Iron deficiency anemia is often the result of untreated iron deficiency.1
Iron deficiency can be caused by not getting enough iron in the diet, by an underlying disease affecting the ability of iron to absorb into the blood stream, or by large amounts of blood loss.
There are two main states of iron deficiency that can lead to anemia.4
- Absolute iron deficiency when the body’s iron stores are empty.
- Functional iron deficiency when the body’s iron stores are not empty, but release of iron from the stores is not functioning properly.
Underlying causes of iron deficiency anemia may include (but are not limited to):2,3,4,5
- Menstrual blood loss
- Pregnancy- during and after
- Gastrointestinal and chronic inflammatory conditions (eg. IBD and CKD)
- Cancer- chemotherapy, post-surgery, malnutrition, malabsorption
- Surgical blood loss or blood loss due to injury
- Blood donations
1. Miller JL. Cold Spring Harb Perspect Med. 2013;3(7)
2. Camaschella C. N Engl J Med. 2015;372(19):1832-43
3. Busti F, et al. Pharmaceuticals (Basel). 2018;11(4):94
4. Dignass A, et al. Int J Chronic Dis. 2018;2018:9394060
5. Lopez A, et al. Lancet. 2016;387(10021):907-916
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