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What is the cause and treatment for iron deficiency?

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Posted on Mon, 23 Feb 2015
Question: I have had 10 I.V. Iron infustion, 2 Csan Hemotoligst Doctor says after 8 Months counts are back to the same amounts, They say I am bleeding inside but can"t find out where. I am needing a 2nd opinion what kind of doctor do I need to go to. She wants to start me on 10 Iron Infusions next week if they didn.t work before
will they work again. Very confused Best Regards XXXXXXX
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Answered by Dr. Panagiotis Zografakis (39 minutes later)
Brief Answer:
Investigation is needed to reveal the cause

Detailed Answer:
Hello,

iron deficiency can be caused by reduced iron intake, increased losses or reduced absorption.
Reduced iron intake: avoiding meat, fish, eggs will usually cause iron deficiency.
Reduced absorption: commonly happens after stomach surgery.
Increased losses: bleeding - usually from the gastrointestinal system - but could also be the urinary tract or any other cause of bleeding. Skin loss due to psoriasis can also cause depletion of iron stores.

Ferritin levels should be low (usually less than 10ng/mL).

Iron replacement is the treatment. Iron can be given by mouth or by injection. The hematocrit may return to its normal levels after 1 month or so depending on the severity of the deficiency and the effect it had on your red blood cells production.

Besides treating the iron deficiency, investigation is warranted for its cause.
Endoscopic investigation of the stomach and intestine is the first step, a urinalysis to exclude urinary tract losses and diet assessment to judge whether the meals contain enough iron or not.


Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Raju A.T
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Answered by
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Dr. Panagiotis Zografakis

Internal Medicine Specialist

Practicing since :1999

Answered : 3728 Questions

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What is the cause and treatment for iron deficiency?

Brief Answer: Investigation is needed to reveal the cause Detailed Answer: Hello, iron deficiency can be caused by reduced iron intake, increased losses or reduced absorption. Reduced iron intake: avoiding meat, fish, eggs will usually cause iron deficiency. Reduced absorption: commonly happens after stomach surgery. Increased losses: bleeding - usually from the gastrointestinal system - but could also be the urinary tract or any other cause of bleeding. Skin loss due to psoriasis can also cause depletion of iron stores. Ferritin levels should be low (usually less than 10ng/mL). Iron replacement is the treatment. Iron can be given by mouth or by injection. The hematocrit may return to its normal levels after 1 month or so depending on the severity of the deficiency and the effect it had on your red blood cells production. Besides treating the iron deficiency, investigation is warranted for its cause. Endoscopic investigation of the stomach and intestine is the first step, a urinalysis to exclude urinary tract losses and diet assessment to judge whether the meals contain enough iron or not.