While diabetes mellitus is not a direct cause of microcytic anemia, issues that arise from diabetes mellitus do cause it. Kidney disease and failure can greatly contribute to the development of microcytic anemia. Healthy and correctly functioning kidneys release erythropoietin, a hormone that tells bone marrow to make more red blood cells. In kidney problems that are a result of diabetes, the kidneys do not produce enough erythropoietin, leading to microcytic anemia. Diabetes is also known to cause neuropathy, which causes the body to not correctly be able to tell the kidneys to produce enough erythropoietin. Diabetes is also considered to be a condition that interferes with the digestive tract's normal absorption of nutrients. Inadequate abilities to absorb iron from dietary intake make it next to impossible for an individual to maintain sufficient iron in their bodies. In addition, diabetes patients often have trouble consuming a well balanced and nutrient-rich diet, which can also cause an iron deficiency and subsequently microcytic anemia.
Continue reading to learn more about the different causes of microcytic anemia.