Treatment

• Correct the identified cause.

• Diet—iron-rich foods, vitamin C rich foods (see Table 19.3 ).

• Iron preparations o oral iron o parenteral iron is probably best reserved for special circumstances Response o Anaemia responds after about 2 weeks and is usually corrected after 2 months. 1 o Oral iron is continued for 3 to 6 months to replenish stores. o Monitor progress with regular serum ferritin. o A serum ferritin > 50 •g/L generally indicates adequate stores

Failure of iron therapy Consider:

o poor compliance o continuing blood loss o malabsorption, e.g. severe coeliac disease o incorrect diagnosis, e.g. thalassaemia minor, chronic disease o bone marrow infiltration

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