Iron-deficiency anemia

Iron-deficiency anemia

  • Inadequate dietary intake
    • 5% to 10% of ingested iron is absorbed
  • Malabsorption
    • Iron absorption occurs in the duodenum
    • Diseases or surgery that alter, destroy, or remove absorption surface of this area of intestine cause anemia
  • Blood loss
    • 2 mL whole blood contain 1 mg iron
    • Major cause of iron deficiency in adults
    • Chronic blood loss most commonly through GI and GU systems
  • Hemolysis
  • Pregnancy contributes to this condition
  • At-risk groups
    • Premenopausal women
    • Pregnant women
    • Persons from low socioeconomic backgrounds
    • Older adults
    • Individuals experiencing blood loss

Clinical manifestations

  • General manifestations of anemia
    • Pallor is most common
    • Glossitis is second
      • Inflammation of tongue
    • Cheilitis is also found
      • Inflammation of lips

Diagnostic studies

  • Laboratory findings
    • Hgb, Hct, MCV, MCH, MCHC, reticulocytes, serum iron, TIBC, bilirubin, platelets
  • Stool occult blood test
  • Endoscopy
  • Colonoscopy

Interprofessional care

  • Goal
    • Treat underlying disease causing reduced intake or absorption of iron
  • Replace iron
    • Nutritional therapy
    • Oral iron supplements
    • Transfusion of packed RBCs

Drug therapy

  • Parenteral iron
    • Indicated for malabsorption, oral iron intolerance, need for iron beyond normal limits, poor patient compliance
    • Can be given IM or IV
    • IM may stain skin
      • Z-track


More Posts


What is migraine? Migraine is a type of headache characterized by recurrent attacks of moderate to severe throbbing and pulsating pain on one side of

Heart Health

Posted on February 24, 2023 by ODPHP Health and Well-Being Matter is the monthly blog of the Director of the Office of Disease Prevention and