Anemia resulting from iron deficiency is one of the commonest diseases which we are called upon to treat, and although at first glance it would seem a simple matter to correct such an abnormality this is by no means always the case. Some patients are unwilling to take adequate amounts of iron by mouth; others show intolerance such as gastrointestinal disturbance to even small doses of the metal, and still others appear to be refractory, although the dosage is theoretically sufficient.
Apart from rare cases in which anemia results from inability to utilize iron, it can be corrected by (a) supplying iron in an acceptable form and (b) ensuring satisfactory conditions of pH in the stomach and upper small intestine. This, of course, assumes that the underlying cause, e. g., hemorrhage, infection, etc., has been dealt with. Nevertheless, cases occur in which either the first two conditions are not attainable