Childhood Diseases

Posted by: tlee | 2011/10/31


iron supplements

Dear Doc
My son is 2yrs and 8 months. He started playshcool at the beginning of this year and immediatelystarted getting colds and sinus and ear ache. After a long road that lead to having adenoids removed, grommets put in and sinuses drained as well as a week in hospital being rehydrated and treated intravenously with antibiotics on recommendation of the paed we took him out of school from mid June to mid October.

During these 4 months the paed instructed us to does him with 7.5ml of Ferrimed after breakfast everyday to build up his iron levels (as when he was hospitalised they were extremely low due to being continuously sick for months).

He is now back at school and off the Ferrimed as the 4 months is up, however he has already been on two courses of antibiotics 10 days each (once at beginning October and 2nd course just finished).

I have also noticed that he has been tired and pail and swollen under the eyes like he was at the beginning of the year when always getting sick. When he was off school these past few months he stopped having an afternoon nap but now if he doesn''t have it he passes out before dinner. The tiredness might be from being back at school and using up a lot of energy but could also be because has stopped the iron.

The paed said we should start the Ferrimed again at 5ml every second day with breakfast - do you agree with this? Is it not better to supplement every day rather than every 2nd day? Also, he takes Zinplex and Viral Guard fizzy chews daily and an Omega 3 supplement. Should I replace one or all of these with another vitamin that has iron? If so can you recommend one?

I definitely think the iron helps but I have 2 concerns:

1. Is it dangerous to have too much iron? Should we not have blood tests over a period of a few weeks to make sure the he is actually iron deficient? (the only blood test was once off when he was in hospital).
2. The iron does make him constipated and then because he avoids going to the loo and ends up pooing in his pants. This is becoming a huge issue for him and us as a family. The Dupholac just makes him go inconsistently and I think it makes him very hyper (maybe coincidence). Obviously his health is more important and we will find a way to work around it if the iron is necessary.

Thank you for your time and advice.

Expert's Reply



I agree that it does seem that your son has developed an iron deficiency anaemia gain. The only way to be sure is to do a full blood count as well as his serum iron and ferritin levels. This has to be done before recommending that he starts on an iron supplement again. If he does need to start on Ferrimed again he should take this iron supplement with meals. This will help to reduce the chance of him becoming constipated.He is also on good supplements which should not be changed if he is back at school now.

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