A Look Into the Diagnosis and Management of Iron Deficiency Anemia

A recent study reviewed the evaluation and management of iron deficiency anemia. Diagnosis typically involves confirming anemia alongside evidence of low iron stores, often assessed through serum ferritin levels. While anemia is common in pregnant women and children, screening recommendations vary. Treatment strategies encompass oral iron therapy as the first-line approach, with parenteral therapy reserved for those unable to tolerate or absorb oral supplements. Follow-up involves monitoring blood counts periodically, with transfusions considered in severe cases, especially in pregnant women with significantly low hemoglobin levels.

Men and postmenopausal women with anemia should undergo endoscopic evaluation to rule out gastrointestinal bleeding. In premenopausal women, gynecologic causes should be considered, with further investigation warranted if initial treatments fail. Treatment involves addressing the underlying cause and administering oral or parenteral iron therapy based on individual needs.

Reference: Short MW, Domagalski JE. Iron deficiency anemia: evaluation and management. Am Fam Physician. 2013 Jan 15;87(2):98-104. PMID: 23317073.

Related Articles