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Why is my wife unable to have iron tablets?

Q: For the last few years, my wife’s haemoglobin level is ranging from 7 to 10 g/dl. When we visited doctors, they diagnosed that her body is not absorbing iron from normal food. When she takes the prescribed iron tablets, her stomach pains and she needs to go to the toilet. What should we do?

A:First we have to reconfirm the cause of low hemoglobin. If low Hb is due to iron deficiency; most likely cause of iron deficiency in female is dietary deficiency. The treatment of iron deficiency anemia is to supplement iron (mostly inform of iron sulphate table). If diet is good with iron and intestine is not absorbing, we have to confirm with endoscopy and biopsy of intestine and treat the disease according to the cause. If some one don't tolerate oral iron therapy, them patient may need parental iron (through injections - intravenous or intramuscular). Mild stomachache and intolerance is not an indication for parental iron therapy.

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