Decreased ability to absorb iron

Iron deficiency anemia is caused by low iron levels in the body, which may be the result of a reduced ability of your digestive tract to absorb iron. Conditions that may lower your body's absorption of iron include:

  • Total or partial removal of the stomach (gastrectomy).
  • Surgery that helps people lose weight (bariatric surgery).
  • Lack of stomach acid (achlorhydria).
  • Total or partial removal of the small intestine.
  • Chronic diarrhea.
  • Small-bowel disease, such as celiac disease.

Last Updated: April 24, 2009

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