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Iron Deficiency Anemia (0)

Iron deficiency is defined as a decreased total iron body content. Iron deficiency anemia occurs when iron deficiency is sufficiently severe to diminish erythropoiesis and cause the development of anemia. Iron deficiency is the most prevalent single deficiency state on a worldwide basis. It is important economically because it diminishes the capability of individuals who are affected to perform physical labor, and it diminishes both growth and learning in children.In healthy people, the body concentration of iron (approximately 60 parts per million [ppm]) is regulated carefully by absorptive cells in the proximal small intestine, which alter iron absorption to match body losses of iron (see Image 3 and Image 6). Persistent errors in iron balance lead to either iron deficiency anemia or hemosiderosis. Both are disorders with potential adverse consequences.
Posthemorrhagic anemia is discussed in this section because it is an important cause of iron deficiency. The acute and potentially catastrophic problems of hypoxia and shock that can occur from significant hemorrhage or severe iron deficiency are discussed elsewhere in the textbook; however, daily blood losses can be small and may be overlooked. Occasionally, patients with severe iron deficiency anemia from slow but persistent gastrointestinal bleeding have repeatedly negative testing of stool for hemoglobin. Therefore, it is important for the clinician to be aware of characteristics of the anemia at all intervals after the onset of bleeding.