and the Medical Director at FoodState.  Erin received her Naturopathic Doctor degree from Bastyr University in Seattle, Washington, in 2001. She combines her experience as a Naturopathic Doctor with an extensive background in the natural products industry. Erin’s personal mission is to empower people with the inspiration and tools to change their lives. Dr. Stokes practices naturopathic medicine in Boulder, CO.

I have three other interviews on MegaFood. One is an introduction to the MegaFood FoodState Whole Food SloProcess. I am fascinated by the way MegaFood creates their products. I want my listeners to understand that is truly something unique.

081 – FoodState Nutrients – What’s the Difference

102 – The MegaFood Approach to Inflammation


122 – Add More Whole Foods to your Life – My Interview with Erin Stokes, ND


{ 23 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Jim B April 12, 2021 at 3:02 pm

New user would like your opinion. Thank you.
Would it be better to take 1 pill twice per day for maximum absorption
or would it work just as well to take 2 pills in one dose?


2 Steve Lankford April 12, 2021 at 4:41 pm

You could do it either way. It would be preferred to take in divided doses, however it would be better to take both at the same time if it assures you will get the full dose, esp. if you tend to forget the second dose. One or two per day should be plenty. Judge by how you feel and get your iron levels checked when you can.


3 shelly May 13, 2020 at 11:55 pm

I have and have been suffering with fatigue since my late 20s and i turned 60 in march. i had heart papatatioos a lot in my mid to late 40s before menopause my periods were heavy. my question is if i entered menopause anemic could I still be, and could this be some of the reason for the fatigue i feel? i would like to try your supplement but I’m concerned about taking to much iron.

Shelly Hoover


4 Steve Lankford May 26, 2020 at 4:33 pm

You need to ask your health care professional. Blood Builder is a wonderful iron supplement if iron deficiency is indicated.


5 A.J. April 23, 2020 at 3:04 pm

If my ferritin level is 37 and my hemoglobin is 11.9 is that considered anemic? I have terrible restless leg syndrome and I’ve read low iron is one of the possible causes of RLS. Just started taking BB in hopes it will help my RLS symptoms- how long will it take to start seeing a difference in my RLS ?


6 Steve Lankford May 26, 2020 at 4:50 pm

You need to work with your doctor to answer these questions. Good luck and best wishes.


7 Ronnie August 29, 2019 at 11:10 pm

Hi dr.erin my name is Ronnie n I have iron deficiency anemia n I take ferrous sulfate n I take it twice a day one morning n one evening n its real make me sick on my stomach.. I tried over the counter iron pill n it the same I’m constipation.. n I don’t have an appetite but I eat ice like three time a day or more n I was wonder is the blood builder is best to try..


8 Steve Lankford September 8, 2019 at 9:20 am

Blood Builder from MegaFood would be an excellent choice.


9 Mary Boman February 5, 2019 at 1:36 pm

Thank you for this – very informative & I am excited to give Blood Builder a try! I am anemic and my physician advised me to take 325mg of ferrous sulfate 3x per day. Doing so has wreaked havoc on my stomach (even taking it just once per day is very difficult for my body to handle) so I have been in search of other alternatives. I am very hopeful Blood Builder will be the solution for me!

I see above that you mentioned 325mg of ferrous sulfate = 65mg of elemental iron, or approx. 2 BB pills. Is it safe for me to take 6 pills per day? If not, what dose would you recommend starting with?

Thanks again for your help and the information you shared!


10 Steve Lankford February 5, 2019 at 2:57 pm

Try 1 first for a week and see how you feel. If needed you can take 2. I don’t anyone that needed more that 2. If you don’t feel different when taking 2, I don’t know if taking more would make the difference. I would tend to think there is also something else going on. Good luck and best wishes.


11 Debbie Propeck November 2, 2018 at 1:48 am

My doctor just told me I need 325 mg iron per day. Blood Builder has so much less. How many pills do I take to reach the equivalent 325 mg/day as prescribed?


12 Steve Lankford November 2, 2018 at 8:41 am

Your doctor is prescribing an iron compound ferrous sulfate. 325 Mg of ferrous sulfate = approx. 65 mg of elemental iron. So the difference is not as great as it sounds.

Ferrous sulfate is difficult to absorb and often cause stomach distress. Blood builder is much easier to absorb and does not cause stomach distress. It just works better.


13 Debbie Propeck November 3, 2018 at 12:23 am

Thank you, Steve! So simple math – sounds like 2 1/2 per day, since Blood Builder has 26mg, right? You had the clearest answer in this whole discussion, and it’s greatly appreciated.


14 Steve Lankford November 5, 2018 at 1:08 pm

Try 2 per day as Blood Builder is more easily assimilated. Let us know how you do.


15 Teah December 11, 2018 at 12:10 pm

This is good advice, I really like the product, can take it first thing in the morning with no stomach upset.

Would it be better to take 1 pill twice per day for maximum absorption or would it work just as well to take 2 pills in one dose?

16 Barbara moore June 28, 2018 at 6:53 am

I have went for several years with low iron and have had iron infusions and one day I seen my doctors PA and she told me about your blood builder and my last blood test and it was good.


17 Steve Lankford July 4, 2018 at 4:43 pm



18 Candice December 26, 2016 at 3:13 pm

I was told I have severe anemia.I have a 6 count when it should be14.ive been on iron pills for 3 years. They haven’t worked for me I needed to try something .I don’t want no surgery cause they don’t understand why my blood is so low I’m 32 yrs old.ive been on the blood builders for 3 weeks and I stop eating ice and my body haven’t been as cold.so I guess its working.


19 Steve Lankford December 26, 2016 at 3:45 pm

Blood Builder by MegaFood is the best product I have found. It seems to always work for people without side effects for stomach and constipation. Good luck and best wishes.


20 sheronsamms@hotmail.com October 14, 2016 at 3:45 pm

Thanks very much because my Dr told me I would have to be on ferrous sulfate which my body would not obsorb.


21 Steve Lankford March 11, 2015 at 5:20 pm

I’m glad this is helpful. The product is very good. Good luck.


22 cathy devos October 27, 2014 at 3:13 pm

Love this article, thanks!


23 Steve Lankford December 11, 2018 at 3:07 pm

either way should be fine. You can try it both ways and see if it makes a difference. I like the idea of splitting them up, but if that is hard to do just take them together. better to make sure you get both at once instead of hit or miss which sometimes happens when people split their dose. If you are consistent then either way should be fine.


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