Many of the clinical findings in a patient with iron deficiency are related to the anemia that develops. However, a number of other findings may be found that can be suggestive of the diagnosis.



(1) pagophagia (eating ice) or other forms of pica

(2) restless legs syndrome (Ekbom's syndrome, akathisia)

(3) fatigue and loss of stamina (more than can be explained by anemia)


Physical findings:

(1) blue sclerae (associated with thinning of the white sclera)

(2) longitudinal ridges in nails and koiloncychia (concave "spoon shape")

(3) glossitis with burning mouth (late and nonspecific)

(4) angular cheilitis (late and nonspecific)

(5) gastric atrophy (late)

(6) postcricoid esophageal web (in Plummer-Vinson syndrome)

(7) hair loss or change in hair texture


Laboratory findings:

(1) increased lead absorption


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