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4 year old with sever anemia...HELP!

(7 Posts)
3littlebadgers Wed 27-Jul-11 18:48:40

I need advice please I am pulling my hair out with worry. 4yr old DS has constant bouts of tonsilitus, went to the Doc (I live overseas) on Monday and tonsilitus was again confirmed plus a heart murmur (sp?) Went to see cardiologist and was given the all clear, then sent for blood tests and Iron is practically down to nothing. They gave a range of 31-144 on DS's is 6!

He eats everything he is given, he is a bit fussy about cooked spinach but will have it raw and other than that there are no issues with him. I am carefull not to give him too many dairy products or at the same time as iron rich foods, he loves meat and fruit so I am pretty sure it can't be diet related.

Any ideas what it might be or what I can do to help? Is there any chance it could be related to the tonsilitus? They sent him for more tests today urine and stool sample but I am struggling with medical translations although my everyday language is very good.

Last little thought could I have done this to him? He was fine untill I stopped BF at 14 months and then near enough straight after he became ill with tonsilitus, asthma which seems to have cleared up, eczema which again has cleared up and chest infections. sad his big brother and little sister are so fit and healthy I worry for him so much.

ashamedandconfused Wed 27-Jul-11 19:06:44

Hi there, ask for a blood test for coeliac disease -

Our story - aged 5 DD was very tiny, we were not bothered as I am only short! otherwise a bright and healthy child, doing well at school though prone to long lasting coughs/colds/chest and ear infections. Blood tests were done when the GP investigating her poor growth noted she was pale - her iron was so low they ordered her straight into hospital - we were terrified. The Drs there could not beleive a child with such low Hb levels could be so well in themselves. she was distressed about being in hospital and we were allowed home, to return next day. The Dr we saw asked a few Qs then said outright - i think I know what this is, coeliac disease. We had never suspected any problem as DD would eat well, though she had her favourites as all kids do, and we had assumed her stools were "normal for her" - she never complained of tummy pain or anything and there was no family history, at that point, of such things. she was sick (vomiting) quite a bit but we always put that down to eating or drinking too much too quickly, or coughing with mucus in her throat, or a bug that she picked up from school.

Anyway, to cut short, the reason she was so very anaemic, and it maight be the same with your DS, is that although she was eating plenty, it was passing through her unabsorbed - there was not lots of food in her stools or anything, the stomach broke it down but then it passed out as (large, soft) stools before being properly absored, this happens when gluten damages the gut so it cannot work - it is an immune system disease so frequent infections are common alongside, as are asthma, eczema and other intolerances or allergies.

HTH, always something to rule out as a cause of severe anaemia in kids anyway. Other indicators would be a family history of anaemia, osteoporosis ( weak bones due to poor absorption) or bowel disease/cancers.

ashamedandconfused Wed 27-Jul-11 19:09:02

oh and if it IS coeliac disease then nothing you could do would prevent it - i too felt i had doen soemthign wrong,not been alert enough, when my DD who i had BF for 18months became so ill!

treatment is a gluten free diet for her entire life and on that she is fine!

I hope you get some answers and your son is better soon.

MaryAnnSingleton Wed 27-Jul-11 19:09:17

have they checked for a haemolytic anaemia ?

MaryAnnSingleton Wed 27-Jul-11 19:10:06

and no,don't think stopping bf is to blame at all- don't feel bad about that

3littlebadgers Wed 27-Jul-11 19:23:42

Thank you so much, Ashamed - alot of what you have said rings true so I am going to take him back in in the morning and ask for the blood test. He is in the 75th percentile for height and 50th for weight but both his brother and sister are in the 98th percentile and up to 3 months old he was beating them both hands down in terms of length and weight when he just slowed down. Also his growth and weight have never been a smooth curve which I always put down to his frequent bouts of illness. Thank you so much for the advice I am clinging onto it with both hands.

MaryAnn - I'm going to google the haemolytic anaemia as I have not heard of it and thanks for putting my mind at rest with the bf I just feel so bad for the poor little mite.

ashamedandconfused Wed 27-Jul-11 19:31:44

a bit I missed out, the reason Dd started being looked at for her height and weight was when her younger sister (2yrs younger) overtook her in height weight and had the same size feet - everywhere we went they were mistaken for twins. we had assumed one was set to be tall like dad and one short like me - the Dr wanted to check there was no growth hormone deficiency as DD had been a nearly 10lb baby! and at age 5 was on the lowest height centile (only 0.5 % of people would be smaller than her)

if your DS is falling away from his centiles, thats another indicator it may be coeliac (or other food intolerance) related

good luck! keep us posted.

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