Can I get a colonoscopy if I am anemic?

This question was asked in Interbay, Washington on 04/23/2012.
Is undergoing a colonoscopy while anemic safe? I've had to get iron IV every three months or so for two years because of anemia (unknown cause). I've recently been very fatigued (an energy level of two or three on a scale of one to ten), and I've been this fatigued before because of iron. But I'm concerned because I'm supposed to get a colonoscopy this week, and I'm wondering if it's safe to do so while I'm so weak? My recent blood work said that I now have more than enough iron stores, but my saturation is pretty low. My doctor hopes that the high dose vitamin C IVs that I've also had will boost my saturation. Will I be putting myself in jeopardy if I go through with this colonoscopy while I am weak and anemic? Thanks.

Doctors Answers (2)

David Pound, M.D.
Answered on: 4/25/2012

To find the cause of anemia is often a reason to have a colonoscopy. Your risk factors should be discussed with your primary care doctor and the doctor that is scheduled to do your colonoscopy.

Harsha Vittal, M.D.
Answered on: 4/24/2012

One of the most common reasons to do a colonoscopy is for anemia. So you should be fine. Your gastroenterologist should discuss the risks with you.