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Question
Posted by: Zee01 | 2012/05/24

Iron issues

Hello Dietdoc!

My 4 year old little girl was diagnosed with Iron deficiency in August last year. She has been on Ferrimed, 5ml twice a day.
We had her blood tested in August, November and May, from August to November all the values climbed, but from November to now, there has been no improvement, and her Ferritin levels dropped from 34 to 19....
We took her to a pediatrician and she was put on Chela-fer also 5ml twice a day.
We tested her stools to make sure there is no blood, the results came back clean.

My problem is that I am concerned.
I had my two year old son tested the same times, and he was on 2,5ml Ferrimed twice a day, and his iron is 100% now.
They eat exactly the same things at home and at school....
The pediatrician said it must be diet related, which my husband and I do not believe, and I have taken her to a dietician before, who said the amount of meat and iron rich food that she must eat to make a difference is just not feasible...

So sorry for the long post, was just wondering what your thoughts are?

Thank you so so much!!!

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageDietDoc

Dear Zee01
I can imagine that you are concerned about your lassie because you are doing everything necessary to reverse the iron deficiency and the anaemia and her levels just don't seem to be responding as they should. Factors that can affect iron absorption are as follows: a) Type of iron - certain iron preparations are easier to absorb than others and iron in food such as grains and cereals, spinach, etc, is bound by compounds called phytates which prevent its absorption. If your lassie is eating a lot of unprocessed, unsifted, high-fibre cereals and grains and lots of spinach and drinking lots of tea (all of which I doubt), then the phytate content of these foods and beverages can prevent uptake of iron. b) Presence of other factors that promote uptake of iron. Taking iron-rich foods and/or iron supplements together with foods that are rich in vitamin C, will help with the absorption of iron. We usually recommend that patients take their iron supplement with a glass of orange juice to boost uptake. Folic acid is also important for the production of red blood cells so that one can turn anaemia around. I do think that if your lassie's blood results remain unsatisfactory that you should obtain a second opinion from a Paediatric Haematologist (if possible).
Holding thumbs that your daughter's blood iron levels improve and that the anaemia is cured.
Best regards
DietDoc

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1
Our users say:
Posted by: DietDoc | 2012/05/25

Dear Zee01
I can imagine that you are concerned about your lassie because you are doing everything necessary to reverse the iron deficiency and the anaemia and her levels just don't seem to be responding as they should. Factors that can affect iron absorption are as follows: a) Type of iron - certain iron preparations are easier to absorb than others and iron in food such as grains and cereals, spinach, etc, is bound by compounds called phytates which prevent its absorption. If your lassie is eating a lot of unprocessed, unsifted, high-fibre cereals and grains and lots of spinach and drinking lots of tea (all of which I doubt), then the phytate content of these foods and beverages can prevent uptake of iron. b) Presence of other factors that promote uptake of iron. Taking iron-rich foods and/or iron supplements together with foods that are rich in vitamin C, will help with the absorption of iron. We usually recommend that patients take their iron supplement with a glass of orange juice to boost uptake. Folic acid is also important for the production of red blood cells so that one can turn anaemia around. I do think that if your lassie's blood results remain unsatisfactory that you should obtain a second opinion from a Paediatric Haematologist (if possible).
Holding thumbs that your daughter's blood iron levels improve and that the anaemia is cured.
Best regards
DietDoc

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