Iron Deficiency Anemia

Iron Deficiency Anemia overview and Definition

 Iron deficiency  anemia is termed as the reduced iron content of the RBC and hemoglobulin levels.


An iron deficiency anemia affects 8.8% of the population world wide.It is slighltly more common among females than males.

Normal volume of Hb-13.5-17.5gm/dl in men

                                          12-15gm/dl in women


Subnormal levels of hemoglobin causes lower oxygen carrying capacity of the blood.  This ,in turn initiates compensatory physiologic adaptation as follows.

Increased release of oxygen from blood

Increased blood flow to the tissues

Maintenance of the volume of blood

Redistribution of blood flow to maintain the cerebral supply

Tissue hypoxia leads to the impaired function of the organs.


Clinical signs & symptoms




Ischaemic symptoms


Mucous membrane pallor,conjunctiva

Faintness giddiness ,tinnitus,numbness might be seen

Dyspnoea occurs

Retinal haemorrhage is seen if there is any associated visual illnessa or bleeding diathesis


Raised jugular venous pressure

Flow murmurs

Ankle edema

Amenorrhoea and loss of libido might be seen.

Postural hypotension

Anorexia,flatulence and weight loss might occur.


Differential Diagnosis

  • Complete blood count (CBC):
  •  A CBC is used to count the number of blood cells in a sample of your blood. For anemia, your doctor will be interested in the levels of the red blood cells contained in your blood (hematocrit) and the hemoglobin in your blood.

Normal adult hematocrit values vary among medical practices but are generally between 40% and 52% for men and 35% and 47% for women. Normal adult hemoglobin values are generally 14 to 18 grams per deciliter for men and 12 to 16 grams per deciliter for women.

  • A test to determine the size and shape of your red blood cells(Peripheral blood smear)Some of your red blood cells might also be examined for unusual size, shape and color.
  • Serum iron and ferritin test-to check the amount of iron in blood and body
  • Reticulocyte test:to check that the bone marrow is functioning in an accelerated level
  • Haemoglobin electrophoresis:to check the abnormality of haemoglobin as seen in the sickle cell iron deficiency iron deficiency anaemia and thalassemia.
  • Osmotic fragility test: to check if the red blood cells are more fragile than usual
  • Endoscopy:to check for internal bleeding
  • Colonoscopy:to check for bleeding from tumour in the intestine
  • Ultrasound:to check for enlarged spleen
  • Doppler ultrasound:it detect the circulatory anomalies that is suggestive of iron deficiency iron deficiency anaemia  in new borns
  • Body Magnetic resonance imaging:It is used to reveal the functions of bone marrow and also it is used to find the deposition of iron in heart,liver and other vital organs.



Dietary intake of Iron

Arrest bleeding when ever it is necessary

Take adequate amount of vitamin C since it helps in the absorption of the Iron.