2 year. old extremely anemic - Mothering Forums
Women's Health > 2 year. old extremely anemic
sunshine28's Avatar sunshine28 03:11 PM 08-20-2012
My 2 1/2 year. Old is extremely low in iron - he is 5, when normal is 12 to 21. :e is also low in the other iron categories. We are supplementing, but it raised him very little. He is an EXTREMELY PICKY eater, probably in part because of the iron. He eats no meat, chicken, fish, beans, plain eggs. He'll eat eggs in a pancake. We hide it... He feels it. He eats dairy for protein.His stools are very pasty, and the blood work shows either parasites or allergy, and I suspect both, but our lovely Canadian system takes TIME. The stool cultures I'm doing this week. The allergy, when the doctor will give the referral, takes close to a year to be seen. I absolutely can not afford stool cultures at the private US labs at this time. Our labs are nowhere near as good. 1 1/2 yrs. Ago we did the cultures and they showed nothing then.
He was tested for celiac and things were fine.

He has been low in iron always, and a non-protein eater for over 1/2 year, and eats very few food items.We've done all the tricks, and been to nutritonists. He also is quite small.

How can I get more iron into him? Which are the best? The dr. Wants me to give it 3 times a day, but how many hrs. Before / after dairy or something mixed with eggs?

Any advice will be appreciated. Thanks in advance.

fruitfulmomma's Avatar fruitfulmomma 03:29 PM 08-20-2012

http://whfoods.org/genpage.php?tname=nutrient&dbid=70  there are some non-animal sources listed there. Also maybe floradix which has a fruity flavor to it, not sure on dose for a small child though.

sbgrace's Avatar sbgrace 09:14 PM 08-21-2012
We struggled with iron with my son. I learned a lot. Did they do a lead test too? That can deplete iron so needs checked if it wasn't done.

What finally helped my son (no other supplements helped him...we tried for nearly two years with various ones) was ferrochel/ferrous bis-glycinate. It raised it (finally) and fast. I did use vitamin C with the iron. I used a kirkman labs form so I could get smaller doses in frequently to aid absorption but Gentle Iron by Solgar might be available easier for you and could be opened and sprinkled. I put pear sauce, iron from capsule, pear sauce on top for my son until he could swallow the capsules. I do think there is some liquid ferrous bisglycinate though I can't remember the name--maybe it's Natrol.

I learned a lot about what foods weren't helping us and were actually hurting. I'll share it with you because I was shocked. I knew about dairy and soy but problem foods also include eggs (yolk and whites), leafy greens, nuts/seeds, and fruits like prunes, grapes and raisins.

Information/links on the various foods you might run into that can inhibit iron absorption copied from a post I recently made:

Soy (and other beans) it is phytic acid. They (beans) are poor sources for that reason. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sites/en...t=AbstractPlus Not sure if perhaps you can reduce the impact on other iron in the same meal if you give vitamin C. Perhaps; it works for grain phytates reduction on iron. More about that in next link. Oxalates is another issues with beans. More about that in third link. You will run into similar issues with most nuts and seeds I believe. I've not researched this a lot because my son couldn't have the nuts/seeds anyway. You maybe could soak them and perhaps reduce the phytic acid.

Oxalic acid is the issue with spinach. Not all green leafy things contain oxalic acid but spinach does. There is conflicting stuff out there with oxalic acid. Vitamin C helps it. (obviously vitamin C is key in increasing iron absorption!) My take on all this is that when you’re trying to increase iron you avoid foods where the iron is bound by stuff like oxalic acid even if you might be able to help with vitamin C. http://dataguru.org/misc/aquarium/FoodOxalicAcid.html Link with oxalic acid levels of various things and affect on absorption.

the raisin issue is the anti-oxidant factors in dark fruits (red grape, cranberry would likely be the same) block iron. Dark grape juice with iron reduces availability by 67% in one study. Prune juice by 31% (which is why I say prune maybe; any reduction in absorption is bad when you’re trying to raise levels). Light colored fruit juices in the study increased absorption –the vitamin C I’m sure. http://www.ars.usda.gov/research/pub..._no_115=136858

Here’s an article on phytates and dairy effect on absorption http://jn.nutrition.org/cgi/content/abstract/41/3/433 This study uses oat phytates. Grains reduce iron too but you can help that with the addition of vitamin C so I don’t worry too much about it. So with grain based sources use vitamin C in either food or supplement form.

Eggs both yolk and white are an issue if you serve those. One it is physovitin or something; I can't remember the other substance. Here’s a study that mentions soy too I think. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science...b982c5875c081c and ranks the absorption inhibition in the various foods used.

Basically, I would do vitamin C and an iron supplement and avoid really strong iron inhibiting things (like eggs) as much as possible. Keep other things that block it in general a few hours away from iron if you can. I gave iron either first in the morning or last before bed. Actually, for a while I did it when I got up to use the restroom in the night to keep it away from inhibitors but that was probably over-doing it on my part. The right form will help you more than anything else.

Do make sure there isn't a lead issue.
fruitfulmomma's Avatar fruitfulmomma 12:19 PM 08-25-2012
sunshine28's Avatar sunshine28 07:30 AM 08-29-2012

Thanks for the replies. I have a lot of reading to do now! Sbgrace that was really thorough. Wow!! 

My son actually doesn't eat things from the bean family, or any greens, so that is not an issue.


Regarding eggs in cake: Does that need several hours too? He doesn't eat cake daily, but any amount of eggs isn't good?

I changed the iron. I'm using the Maxi Health liquid iron?

Iron (as Ferrochel® amino acid chelate)   18 mg 18 mg


I need Kosher, so starting with that. If it will not work I will try Solgar.


How much should I give a day? 


How long should I wait to retest?


In Canada, unlike the US they don't check for lead at 12 months, etc... I once asked my previous pediatrician, and he said only if they have a need will they check. He didn't want to test any of my kids then - 4 years ago.

sbgrace's Avatar sbgrace 11:05 PM 08-29-2012
Egg is pretty potent in terms of blocking absorption. I'd keep anything with egg several hours, yes. I limited egg while we worked to get out of the anemia range here. Give vitamin C or vitamin c rich (citrus or pineapple preferably..so you aren't getting something that will block iron) food with your iron doses.

That iron looks great! It should work well. How much to do...well that's tricky. You don't need as much ferrochel as you need other irons to raise it the same amount. Further, Iron absorption goes down pretty significantly after the first 5 mg. But if you space doses out you've got a big mess in trying to keep inhibitors away. I always did two doses--one when we first got up (I kept breakfast "iron safe") and then another about an hour later. Well, at some points I guess we did a a night dose too now that I think of it. I never did more than 3 doses a day with him.

This study did 5 mg per kg of body weight http://www.albionferrochel.com/science
Forty infants, 6 to 36 mo old, with iron-deficiency anemia (hemoglobin < 11 g/dL) were matched and assigned to two groups. One group received FeS0(4) and the other received ferrous bis-glycinate chelate at a dose of 5 mg of Fe daily per kilogram of body weight for 28 d. Both groups had significant hemoglobin increases (P < 0.001), but only the group treated with ferrous bis-glycinate chelate had significant increases (P < 0.005) in plasma ferritin. Apparent iron bioavailabilities were calculated at 26.7% for FeS0(4) and 90.9% for ferrous bis-glycinate chelate. Regression analysis indicated that absorption of both sources of iron were similarly regulated by the body according to changes in hemoglobin. We concluded that ferrous bis-glycinate chelate is the iron of choice for the treatment of infants with iron-deficiency anemia because of its high bioavailability and good regulation.

I did not do anything close to that much iron with my son. It is safe though if you want to go that high.

In my mind anemia is a need to make sure there isn't a lead issue. Do you live in a home that might have lead paint in terms of age of home?
sunshine28's Avatar sunshine28 10:54 AM 10-17-2012

In Canada, the issue of lead in paint is less than in the US, because here it was banned about 70 years ago from the paint. My next blood test does will test for lead as well, although the doctor highly doubts he has it. It's hard keeping the inhibitors away from the iron. We're doing our best though.


Thanks for all your advice.

sunshine28's Avatar sunshine28 09:43 AM 10-18-2012

I was looking at my iron last night, and noticed that both my son's and mine (mine is the bis-glycinate form) come from Albion labs - that you quoted above.


Would you suggest that I crush my tablets and mix it with orange juice and give that to my son - being that it's the bis-glycinate and not only ferrochel? (That's what they do in the pharmacy for many kids prescriptions - but they mix with sugar water)


Thanks again.

Tags: Health Healing