Anemia is a condition wherein the blood has low levels of red blood cells (RBC), hemoglobin (oxygen-carrying pigment in whole blood) and/or hematocrit (intact RBC in blood) making it insufficient to address the physiologic needs of the body.
Iron-deficiency anemia is the anemia that resulted from inadequate iron supplementation or excessive blood loss.
It is the most common nutritional disorder worldwide and accounts for more than half of anemia cases.
It is prevalent among preschool children and pregnant women.
Correction of iron-deficiency anemia usually occurs within 2-4 months of appropriate therapy
There are no standard recommendations for follow-up after starting iron therapy
It is advised to have CBC monthly for 3 months and then every 3 months for 1 year
Response to iron therapy is expected after 2-3 weeks of treatment and may be seen as reticulocytosis in 4 days and hemoglobin >10 g/L in 4 weeks
If there is no favorable response, it may mean non-compliance, continued blood loss with inadequate iron replacement, malabsorption, wrong diagnosis or other complicating factors, eg H pylori infection, celiac disease; thus further investigation and reassessment of treatment is advised
If hemoglobin and RBC indices remain normal, one additional CBC should be obtained 12 months later
Further follow-ups are not necessary if the patient is asymptomatic and the hematocrit level is normal