Anemia of Chronic Disease: Is Your Iron Supplement Hurting You?

premium Oct 31, 2023


Anemia of Chronic Disease presents with symptoms similar to Iron Deficiency Anemia:

  • Weakness
  • Fatigue
  • Headaches
  • Paleness
  • Shortness of breath
  • Air hunger

But how can we distinguish the two?


It's important to determine whether you are dealing with Iron Deficiency Anemia or Anemia of Chronic Disease (ACD) before supplementing with iron. Iron is the double-edged sword of the nutrient world. Anemia of Chronic Disease does not require iron; in fact, iron can cause more inflammation in the long run in this case.

This table demonstrates what we would typically (but not always) observe in each scenario. Looking at iron levels alone is unreliable when determining whether you are dealing with IDA or ACD. On another note, high testosterone and dehydration can mask RBC,...

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