The principal manifestation of iron deficiency is anemia. As has been explained in chapter V of the Handbook, iron deficiency is only rarely the result of an inadequate intake of iron; rather, it is the result of a loss of iron (1) by bleeding, (2) in the female by transfer of iron to the fetus and (3) in the child by failure to receive an adequate endowment of iron at birth.There are several reasons why iron deficiency anemia is of particular interest to physicians. First, it is probably the commonest nutritional deficiency disease seen in practice. Second, in the majority of cases it is a conditioned deficiency, the result of some other disease or occurrence of which the physician has or should have knowledge and hence be forewarned concerning its possible occurrence. Third, it requires specific treatment with pharmaceutical iron by a physician. It cannot be relieved
YOUMANS JB. MINERAL DEFICIENCIES. JAMA. 1950;143(14):1252–1259. doi:10.1001/jama.1950.82910490012009
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