Fast Five Quiz: Signs and Symptoms of Iron Deficiency Anemia

James L. Harper, MD


October 22, 2021

Bleeding is the most common cause of iron deficiency, either from parasitic infection or otherwise. Patients who experience hematuria, hematemesis, or hemoptysis often present before they develop chronic iron deficiency anemia. However, gastrointestinal bleeding may go unrecognized; patients often do not appreciate melanotic stool as a manifestation of disease.

Other signs of iron deficiency anemia include fatigue; reduced resistance to infection; dysphagia with solid foods (which results from esophageal webbing); or, in patients with cardiac or pulmonary disease, worsening symptoms. Leg cramps, which occur when climbing stairs, are common in patients who are iron deficient.

Learn more about the signs and symptoms of iron deficiency anemia.


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