Childhood Diseases

Question
Posted by: m | 2010-10-19

Q.

Iron deficiency?

Hallo Prof

Our 3,5 year old son is always very pale and lethargic. He has had previous iron deficiency tendencies, also unnormal blood results in past. We had him seen by blood specialist nearly 2 years ago and he could not pin-point problem. (said probably just because he is young, things like too high fetal hemoglobin).
Anyway, our son also has a redundant sigmoid colon and had reflux and positive occult blood tests as baby, that tested negative later on. He is prone to constipation, so I don''t want to give too much iron supplements, especially if not needed. But I am worried.....what do I do?

Expert's Reply

A.

Paediatrician

The important point that you make here is that your son who is 3.5 years old is alway pale and lethrgic. This is not the normal appearance of a boy of his age and also he should be active and full of life. There must be a reason for this which is most probably that he has an iron deficiency anaemia again. Then the question arises why is this happening to him? He must either be losing some blood possibly through some hidden bleeding in his intestinal tract, possibly from his redundant sigmoid colon or he has one or other of the iron metaboloism problems.What is essential is a proper diagnosis.I recommned that he be seen at the Haematology department of the Red Cross Children's Hospital in Cape Town. Even if you do not live in Cape Town the trip would be worthwhile. Phone 021-6585111.

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