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Iron deficiency, anaemia and IBD – the patient’s perspective

11.10.16 |
Iron Deficiency Blog

As many as 75% of patients with inflammatory bowel disease may also have iron deficiency anaemia.  Although this debilitating condition  is common during  flare-ups,  it is also experienced when the patients are in remission. 1,2 One of the most common symptom associated with anaemia is fatigue, which may have a significant impact on the quality on daily life of the patients.2 Fatigue – or extreme exhaustion - is also one of the IBD patient’s top 5 main concerns.3


A recent survey, showed that patients with IBD and anaemia had a worse quality of life in terms of reduced activity, productivity at home (household tasks) or work/ school, reduced social life and a reduced ability to travel.1  It was also show elsewhere hat the process of adaptation to chronic anaemia in fact adaptation to lower quality of life.4


Majority of patients are aware of the main signs and symptoms of anaemia but in most cases they do not discuss  it with their attending healthcare professionals In fact, about  1/3 of  those who had been diagnosed had never been treated for this debilitating condition.1 It seems to be deemed, however,  that anaemia and its related fatigue symptoms would need an accurate, diagnosis, monitoring and treatment. 1


Interested in this topic? If you will be attending the next week EUGW, you can hear more about this during the Vifor Pharma symposium on  “Broadening the horizon of intravenous iron treatment to improve patient outcomes” (UEG 2016 Week Vienna, Vienna Congress Center, 18 October 2016, 17:45, Room F1, Level 0)


1. Danese, S et al European Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, 26(12), 1385-1391.  2. Stein J, Hartmann F, Dignass AU. Diagnosis and management of iron deficiency anemia in patients with IBD. Nat Rev Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2010;7(11):599-610. doi:10.1038/nrgastro.2010.151 3.  Stjernman H, Tysk C, Almer S, Ström M, Hjortswang H. Worries and concerns in a large unselected cohort of patients with Crohn’s disease. Scand J Gastroenterol. 2010;45(6):696-706. 4.  Gasche C, Lomer MCE, Cavill I, Weiss G. Iron, anaemia, and inflammatory bowel diseases. Gut. 2004;53(8):1190-7. doi:10.1136/gut.2003.035758