A two-minute GP refresher on iron deficiency

IRON deficiency is  a common condition that is conservatively thought to affect 20% of women younger than 50.

Most GPs quickly suspect iron deficiency in patients presenting with tiredness, but symptoms such as poor concentration, depression, hair loss, restless leg syndrome, sleep apnoea and sleep disruption seem less obvious.

Treatment is easy and shows almost immediate results, but is underused.


For  patients without chronic disease or inflammatory conditions, an FBC and ferritin count is sufficient. An existing comorbidity may