Chronic Anemia: Iron Deficiency Anemia Complications And Treatment

Anemia is a condition which is characterized by decreased production of healthy red blood corpuscles, which thereby reduce the capacity of the blood to transport oxygen and nutrients to the body cells, which in turn is associated with generalized symptoms of weakness, tiredness and fatigue.

Chronic Anemia

Anemia is associated with chronic illness and can be prolonged or chronic in nature. Sickle cell anemia, thalassemia, etc are other blood disorders which are associated with the condition of chronic anemia or hemoglobin insufficiency.

Causes Of Chronic Anemia

Anemia is caused due to a wide range of causes including inflammatory disease, chronic infection or other chronic illnesses, which suppresses the ability of the bone marrow to produce healthy blood cells.

Some of the chronic conditions associated with Anemia include,

  • Autoimmune disorders like crohn’s disease, lupus erythematosus, rheumatoid arthritis, etc
  • Cancers namely Hodgkin’s Lymphoma
  • Liver Cirrhosis or chronic kidney disease namely glomerulonephritis
  • Long standing infections like Hepatitis B, HIV or Bacterial Endocarditis

Chronic Anemia Complications

Complications associated with anemia depend upon the duration for which the individual has suffered for the condition. However general complications associated with chronic long standing anemia include,

  • Secondary organ dysfunction or organ failure
  • Cardiac arrhythmia or cardiac failure
  • Spontaneous abortion, especially among pregnant mothers.
    Abortion normally occurs during the first trimester
  • Increased incidence of infections in the upper respiratory tract, urinary tract, etc
  • Poor memory and poor concentration

Iron Deficiency Anemia Treatment

Treatment of chronic anemia includes iron supplements or intramuscular iron injections, depending upon the anemia type. Further a diet rich in anemia comprising of green leafy vegetables, eggs, dairy products, etc is essential. Bone marrow transplant is recommended in severe forms of chronic anemia.


  1. NH said:

    When doing a physical examination for anemia, where exactly one must look for pallor and why?

    May 3, 2017
    • PUP said:

      Anemia is caused due to decreased number of red blood cells and hence the low hemoglobin. While examination doctors usually look for anemia by examining conjunctiva of eye, palms of hand, your fingernail, tongue. In anemia the conjunctiva, nail bed, palm and tongue appear pale. Hemoglobin is the main part in the red cells. It also gives color to the red blood cells and binds oxygen. When hemoglobin level is low, conjunctiva, tongue etc will appear pale.

      September 5, 2018

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