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Iron levels question

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
We had a well check today- ds is 10 mos old. His iron was checked (finger prick) and came back at 10.6- dr said it should be 11.7 for low end and recommended iron drops. I've heard these are nasty and most babies don't take them anyway, so I'm going to try to remember my prenatals (which I usually forget) and give iron rich food. I just don't remember which foods are high in iron. Can anyone help?

Also, she told me I should night wean so he doesn't get cavities and I told her no. I said I was just being careful about brushing and if he gets cavities, he does (but I know night nursing won't cause them.) She did agree caries are somewhat genetic and just said that she is going on the record of recommending cutting out night nursing. I told her I was just going to be honest with her and that just isn't an option right now. She took it ok.

With my old peds, I just nodded and did what I wanted to anyway. I'm liking being open, even if she doesn't agree with me. I may be able to stick it out wuth her, we'll see.
post #2 of 9
10.6 is kinda low. What type of iron is in the drops? Ferrous sulfate is the most common but is also the roughest on the body and is not well-absorbed. Your ds might get an upset tummy andconstipation.
I'm surprised that she told you to nurse less. Breastmilk is an excellent source of iron. Cow's is not, and iron-rich foods should not be taken with dairy, because dairy inhibits iron-absorption.

These things hinder iron-absorption:
antacids, dairy, soy, tea, coffee, high-fiber foods, and solids consumed right after breastfeeding.

Egg yolks have lots of iron, but it is not well-absorbed. Same for spinachand legumes. Eating these foods with Vitamin C will help you get the iron from them.

Vitamin C really helps you absorb iron. Meat, poultry, and fish eaten with iron-rich plant foods also help you get iron from them.
Foods highest in iron that is well-absorbed: liver and red meat. I know, yuck. I'm vegetarian, so it doesn't work for me.
Dried fruit (esp. apricots and prunes), whole grains, nuts (I think), and wheat germ are good. Fortified cereals like cream of wheat or cheerios might work for you but can be constipating--and don't serve them with milk. Red grapes are also good.
Cook in cast iron. Eat tomato sauce with whole grain pasta. Eat skins on potatoes.

There are iron supplements that are better and easier to take. Ferrous fumarate and others might be available for kids by prescription. I took a great supplement called anemagen when pregnant--it has other vitamins as well. You might ask your ped. for alternatives.

I took most of this from the Family Nutrition Book by Sears--it's great and has much more.
post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 
She told me to give poly vi sol (the similac OTC drops, I think). I'll go with me taking my vitamins and giving ds the dried fruit.

Maybe I'll try the drops and see if he takes them. I doubt he will if they taste as bad as I hear. I can't even get him to take tylenol. It was a finger prick and I've heard that is not as accurate as a vein draw, so hopefully when we go back for his 1 year check, levels will be better.
post #4 of 9
Thread Starter 
I checked and it is the ferrous sulfate (it's acutally by enfamil, not similac). I called the office and they said that is the only iron available to kids. They also told me to give 2 dropperfuls 2x a day. That's 4 times the amt recommended on the box. (The box says 1 dropperful daily.)

I was talking to the nurse who was relaying info from the dr. Any place I can check these dosages? On the box it says 1 dropperful is 67% daily value, so 4 droppers is over 200% daily value. That seems like an awful lot (the box also says something about fatal iron poisoning, so giving that much doesn't make sense to me.)

I'll call back on monday if I need to and I won't start with that high of a dose- no way.
post #5 of 9
There was a discussion about iron in another thread (can't remember which one) and they were talking about a supplement that doesn't cause constipation or the other side effects some people get from iron supplements. I think it's available at health food stores. You might try searching and see what you find.
post #6 of 9
Get the Family Nutrition Book--he has appropriate levels for age and how long you can expect to wait before you see results. That's a bummer about the ferrous sulfate.
Iron defiency is kind of a big deal--it can make the kiddo very tired and crabby and can also cause developmental problems. You should make doubly sure about the dosage, since iron is poisonous in large amounts, and many kids get iron poisoning from incorrect dosage of supplements.

You may want to have your levels checked to be sure you're not too low, so your ds gets all he can from your milk.
Good luck. And breastfeed lots!
post #7 of 9
My dd tested low for iron (8) at her 1yr appt..they did the finger prick test. My THEN ped (we switched between 12 & 15mo) told us it was probably nothing and had us do NOTHING!! He mentioned that we might want to increase her intake of iron rich foods, but gave no info, etc. I was less than thrilled.

At ped #2....she rechecked Beth's iron at her 15mo appt. Sent us to an outpatient clinic for a blood draw, they did an excellent job, dd barely whimpered! Tests came back a week later and they said it was totally in normal levels.

Now at 18mo, since her 1yr I've tried to give her one iron rich food and fruit at every meal. It helps that she loves veggies and oatmeal, as well as Kix and Cheerios...all fairly high in iron.

Hang in there...HTH

post #8 of 9
Floradix is a natural vitamin supplement that you can get at the health food store. Just get the ones with iron and ajdust the dose for your baby.
post #9 of 9
A note about Floradix--it can upset some tummies.
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