How IBD Can Cause Low Iron Levels


Erin Azuse

Was this helpful? (7)
Pain or cramps in stomach

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a term used to describe medical conditions that involve chronic inflammation of the digestive tract. In addition to the gastrointestinal symptoms that you might expect with IBD, there are a variety of complications that can occur. For example, many people with IBD develop low iron levels in their blood, which can result in anemia. Let’s take a closer look at what this means and how it occurs.    

What happens to your body with IBD?

There are two main types of inflammatory bowel disease: Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. They share many symptoms in common, including:

  • Diarrhea

  • Abdominal pain

  • Bloody stool

  • Weight loss

  • Fever

  • Fatigue

Ulcerative colitis affects only the large intestine, also called the colon. Crohn’s disease, on the other hand, can affect anywhere along the digestive tract from the mouth to the anus.

Iron-deficiency anemia is the most common type of anemia. Learn these interesting facts about the condition.

Medical Reviewer: William C. Lloyd III, MD, FACS Last Review Date: Oct 4, 2017

2018 Healthgrades Operating Company, Inc. All rights reserved. May not be reproduced or reprinted without permission from Healthgrades Operating Company, Inc. Use of this information is governed by the Healthgrades User Agreement.