Should physical activity be restricted in patients with iron deficiency anemia?

Updated: Sep 07, 2019
  • Author: James L Harper, MD; Chief Editor: Emmanuel C Besa, MD  more...
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Restriction of activity is usually not required.

Patients with moderately severe iron deficiency anemia and significant cardiopulmonary disease should limit their activities until the anemia is corrected with iron therapy. If these patients become hypoxic or develop evidence of coronary insufficiency, they should be hospitalized and placed on bed rest until improvement of their anemia can be accomplished by transfusion of packed RBCs. Obviously, such decisions must be made on an individual basis and will depend on the severity of the anemia and the comorbid conditions.

March hemoglobinuria can produce iron deficiency, and its treatment requires modification of activity. Cessation of jogging or wearing sneakers while running usually diminishes the hemoglobinuria.

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