Table 1

Pathological disorders associated with iron deficiency anaemia

Chronic blood loss
Digestive tractNeoplastic—most commonly colonic adenocarcinoma
Inflammatory—for example, peptic ulceration, IBD
Vascular malformations—angiodysplasia
Parasitic—for example, hookworm
Genito-urinary tractHaematuria, pathological gynaecological bleeding—all causes, including malignancy
Respiratory tractRecurrent epistaxis, haemoptysis—all causes
Malabsorption syndromes
HypochlorhydriaAtrophic gastritis
Helicobacter pylori infection
Gastrectomy/gastric bypass
Proton-pump inhibitors
Iron chelationTea, coffee, calcium, flavonoids, oxalates, phytates
Wide range of antacids, Pica syndrome
EnteropathiesCoeliac disease
Crohn’s disease
NSAID enteropathy
Rarer enteropathies, for example, Whipple’s disease, bacterial overgrowth
Small bowel surgerySmall bowel resection/bypass
Genetic disordersIron-refractory iron deficiency anaemia
Divalent metal transporter 1 deficiency anaemia
Associated with the anaemia of chronic disease
Chronic heart failure
Chronic kidney disease
Chronic inflammatory disordersFor example rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease
  • NSAID, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug.