Iron helps blood to deliver oxygen to all tissues and cells in your body. It’s also a naturally occurring mineral in nature, so some iron is in your drinking water. However, you probably won’t get sick because the amount of iron in water is so minute. In rare cases, you could experience bowel and abdominal problems. There’s one way to tell if your water contains too much iron – it will change color.
If you pour a glass of water and it turns red or brown after it sits for a few minutes, then it’s likely that you have ferrous iron in your water. But if it comes out the faucet with a yellow or red color, it probably contains ferric iron. Your body has the ability to process both types, but ferrous iron is more easily absorbed. Since the absorption rate is as high as 33%, the Office of Dietary Supplements says that ferrous iron may be more likely to cause illness if it’s in drinking water.
If you think you have too much iron in your water, you may develop some symptoms. The most common complaints are gastrointestinal-related – constipation, vomiting, cramping and nausea. Have a doctor check your iron levels to establish if your signs are associated with too much iron.
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