What is New in Gastroenterology and Hepatology

Overview of Iron Products in Gastroenterological Anemia

Author(s): Dan Ionuț Gheonea* and Carmen Nicoleta Oancea

Pp: 401-414 (14)

DOI: 10.2174/9781681087870121010036


The gastrointestinal tract is the site of iron absorption and also the most common localization of hemorrhage. The cause of iron deficiency anemia (IDA) is often chronic blood loss. One liter of blood contains approximately 500 mg of iron. Despite the representative increase in the absorption rate, the loss in this case cannot be compensated and the body's iron reserves decrease. Iron deficiency leads to disruption of hemoglobin synthesis: iron deficiency anemia. The etiology of iron deficiency anemia can be widely categorized into: decreased iron uptake (malabsorption due to gastrointestinal disease or surgery, inadequate diet) and increased iron use/loss (blood donation, pregnancy, acute/chronic blood loss, rapid growth during childhood, menses). IDA can be the first sign of celiac disease, gastritis and occult GI malignancy. The first choice treatment (after finding and disposal of the cause of the bleeding) consists of the oral administration of Fe II compounds. It can take several months to replenish iron reserves. Oral administration, however, has the major advantage that it is difficult, even impossible to overload the body with iron, because the absorption is regulated through an intact mucosa (enteral blockage). Only when adequate oral replacement is not possible, parenteral administration of iron compounds is indicated. There are potential side effects: administration of persistent pain at the injection site (i.m. administration) and facial flushing, hypotension, anaphylactic shock (i.v. administration).

Keywords: Anemia, Blood loss, Hemoglobin, Hemorrhage, Iron.

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