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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?
[COLOR="Red"]Ever since my son was born he has had horrible horrible gas. Goes from being constipated to having diarrhea within minutes. His stool is full of mucous. I breastfed him for 14 1/2 months and was off dairy most of the time. His problems got a lot worse when we introduced cows milk so the doctor had us take him off of dairy and his symptoms got less...but didn't go away.[/COLOR]

For instance, how is his hemoglobin and other blood counts? Was he exhibiting any symtoms of iron deficiency/anemia like fatigue, pallor, etc?
[COLOR="Red"]His first blood test was a hemoglobin check. His levels should've been around 130 and he was just over 90. That's when the doctor ordered the ferritin levels.[/COLOR]
It would be really useful to post any labs you have, along with the ranges.

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.
[COLOR="Red"]I breastfed him for 14 1/2 months and I was off dairy for the majority of the time because it was causing huge problems with me. I weaned him (stupidly) and put him on minimal amounts of dairy which he reacted to (DUH me!). His symptoms increased a LOT. 3/4 of his stool was mucous, bad bad bad gas, constipation and diarrhea, horrrible diaper rash, etc. So we took him off of dairy and his symptoms decreased but haven't gone away completely. His dotor refuses to give him an allergy test, we are just assuming it's a dairy intollerance.[/COLOR]
Well, this is a bit beyond my scope. But, I would still have to say that there is some malabsorption issue at work causing the iron deficiency.
[COLOR="Red"]I have been reading up on malabsorbtion problems and it really does sound like that![/COLOR]

Is it possible that you are iron deficient? and that he may not have been getting iron from your breast milk?
[COLOR="Red"]What is strange is that when I was pregnant with him I was anemic so I was on iron supplements. I stopped taking them after he was born though.[/COLOR]

Also, I am wondering what foods he has been eating in addition to the breast milk. When you started him on cow's milk what was his diet like? And, what does he drink in substitution for the cows milk?
[COLOR="Red"]He eats everything. Loves any sort of foods. Eats lots of whole grains, vegetables and fruit. He isn't big on meat but he loves beans. Now he drinks either soy milk, rice milk, almond milk or oat milk. He also eats soy cheese. I bought soygurt but he hated it and after I tasted it, I could understand why![/COLOR]

Since his hemoglobin is 9 (using common standards), and is therefore, below range, he is anemic. Has the Dr said anything about this? What treatment has been discussed?
[COLOR="Red"]The doctor suggested we try to increase his iron with foods and flinstone vitamins. If his levels still don't increase we will do iron supplements. So in 3 months he is going for another blood test to see what the course of action is.[/COLOR]

What concerns me about this situation is that your son has had GI problems from birth. As I am sure you know, breast feeding is the best thing to do, so it puzzles me as to why he was reacting the was he was. There may be something to investigate here.

Since your dr won't even give an allergy test and just supposes that cows milk is a problem, I would not be content to accept his advice. There needs to be proof for a Dr's diagnosis/conclusions. This does not sound like the sort of Dr you need.
[COLOR="Red"]This is actually the 4th doctor we've seen about it and he's the only one who agreed to do testing. Every other one just said he didn't need it, blah blah blah. It's very stressful.[/COLOR]

Your son needs testing to find the underlying issue for his GI troubles. Perhaps when that is solved, his iron deficiency anemia may improve.

I would definately pursue it. I am sure the Dr might say it is all "normal" ect, but your son has had continuous problems for 19 months. That, at the least, warrants further investigation. If your dr says no, I would consider going to a new Dr.
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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