conditions iron-deficiency


Iron deficiency

Condition:Iron deficiency anemia
Other:Microcytic anemia
ICD-10 Codes:D50

Naturopathic Treatments

• take iron supplements with food
• cook food in cast-iron cookware

Food high in heme iron (best absorption)
• oysters
• beef
• chicken

Vegetarian sources of non-heme iron
• black-strap molasses
• tofu
• prune juice
• kidney beans
• lentils

Specific foods that help with iron absorption
• golden kiwi
• orange juice
• lemonade

Avoid taking iron or iron-rich foods with
• black tea (green tea is less of a concern)
• mint (Mentha spp.)
milk thistle (Silybum marianum)
• chili (but turmeric is fine)
• chocolate
• proton-pump inhibitors

vitamin C - increase absorption
vitamin A
• chlorophyll
• spirulina

bitter herbs - increase stomach acid to help with absorption
dong quai (Angelica sinesis) - increases hematopoiesis
astragalus (Astragalus membranaceus)- increases hematopoiesis

Conventional Treatments

iron supplents

Signs & Symptoms

Most common symptoms
• fatigue
• shortness of breath
• weakness
• poor concentration
• dizziness
• headaches
• pallor

Less common symptoms
• restless legs
• pica
• koilonychia (concave nail)
brittle nails
• tachycardia
• glossitis
• cheilosis
• dysphagia (Plummer-Vinson syndrome)


• autoimmune hemolytic anemia
gastric ulcer
• lead poisoning
• macrocytic anemia (pernicious anemia)
• sickle cell anemia
• spherocytosis
vitamin C deficiency
vitamin B12 deficiency


• blood loss (e.g. occult blood, heavy menses)
• increased iron requirement (e.g. pregnancy)
• decreased iron absorption (e.g. gastrectomy, small-bowel malabsorption syndromes)


• ferritin
• hemoglobin

• transferrin

Note: reticulocytes will be increased with blood loss


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