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iron-deficiency anemiaAn anemia due to ↓ Hb production due to ↓ iron; in idiopathic IDA, 62% of Pts have lesions of the upper, lower, or both ends of the GI tract causing iron deficiency–ie, blood loss Clinical FTT, ↑ infections Lab Hypochromia, microcytosis. See Anemia, iron.
iron-deficiency anemiaAbbreviation: IDA
IDA is caused by inadequate iron intake, malabsorption of iron, blood loss, pregnancy and lactation, intravascular hemolysis, or a combination of these factors.
Chronically anemic patients often complain of fatigue and dyspnea on exertion. Iron deficiency resulting from rapid bleeding, may produce palpitations, orthostatic dizziness, or syncope.
Laboratory studies reveal decreased iron levels in the blood, with elevated iron-binding capacity and a diminished transferrin saturation. Ferritin levels are low. The bone marrow does not show stainable iron.
Additional Diagnostic Studies
Adult nonmenstruating patients with IDA should be evaluated to rule out a source of bleeding in the gastrointestinal tract.
Dietary iron intake is supplemented with oral ferrous sulfate or ferrous gluconate (with vitamin C to increase iron absorption). Oral liquid iron supplements should be given through a straw to prevent staining of the teeth. Iron preparations cause constipation; laxatives or stool softeners should be considered as concomitant treatment. When underlying lesions are found in the gastrointestinal tract, e.g., ulcers, esophagitis, cancer of the colon, they are treated with medications, endoscopy, or surgery.