Low Iron Levels: One More Challenge of IBD


Dan Brubaker

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Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) refers jointly to Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, two chronic disorders of the digestive tract. With IBD, the primary challenges you can expect to face are digestive ones. But the inflammation may also create problems in other areas. Specifically, the levels of iron in your blood may drop, leading to a condition called anemia, in which your red blood cells don’t get the iron they need to deliver oxygen to your body’s tissues. The most common symptoms of anemia include fatigue and shortness of breath, but extreme cases can lead to serious heart problems.

How likely is it that your IBD will cause anemia? Studies report that between 35 and 90% of adults with IBD have low iron levels.

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

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