Contributor: Gordon K. Klintworth
Iron deficiency is a disorder caused by a disturbance in the balance between iron intake and iron loss. The main causes are an impaired iron intake from a deficient diet (especially in infants and young children), excessive iron loss (from chronic hemorrhage as from menstruation, gastrointestinal bleeding and hematuria, pregnancy, lactation, intravascular hemolysis). An important manifestation of iron deficiency is anemia [anemia - iron deficiency]. The anemia is a hypochromic microcytic anemia [anemia - microcytic] and is the most common type of anemia.