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Iron deficiency anemia
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Iron deficiency anemia

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Contributors: Abigail Clarkson-During BA, Carla Casulo MD, Michael W. Winter MD
Other Resources UpToDate PubMed

Synopsis

This anemia results from deficient levels of iron. The deficiency is caused by inadequate iron intake (especially during periods of rapid growth or pregnancy), blood loss (including menorrhagia and internal bleeding), or decreased iron absorption in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. In early stages, hemolysis may present as an iron deficiency anemia.

Common findings include fatigue, dyspnea, weakness, pallor, and coarse skin and hair. Less common findings include pica (a craving to eat nonfood items, particularly ice or metal), brittle nails, tongue edema, and headache.

Within the general population, there are subsets at increased risk for iron deficiency anemia. These include children younger than 5 years, due to decreased GI absorption and increased metabolism; menstruating women; and pregnant women. Some chronic diseases result in an iron deficiency anemia. These include inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), in which excess loss but also impaired iron absorption can contribute to deficiency; chronic kidney disease; and congestive heart failure.

Iron deficiency anemia is easy to diagnose, but often subtle symptoms lead to delays in diagnosis. Once confirmed, many patients will improve within weeks with iron repletion and recognition with treatment of the underlying etiology.

Codes

ICD10CM:
D50.9 – Iron deficiency anemia, unspecified

SNOMEDCT:
87522002 – Iron Deficiency Anemia

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Diagnostic Pearls

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Differential Diagnosis & Pitfalls

Best Tests

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Management Pearls

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Therapy

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Drug Reaction Data

Below is a list of drugs with literature evidence indicating an adverse association with this diagnosis. The list is continually updated through ongoing research and new medication approvals. Click on Citations to sort by number of citations or click on Medication to sort the medications alphabetically.

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References

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Last Reviewed: 02/08/2019
Last Updated: 02/08/2019
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Iron deficiency anemia
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Iron deficiency anemia : Fatigue, Headache, Dyspnea, Pallor, Generalized weakness, RR increased, RBC decreased
Clinical image of Iron deficiency anemia
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