How is iron deficiency anaemia diagnosed?
Because there are many potential causes of iron deficiency anaemia, your doctor will need to take your full medical history and perform a physical examination to identify the most likely cause of iron deficiency or blood loss. Other tests that may be used include: 1) A full blood count to assess the size, shape and colour of the red blood cells. In iron deficiency anaemia, the red blood cells are typically small, colourless and fewer in number than in normal blood samples. 2) If the cause of your iron deficiency anaemia is not known, it may be caused by 'occult' (hidden) bleeding or malabsorption from your gastrointestinal tract. This may be investigated using techniques such as endoscopy, colonoscopy and a faecal occult blood test.