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Gabriell (dr.) Prinsloo Medical Doctor View profile

Iron deficiency ultimately results in anaemia if untreated, however this follows three progressive stages.

there is a negative iron balance in which the body’s need for iron
exceeds the supply. Iron is released from body stores and so the serum
iron (level of iron in the blood) remains normal and haemoglobin
production is normal. The next stage begins when
iron stores become depleted, and the serum iron starts to decrease. The
amount of haemoglobin in the blood is still normal; however the
production is decreasing. As serum iron levels continue to drop
haemoglobin levels then start to fall resulting in anaemia.

to these stages, your iron deficiency has either been of very slow
onset or started only recently, as your iron levels are low but you are
only slightly anaemic (the haemoglobin is only starting to decrease).
If you didn’t receive treatment, the anaemia would most likely get

what are the possible causes? These can be divided into 2 main groups:
increased demand or loss, and decreased intake. Increased demand occurs
during pregnancy and rapid growth spurts, while increased loss occurs
as a result of heavy menstruation, or any illness resulting in blood
loss. Decreased iron intake most commonly occurs as a result of
inadequate dietary intake especially for vegetarians and vegans, but
can also occur as a result of poor absorption in intestinal disorders.

The most common causes in women include heavy menstruation, pregnancy and inadequate supply of iron in the diet. Further discussion and investigations would confirm the exact cause.


Dr Gabriell Prinsloo

Sean (dr.) Gomes Medical Doctor View profile

The bitter taste is most likely due to the iron supplements. The tiredness is as a result of being anaemic. Your doctor has prescribed the iron supplements to assist you anaemia. Having Thalessemia minor means that you have inherited the Thalessemia gene form only one of your parents and therefore should not suffer for the illness and in fact be symptomless. You are a carrier and should you have a child with another carrier of the gene, then your child would have Thalessemia major. Your anaemia is most likely due to being a young menstruating women. Should your symptoms not improve, please visit your doctor again. regards Dr Sean Gomes MD

Sean (dr.) Gomes Medical Doctor View profile

Blood when it dries will become dark in colour as it becomes de-oxygenated. Fresh blood that is dark in colour could be due to low oxygen levels. If this were the case you would experience breathlessness on minimal exertion. This cold be caused by a number of factors related to respiratory or cardiovascular disease. If you are having symptoms of breathlessness, please consult your doctor. Regards Dr Sean Gomes MD

Please Note:

The Wellness Q & A is for informational purposes only, and is not intended to diagnose or provide treatment for any condition. If you have any concerns about your health, you should always consult directly with your healthcare professional. Wellness Warehouse will not be liable for any errors in the Wellness Q & A, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon. The advice on the Wellness Q & A is not comprehensive and does not replace the assessment and advice of your own healthcare professional. Consultation with your healthcare professional is extremely important if you are experiencing persistent or severe symptoms.


Consult your doctor, healthcare professional, and/or pharmacist before using any supplements or before making any changes in prescribed medications. If you have a chronic illness or routinely take prescribed or over-the-counter (OTC) medication, or you are pregnant or breastfeeding, it is extremely important to consult your doctor, healthcare professional, and/or pharmacist before taking any new medication. Do not stop taking any prescription medication without consultation and guidance from your doctor.

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