Why is a colonoscopy needed for iron deficiency anemia?
Patients with iron deficiency anemia have low iron levels in their system, and this can be an indication for getting a colonoscopy. As Dr. Gelrud and Dr. Echavarria explain in this video, iron deficiency anemia can sometimes be a sign of underlying colon polyps, or even colon cancer. In addition, irritation in the esophagus, stomach, and duodenum may cause bleeding or oozing that can also lead to iron deficiency anemia. In such cases, your doctor will likely recommend an upper endoscopy as well. Thus, an indication of iron deficiency anemia will often lead to your doctor recommending that you get both a colonoscopy and an upper endoscopy in order to investigate if the cause is internal bleeding or colon cancer.
This educational activity has been developed by Mechanisms in Medicine Inc. This activity is endorsed by the Colon Cancer Coalition.
This activity is supported by an independent educational grant from Boston Scientific and Ferring Pharmaceuticals.
This website is part of the Animated Patient™ series developed by Mechanisms in Medicine Inc., to provide highly visual formats of learning for patients to improve their understanding, make informed decisions, and partner with their health care professionals for optimal outcomes.