In most patients, IDA can be treated with a combination of dietary changes and iron supplements. While it's important to eat an iron-rich diet, simply increasing the amount of iron you get from food is normally not enough of a change if you've already developed anemia.1
Although some over-the-counter products contain iron or offer iron supplements, the ingredients vary. These products may not provide enough iron to achieve a healthy level of iron and may have varying levels of effectiveness and side effects. It's important to talk to your doctor about the type of supplement you need.
1 Barton JC. Iron deficiency. In: Rakel RE, Bope ET, eds. Conn’s Current Therapy. Amsterdam, the Netherlands: Saunders/Elsevier; 2008:385-389.