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Bleeding and Clotting Disorders

Iron Deficiency Anemia

12/21/2009

Question:

There was no specific health topic for IDA so I chose something close/related. I have been diagnosed with IDA. My hematocrit (23%), hemoglobin (9), ferritan (7) levels are very low. I tried iron supplements but they only worked short term. I am now on iron infusions (ferricit) which are working. However, I would like to find the cause vs. treat the symptoms. I have had a colonoscopy, endoscopy and capsule endoscopy - nothing found other than a large hiatal hernia. What else can I do to try to find the cause of likely internal bleeding?

Answer:

It is difficult to make any specific recommendations regarding your care without being able to speak with you and examine you to get the full picture. It is important though to understand where the iron (blood) loss may be occurring. You will never be fully repleted if ongoing losses are not decreased or stopped. 

That being said, if you can exclude the most concerning causes of blood loss (colon lesions, ulcers, etc.) there can be slow ongoing losses from the GI track that can be difficult to find (arterio-venous malformations). For these reasons sometimes the exact source cannot be found, and ongoing supplementation with careful follow up is required. 

I hope this helps out somewhat.

For more information:

Go to the Bleeding and Clotting Disorders health topic, where you can:

Response by:

Spero R Cataland, MD Spero R Cataland, MD
Associate Professor of Clinical Internal Medicine
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University