Important causes

Blood loss

• menorrhagia

• gastrointestinal bleeding, e.g. carcinoma, haemorrhoids, peptic ulcer, GORD, NSAID therapy

• frequent blood donations

• malignancy

Increased physiological requirements

• prematurity, infant growth

• adolescent growth


• coeliac disease

• postgastrectomy


• inadequate intake

• special diets, e.g. fad, vegetarianism

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