Anemia

Can inadequate iron cause anemia? (Continued)

Another common reason for iron deficiency anemia can be due to recurring or small ongoing bleeding, for instance from colon cancer or from stomach ulcers. Stomach ulcer bleeding may be induced by medications, even very common over-the-counter drugs such as aspirin and ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin). Slow and chronic oozing from these ulcers can lead to loss of iron. Gradually, this could result in anemia. In infants and young children, iron deficiency anemia is most often due to a diet lacking iron.

Interpretation of CBC may lead to clues to suggest this type of anemia. For instance, iron deficiency anemia usually presents with low mean corpuscular volume (microcytic anemia) in addition to low hemoglobin.

Reviewed on 3/26/2012