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Chronic and Severe Anemia in 2 year old

Posts: 272
Joined: Nov 2011

My little nephew has been anemic almost since birth. His doctor has put him on iron, which raises it to barely normal, and taken him off cow's milk. His mother is very careful with his diet. They own a farm and grow organic veggies and beef, etc. As soon as the iron supplements stop, his iron drops to a dangerous level.

NOW the doctor wants to send him to a pediatric hematologist and his parents are so distraught.

The mother has a very serious pancreatic condition where her pancreas keeps forming scar tissue. She was just released from the hospital after over 2 months and is now getting sick again. Treatment for her condition is so extreme that they're holding off as long as possible.

They have 2 other healthy children.

Any thoughts or guidance? Things they should ask? They live in Oregon in a small town.

Posts: 1
Joined: Aug 2012

I was wondering if your nephew has had his lead levels checked? There is a correlation sometimes, not always but sometimes, between toxic lead levels and severe anemia. Environmental hazards such as toxic lead can cause a wide variety of health complications, one of which is iron anemia. We had our son's levels checked because his iron serum and ferritin levels were both very low, but his lead level was totally low and considered not an issue, but after researching it, I understood why they tested it regarding the anemia. Also anemia may cause Pica (eating of non-food items) which in turn can raise lead levels - awful cycle!

I hope that your sister and nephew will both find answers and get well very soon! Out of curiosity, how is the ped diagnosing iron anemia? Have they performed actual iron tests? There are genetic blood condition that mimic iron anemia, specifically Beta Thalassemia and Alpha Thalassemia (usually found in Asian, Mediterrean, Italian, and Greek backgrounds the most - something that was a cause for our son's low hemoglobin counts) - if they are only doing the finger prick, his issue may not be just iron, could be a genetic condition.

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