First a discouraged post, and now a frustrated one. And kind of boring, too: I can barely get through the proof-reading of it.
Edward. To review: at his six-year check-up this summer, he hadn't grown since his five-year check-up, and he had also lost a couple of pounds. The pediatrician sent him for blood work, which showed anemia: his iron is supposed to be mid-11ish at minimum, and he's low-9ish. That doesn't sound very severe to me, but apparently anemia can indicate Scarier Things, especially when combined with not-growing.
First the pediatrician had us add an 18mg iron supplement to his diet, and we started giving him citrus fruit/juice whenever he had the supplement (or one of the iron-fortified cereals he eats daily) (vitamin C helps the body absorb iron), and we were careful to separate all the iron stuff from calcium (calcium anti-helps the body absorb iron).
We re-did the blood test after two months, and it was the same. So the pediatrician added an additional 14mg iron supplement to his diet. The 14mg and 18mg supplements are each listed as about 100% of the RDA for his age, plus he's eating the iron-fortified cereal that's listed as another 100% of the RDA. Plus of course he gets iron from other foods such as meat and legumes.
We re-did the blood test again this week after another two months, and he's budged up two-tenths of a thing of iron---so, if it was 9.1 before, it's 9.3 now. The pediatrician says great, it's working, let's add another 14mg of iron, for a total of 46 mg of iron supplements per day.
I'm thinking that a 200% RDA iron supplementation with a diet that already contains a good deal of iron-fortified cereal should have resulted in more of an improvement than .2, after over FOUR MONTHS of it. I realize it can take awhile for iron levels to rise, but it's BEEN awhile now.
When I said to the pediatrician that this worried me that so much iron was giving us so little result, he said no, it's looking good, and may just take time. Which, I knew it would take some time, but this seems like ample time. I feel frustrated because this has been six months and three blood-draws and three co-pays to hear the results, and I'm getting uncomfortable with this level of iron supplementation. Plus, Edward still hasn't gained any weight since age five. And I'm worried because what I've read online is that anemia that isn't affected by diet is the kind to worry about, so if there's something else going on I don't want to just let it KEEP GOING ON.
Here's my plan. I'm going to make his 7-year check-up with the other pediatrician in the practice. (We see both doctors, just whoever's available, so this won't be weird.) We've been seeing the same pediatrician for this whole iron thing, which makes sense so that one doctor can be tracking the story. But if I see the other pediatrician for the check-up, I can run it by him and see what he thinks.
I'm also hoping that some of you have experience with this and can say things like "Oh, it's because that level of anemia is like a 99.5 fever: it's not really anything to worry about" or "It seems like .2 wouldn't be significant, but actually it is" or "WHAT? This is nuts! The absolute cut-off for iron supplements at his age is 30mg!! Something is wrong here!"
Life-improving products, part 4 - (Continued from part 1, part 2, and part 3.) Stearns Youth Life Vest (photo from Amazon.com). I’d been too scared to take the kids to any body of water oth...