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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
cross posted in NICU & Preemie parenting and Life w/ a Babe

My DS was tested yesterday and his hematocrit was 14-15. ( I was told a normal, healthy baby is 40-50, while a preemie is usually closer to 30 ).

We had been supplementing with Tri-iron which is a mixture of things like Yellow Dock and Nettles, so this number came as a huge shock.

Our ped. who is new ( our old one left the practice ) said he is going to call in an iron prescription and that it must be taken with 2-4 ounces of orange juice a day for several months. He told us this after we repeatedly called for the results of the blood tests and was told he would get back to us on Monday! Uh, no. . . you told my DH our son looks malnourished and that he needs immediate blood work, and then tell us to hold on through the weekend!!)

Give him that much OJ daily. . .for months. It feels so wrong. He had major intestinal issues in the hospital. Is there any other way. I feel like all I can do at this point is go along with what he says. I am so burnt out from the entire allopathic system and trying to bring my holistic lifestyle into some type of harmony with it.

DS only just started things like BM cut with keifer, egg yolk, hemp seeds, CLO, and coconut butter a , month or so ago. I've tried giving liver and bits of things to eat but mostly he just plays with it and then drops it on the floor.

I am horrfied about replacing one of his feeds with OJ! Does this sound right to you? I know he needs the Vit. C to absorb the iron, but is there any other way?

I am guessing we will find out more about the blood work on Monday, when he has the time to go over everthing in greater detail. . .But for now I am completely freaking out.
 

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Is the orange juice for vitamin C or something else? There are better sources of vitamin C than orange juice. Like peppers for example. Or (what I do) using sodium ascorbate with each dose of iron. If it is for folic acid there are better sources of that too. Supplement wise Metfolin is a well absorbed form. I would make sure you have a very well absorbed form of iron. Check into ferrochel (bis-glycinate) form. I would also strongly suggest you spread the doses out throughout the day (and night perhaps) into absorbable amounts. You can only get about 2 to 3 mg at a time...I'd go with that higher number given the deficiency as you absorb more when deficient. So spread the doses out with vitamin C with each one is my suggeston. My son's levels came up very quickly when I started doing that.
Egg blocks iron actually so cut that (I know it is constantly mentioned as a source but do some looking on pubmed; it has iron but also blocks it--and not just in the egg but the other dietary sources too). Hemp seeds possibly do too (nuts and beans do; I imagine seeds might also).
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you so much for the info. I have calcium ascorbate crystals. Is that the same as the sodium ascorbate, or is it that b/c the ascorbate is buffered with calcium that it would actually block the iron? I've read that dairy blocks iron. . .is it the calcium in the dairy or something else?

I believe the Doc wants the OJ for the Vit. C to help the body absorb the iron. I've read that brocolli and papaya also have high Vit. C. Do you think it might be a better idea to juice one or the other ( not together ) and give the iron along with that?

Thanks so much again.
 

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Yes, calcium blocks iron. So don't use that C. Sodium ascorbate would be better. I have to get mine online. Brocolli has calcium too I believe so I wouldn't do that. Papaya might be ok. Honesty I think it would be easier to just do a supplement of vitamin C. And do use an absorbable iron form. The bis-glycinate is equivalent to at least 6 times a less absorbable form. So 10 mg of it is equal to say 60 mg of another. And the extra 50 mg. that isn't absorbed in the other is constipating too. I spent a long time making no progress with my son with those other forms....but causing him constipation all along the way.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Wow, thanks for this info! So I guess I would mix the powder with a bit of water and then the Ferrochel? I googled Ferrochel and came across it in a tablet form, do they have a liquid option avalible ? I just called my local health food store and they don't have the Ferrochel, would this be available at the pharmacy? Or is this more of an online thing?

As to doseing I guess it goes by weight, or would the fact that my boy's iron being so low mean I need to consider a slightly larger dose? He is only 12 and 1/2lbs.
 

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AL, It is the vitamin C in addition to the acidic pH that promotes Iron absorption so whatever you decide to replace orange juice with, be sure that it is a comparable pH (roughly 3.5) and plenty of vitamin C. Don't give iron supplements with dairy.

SM
 

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Have you thought about cooking his eggs in a cast iron skillet? I know that way back in the "day" pregnant mothers with low iron counts were advised to cook things in cast iron skillets and pots. The iron gets into the food and then into your body. Maybe that will help as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Quote:

Originally Posted by Betsyconnersmommy View Post
Have you thought about cooking his eggs in a cast iron skillet? I know that way back in the "day" pregnant mothers with low iron counts were advised to cook things in cast iron skillets and pots. The iron gets into the food and then into your body. Maybe that will help as well.
I love to cook things in our iron skillet, but now that I've learned that the eggs might actually be blocking his iron supp. I think I'm going to cut them out. Maybe I could cook beef bone stock in my iron pot though?

Does anyone know if giving Spirulina and also a Ferrous Glycinate supp. would be too much? Is there too much ( with in reason ofcourse ) of heaping on of iron rich things with a DC with numbers this low?
 

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AL, Cooking in iron skillets/pots is great but will only provide trace amounts so don't count that as intake. Here is some information about iron toxicity thresholds:
Typically, iron ingestions of less than 20 mg/kg have little risk of systemic toxicity and are usually limited to GI symptoms.[ 8-10] Ingestions of 40 to 60 mg/kg carry a risk of severe toxicity, and ingestions of 200 to 250 mg/kg are potentially lethal.

I hope this helps.

SM
 

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I agree on the cast iron not giving you enough and it's also a poorly absorbed form. I really think you need to supplement. I thought you could get a bis-glycinate in liquid form. If not I bought a capsule (I got solgar brand from our health food store) and divied it up in small doses and then gave it on a spoon with a bit of sodium ascorbate and apple or pear or similar sauce on top just to make it go down ok. Purple grapes blocks iron (as do prunes) but most fruits are ok. I've also disolved the iron with the vitamin C powder in some liquid and syringed it. Either way works.
Meat is a great source. Make sure you get vitamin C with that meat either in supplement form or with a food source.
Dosing--you could do a bit of research on ferrous bis-glycinate and see what levels they were using in study by kg. I looked up the RDA for my son's age. Then I gave my son a bit over what his RDA was in divided doses and it did it. My son's levels weren't as low. You can find the right dose by dosing until you get to dark poo. Dark poo is unabsorbed iron so back down a bit at that point. My son could absorb about 2.5 mg a a dose and a total of about 8 to 10 mg. per day. As his levels came up it backed to 8 mg. and then to 6 mg.--which was his RDA. If you use the ferrous bis-glycinate you don't need those crazy large doses because the large doses for correcting anemia are because most iron forms are so poorly absorbed.
If you need acid you could use regular ascorbic acid (vitamin C) powder. My son gets reflux from that and acidic stuff is hard on tummies. My experience was the right iron and the sodium ascorbate in divided doses fixed my son's levels fast.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Sbgrace, and all of you. . . .
Aarenlisbeths husband Gabriel, wishing enormous thanks and sending big smiles to you all.
As per Aaren's time in the N.I.C.U., I'm on doctor visit duties, the information gleened from all of you mothers is of enormous value to us. As most of you know what the pediatricians tell you is to be taken with a LARGE PINCH OF SALT. So to have a community of parents with experience and research--Priceless. Appologies for quoting the commercial industry.

Papa G
 

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okay...mine was lower than that, i was 5mo pregnant at the start of this, in feb of this year...
i received iron transfusions, and took iron pillsand folic acid pills as well as lots of vit c with it. make sure to keep calcium AWAY from anything vit c so it isnt counter productive, and all. i wouldnt get a blood or blood product trans. i ended up getting i think 11 trans. total.
does he have any residual issues neding needles, etc? i would say do it together...

but if not, get as much foic acid in him and vit c and iron at the same time... could you crush pillls and put them in his drink or something? i dont know what the specifics of what hes on are, etc...

i as well as my little guy were almost dead from complications of being anemic, so im just sharing what i did. have theu suggested transfusing blood?
they were trying to force that as well as some funky drugs on me and umm..no. they thought i was crazy and they had to go through a LOT of docs to "let" me try what i suggested insteadof trying to get me in troible for endangering the health of my babe for not getting the blood, so im trying to see what you were told as far as how to help him, ya know?

anyway good luck and i hope hes feeling okay!
 

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and i was taking 5X the amount recomended of iron total, plus the IVs when i got them and it still took months to get back over 30.
i loaded up on it! i knew i wasnt going to poison us being that low...not suggesting load you baby up onit, but the extra for a week or two shouldnt do anything if its that lowl.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Right now DH and I are doing message tag with DS's new Ped.'s nurse. You would think the guy could actually get on the phone himself. . .but maybe he is super busy today. . .The presciption called in for DS is Iron Sulfate!!!
So we speak to the nurse and tell her we want to go with Ferrous Glycinate b/c it its 75 percent absorbable oposed to the sulfate's 10 percent. We say we want to do it with ascorbate powder. . .we give all our reasons and backup info ( thanks mamas! ). The nurse basically tells us she will relay this info to the Doc. but that she thinks that he will stick with his first recc. of Sulfate & OJ b/c they've had such good results with it bringing levels up and no parents ever call to complain about constipation!!!

My DS has a hydrocele that could possibly still be communicating and require surgery and this Doc. thinks it is okay to go with something that could potentially agrivate the sit. even further! I apologize for this rant, but we have been through so many Ped.s and trying to find one that listens to us and has good inight of their own is getting infuriateing.

onelilguysmommy, there is no mention of transfusions yet. . .They do want to see him back in a week.

DS had 11 or so while in the NICU a year ago though. He is on no other meds thankfully. After everthig he has been though he is doing pretty well except for slow growth and now this huge iron issue.

I ordered Ferrochel online, I found one called Maxi Liquid Iron.

The nurse said iron is an issue you don't want to mess around with, well Duh!

I'll keep you posted!
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
So via the ped.'s nurse he told us that infact ferrous sulfate has more elemental iron and is better for DS b/c it would take much higher does of ferrochel to equal that. From eveything I've been learning that sounds completely backward.

Does the above info sound right to any of you wise mamas?

BTW DS's hemoglobin count was 8.2.
 
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