July 21, 2012,
S.E. asks from Redmond, WA on January 20, 2011
4 Year Old with Low Iron- Ferritin Level at 12 - Redmond,WA
We had my daughters blood checked for iron at her 4 year checkup. Being first time parents, we were concerned that she is sensitive at times. Aren't all children? Anyway, the doctor suggested an iron check because there is some relationship between behavior issues and low iron levels. She is a happy girl, not tired, not showing signs of anemia. She does have some anxiety around other children and is a bit antisocial. But, maybe that is just her personality. She is calm, focused, bright and not hyper. On the other end, she is not sleepy or 'spacey'. We did the test anyway because he put doubt into our mind, and because we aren't around a lot of other kids, so don't know what is 'normal'.
So, we got the results back, and all her blood work looked good... except her ferritin level was at 12. :( So, they said it was really low, and borderline anemic. They want us to do 3ML everyday for a month, then do another blood draw. They want her levels to be in the 20s. Apparently, change in diet cannot do this, as the body needs a lot of iron to build up it's stores. It takes a long time. So, I guess my concern is giving a 4 year old 29lb girl 3 times the amount of iron she needs. Will it give her a lot of constipation? They want me to give her Fer-In-Sol, which is Ferrous Sulphate. I know that floradix is a more non constipating form (ferrous gloconate) but she would need to drink 50mg of it and it has all those herbs mixed with it. It's a lot of to take. Not sure if all the herbs are good for her, either, with taking so much. Has anyone had experience with this? I'm concerned about the constipation. If she becomes constipated, she may never want to use the bathroom again and hold her BMs. Also, I was reading Dr. Sears website and they say that 7-140 ferritin level was normal. But, my doctor says that 13-150 is the normal range. So, what is correct??? Or, no one really knows? Either way, I'm okay with giving her more iron, but am afraid of the side effects. If anyone can ease my mind with this, that would be great, as I'm struggling with it and concerned about all the iron I have to give her. Also, if your child did get constipated was it really bad? screaming, crying, stomach cramping, etc...? I know I'm thinking of the worst, but I've taken iron before it was horrible.
K.O. answers from Portland on January 20, 2011
On the constipation.... Use miralax. It's safe for small children, non habit forming, simply hydrates the intestines.
T.D. answers from Cleveland on January 20, 2011
Looks like you've done your research! Bio-available iron (like Floradix) is more easily absorbed in the body and should not cause constipation. It seems to me that gently and naturally increasing your daughters iron would be better for her system then flooding it with a lot of iron it won't even be able to absorb. A lot of the mom's I know that use Floradix mix it into a smoothie.
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M.L. answers from Seattle on January 21, 2011
It seems like unless she needs it bumped up right away that it might be worthwhile to allow her to get her stores up through food sources. They tend to be most bioavailable vs. vitamins. Leafy greans (including broc) and red meat are two of the best food sources.
A.S. answers from Boca Raton on January 20, 2011
I don't have specific experience with iron levels but I did want to ask if they checked her for lead exposure.
I recently read (can't remember where) that iron and lead compete for the same thing in the body (which is one reason why lead exposure is so bad, especially for children).
Wish I could remember where I saw that . . .
Good luck to you guys.
E.H. answers from Washington DC on January 21, 2011
my son had low iron anemia when he was a baby and originally i gave him the fer-in-sol (which smells like the kitchen sink-yuck!) and i increased the iron in his food. this did not work so i tried the floradix and mixed it with his juice or a smoothie like someone else mentioned. i also gave him prune juice during the day which has iron and helps with constipation. this seemed to do the trick and his iron was normal at his next visit and he never had constipation. good luck to you!
N.I. answers from Portland on January 21, 2011
Every child needs iron so it doesn't surprise me that some kids are low in iron. You need to find vitamins that have iron in them and not constipate. This may be a little difficult. There is only one that I know of (there may be more out there) that is guaranteed not to constipate and that is Shaklee for Kids. Go to www.nutritionandhealthnow.com and check it out. Go to 'shop' and click on Children's Health to check out the information. OR contact a Shaklee person near you.
J.R. answers from New York on July 21, 2012
Just came across this post. Our three year old also has a level of 12 and wondering what you ended up giving her. Have her levels since increased? Thanks!
W.C. answers from Seattle on January 21, 2011
Do you think that being anemic is worse than being constipated? Have you ever been anemic? Let me tell you about it. First you are exhausted. You have trouble doing things and thinking things.
Is this what you want for your little girl?
Is this what you want when she is at her most important learning stage? She will never be at this most absorptive learning stage again. Do you really want to handicap her like this because you worry about constipation? There are things that you can do for constipation.
I'm sorry I am so emotional about this but it is important for your child to have the best brain and learning she can have.
L.G. answers from Eugene on January 21, 2011
S. You live in Washington which has wonderful homeopaths. If she were my child I'd go to the health food store buy Ferrum Phos. 6c and give it to her twice a day two small pellets. Nothing by mouth 20 minutes before or after.
Supplies the wherewithall for the body to make iron.
What is your ridiclous doctor talking about? People have eaten their way out of anemia for centuries. Lamb twice a week builds iron and brings oxygen to the blood. They ate beets hence Florinix.
Only diabetics in serious condition can't eat their way out of anemia. Did he test for diabetes?
In Europe they call Allopathic Medicine School Medicine because it is so technocratic and without common sense.
If you don't believe me take the blood work up and get a second opinion from another doctor.