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I am not sure of the protocol for low ferritin in children, but I was curious, and thought it might be helpful to others who are looking at your question, to know some other facts.

I was thinking that ferritin is not a typical test for a child - were there other tests and symptoms your child had prior to finding he has low ferritin?

For instance, how is his hemoglobin and other blood counts? Was he exhibiting any symtoms of iron deficiency/anemia like fatigue, pallor, etc?

It would be really useful to post any labs you have, along with the ranges.

If he is just below range in ferritin, but not below range in hemoglobin (the usual standard) he is just iron deficient (or depleted), but not anemic. I am not sure how this situation is handled. For adults, some drs will recommend therapeutic iron, some will not until an enamic state is reached.


In the case of iron deficiency anemia where (the usual standard) is hemoglobin which is below range, it is fairly standard protocol to do a one month period where the patient takes supplementary iron and then has a follow -up ferritin test to see if there has been any increase in ferritin. If there is no increase, then further tests are done to discover the reason(s) why.

I am not sure of the amount of iron a child would be prescribed for such a trial in the case of anemia. I do know that there are brands of children's iron on the market for such treatment. If this is the case, that is anemic, I would ask my dr.

[COLOR="Red"]However, I would never supplement in the case of a child unless your doctor approved it first and prescribed a specific amount.[/COLOR]

Finally, I am wondering about the milk issue. Are you saying that he was drinking milk in the past, but no longer drinks it? And if so, is it becasue of a milk allergy?
In this case, maybe there is some food intolerance/allergy connection and therefore, a the possibility that his lack of ferritin is related to malabsorption.

Hope this gives you some sense of what is going on. I know pediatrics differs, but this is the general story of ferritin, deficiency and iron def anemia.

Please post your sons labs here and hopefully others can comment further. :wave:
The usual protocol in anemic situations is to supplement with iron and the check the blood values after a month's time. In your son's case, your dr has chosen to not supplement (that means with therapeutic dose of iron), just regular multi and iron rich foods, and to check back in three months.

I don't know that I would accept his advice in total. If he wants to be conservative about not supplementing, I would go along with it, for the moment, since giving iron to children, esp one so young needs good supervision. However, I would not wait three months to see if there has been any effect.

I have read about the one month trial in many places, and here is a sample article to give you some idea about what is going on.

[B][I]Anemia in Children[/I][/B]
[url]http://www.aafp.org/afp/20011015/1379.html[/url]
[I]American Family Physician[/I] Vol. 64/No. 8 (October 15, 2001)

I really would recommend that you try to get your dr to send your son to a specialist. A GI dr is a good idea, since he would be able to investigate your son's digestive problems and maybe link it to the low iron.

Of course, it could be two separate problems, a GI and a hematology problem, but I presume your Dr will not refer you to two specialists.

If your Dr won't try the GI dr, maybe you could convince him that your son should see a hematologist? You may be able to pursuade him that he should be under the care of a hematologist since he is anemic, right??:) At least, you might be further along in diagnoses and treatment than you are. The hemo may or may not investigate the GI and possible malabsoprtion, but then again, he may.

So, you have two possible routes.

If there is no change in one month's time, request a visit to a specialist. If your dr refuses, it may be worth pursuing as self-pay if you can afford it.

I myself had to go this route for my medical problems...;)





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