What is the role of medical history in the diagnosis of iron deficiency anemia?

Updated: Aug 04, 2019
  • Author: James L Harper, MD; Chief Editor: Emmanuel C Besa, MD  more...
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Answer

Although iron deficiency anemia is a laboratory diagnosis, a carefully obtained history can facilitate its recognition. The history can also be useful in establishing the etiology of the anemia and, perhaps, in estimating its duration. Iron deficiency anemia often develops gradually, with small amounts of blood loss. Such persons may remain asymptomatic until their iron stores become sufficiently depleted to compromise red cell production and other tissues, at which point fatigue and other symptoms arise.


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