Severe Anemia - Mothering Forums
Life with a Toddler > Severe Anemia
Florida Mom8's Avatar Florida Mom8 07:49 PM 06-28-2011

My DD turned 1 yesterday and had a scheduled well visit where they checked her iron levels.  With a finger stick they say she was at 6.2 which they said was dangerously low.  We then had a full blood panel done to rule out more serious disease.  The doctor's conclusion is that she has severe anemia and prescribed Ferrous Sulfate 220 MG/5 ML.  I am very concerned about giving her this medicine and would much rather use Floradix.  She was born prematurely at 34 weeks by c-section and is breastfed.  She is eating table food and eats less than 1/4 cup of food per meal.  I am going to start cooking her food in my cast iron pan.  Does anyone have experience with an iron level this low?  My DD is in the 95 percentile for weight and cheerful as can be.  I appreciate any help or advice.

USAmma's Avatar USAmma 11:29 PM 06-28-2011

Did the doctor suggest what might be the cause of the anemia? If you are concerned with the doctor's advice, maybe try to get a second opinion. Best wishes and hope those iron levels come up soon.

crunchy_mommy's Avatar crunchy_mommy 04:36 AM 06-29-2011
Did they test her RBC & ferritin stores? Are you guys on any special diet or anything? The reason I ask is because DS had very low iron levels at his 1y appt but his RBC/hemocrit levels were great, which means his body was functioning just fine with the amount of iron he was getting. We are vegan and my DS wasn't really eating solid food yet, plus his cord was cut early, so we sort of expected his levels to be lower than average. (Veg*ns tend to have lower levels but usually continue to produce RBC's very well once their bodies have adapted to different sources of iron). Since his ferrtin was also low we decided to supplement just a tiny bit to build up his stores just to prevent actual anemia. We used Floradix and I only gave him a small amount and stopped when the bottle was gone. I think he would have been equally fine if we hadn't supplemented, it was just for extra assurance I guess.

Anyway, hopefully your doc already covered all that but if not, it's something to look into... you might also talk to your doc about giving Floradix instead of the one they prescribed, but I wouldn't just do it without consulting them because the dosages are different or DD may need a certain form to treat her specific issues or whatever. I second the pp's advice to get a second opinion if you don't feel comfortable with your doc's assessment or treatment plan!
meetoo's Avatar meetoo 05:54 AM 06-29-2011

Did they test her lead levels?  

nia82 12:42 PM 06-29-2011

My DS was 3 weeks early and I was anemic at birth. At 11 months he just started to eat foods and had a HB of 5. We did do that iron supplement for about 4 weeks and in the same period he started eating, so I gave him yobaby with iron. I think they don't make that anymore though. Anyways, within 4 weeks he was back up to 11, and within 3 months perfectly normal. It does happen to early babies. We did a full blood panel for ferritin, lead and so on, but he just really needed more iron. I would totally use FLoradix if baby tolerates  (aka doesn't spit it back at ya!) it.

My DS was in the 99th percentile for everything btw... And happy and right on track. Since you caught the deficiency you can correct it and your LO will be alright.

Florida Mom8's Avatar Florida Mom8 08:57 PM 06-29-2011
Thank you for your responses. They did a lead test but don't have the results yet. We don't eat a special diet. We will see a new doctor in about two weeks (it will take that long to change with insurance issues) and we will get a second opinion. I have given the prescribed ferrous sulfate the last two days but I want the new Doc to retest my LO's iron levels. I am still leaning towards only giving the Floradix but her levels are so low. The original Doc wants to re-check in a month
Wolfcat's Avatar Wolfcat 09:00 PM 06-30-2011

Originally Posted by Florida Mom8 View PostDoes anyone have experience with an iron level this low? 

I have to say, I almost laughed aloud when I read your question. I work in Quality Assurance/Regulatory for a company that makes heme iron supplements (think meat instead of iron filings). We've seen a jump of three points over a weekend for ferretin levels.


Just to avoid any issues with the UA, I'm just going to offer to Q&A in PMs to anyone who has questions.

Florida Mom8's Avatar Florida Mom8 08:13 AM 07-01-2011

Does anyone know the dosage for Floradix?  The ferrous sulfate is 220 mg/ 5 ML and I am suppose to give 8 ML once a day.  What would the equal Floradix dose.  The Floradix site says that it is 25% absorbed  while the ferrous sulfate has said anything from 2%-12%.  My Ped has been no help.

crunchy_mommy's Avatar crunchy_mommy 08:29 AM 07-01-2011
Floradix has the dosage on the bottle. I want to say it was 10ml. Because of the difference in absorption, I wouldn't recommend trying to convert the prescribed dosage of fs because that could be too much... One dose of Floradix has 10mg of iron so if you do the math it would require 35ml or more of Floradix to equal the fs dosage but that is more than the recommended dosage for an adult!! When we gave DS Floradix we never gave him more than 10ml/day (which was what our doc prescribed, but we usually gave him less than that, long story).
Florida Mom8's Avatar Florida Mom8 03:09 PM 07-01-2011

It seems that 5ml/day is the recommendation for a one year old but I'm wondering if I should get closer to 10 ml since we are trying to get her back to  healthy range

crunchy_mommy's Avatar crunchy_mommy 04:14 PM 07-01-2011
Yeah I'm *pretty sure* our doc prescribed 10ml for DS (who was 1 at the time as well) but it was over a year ago so I can't totally remember!
Wolfcat's Avatar Wolfcat 09:03 PM 07-01-2011

Originally Posted by Florida Mom8 View Post

It seems that 5ml/day is the recommendation for a one year old but I'm wondering if I should get closer to 10 ml since we are trying to get her back to  healthy range

RDA for a child 1-3 years is 7 mg.

Florida Mom8's Avatar Florida Mom8 08:30 PM 07-06-2011
Anyone recommendations about giving spirulina to a one year old? Tricks or tactics?
hildare's Avatar hildare 10:44 AM 07-11-2011

Originally Posted by Florida Mom8 View Post

Anyone recommendations about giving spirulina to a one year old? Tricks or tactics?

i don't know anything about spirulina for anemia; however, back in the day, we used to purchase spirulina in powdered form from the health food store and just add it to smoothies.  it didn't taste like anything that i remember.  it is, of course, green, but if that's an issue, blueberries might disguise the color-- that or use an opaque cup & straw.

flightgoddess's Avatar flightgoddess 02:07 PM 07-11-2011

If floradix isn't working, try powdered  freeze dried raw liver. Dr Rons is one brand, I get a different one off Vitacost, sorry the name eludes me. It comes in capsules, so you can just open them up and mix them in something. (mashed or pureed veggies or meats, egg yolk. Maybe fruits? I don't know if there is a flavor or not, i never tried it that way)

Florida Mom8's Avatar Florida Mom8 12:27 PM 08-04-2011

I wanted to give an update to our story.  We went for a re-check today and things are looking great.  As I said at the beginning my LO was at 6.2 last month and today she was at 10.3.  The Dr. still wants us to get to 11 but was very happy with the progress.  I used 5ml of Floradix a day, cooked in cast iron and was careful to serve vitamin C rich foods with our iron rich meals and calcium separately.  She has remained lively throughout but it is nice to have the testing done