My 21 year old daughter has had low ferritin levels for past several years. She has "tried" supplements but claims to have stomach issues with it.
Recently she has had rapid and irregular heart rate, hair loss, and about a dozen other symptoms of low iron. She has seen a hemotoligist and recently a cardiologist. They both seem to think she is not "sick enough" to merit medical treatment. Eat better, take supplemental iron, blah, blah, blah, come back in three months and pay me more money.
Today I got her Enzymatic Therapy Ultimate Iron and Thyroid Support (NSI) which looks to me like it should be a help with bringing up the iron levels and maybe putting a halt to the heart issues, etc. Also got some spirulina for good measure.
So, I give her the bottles, and think she should be happy, maybe say thanks, and get started on the supplements.....
Instead, "I am not taking anything with iron. It hurts my stomach. I tried that before. The doctors don't care. Nobody cares. etc, etc. etc. I think she is looking for something instant to fix this. I think doing nothing means nothing changes.
Any advice? I was thinking about a well placed boot, but it would not be helpful if she bled.
You did well offering the supplements. Thats the "medical treatment" the drs have given her too. If we have low ferretin we have to supplement.
She does need to take responsibility for her situation. What does she want the Drs to do? They are telling her how to fix it, & it isn't a magic pill. The supplements are hard on the tummy but you take them.
My ferritin is 3, I feel like crap but manage to keep my hemaglobin at 12 (barely normal) so insurance won't pay for infusions.
Tell her this is the way you fix it. Help her pay for things if she needs it but you've done everything you can.
Try Sundown Perfect Iron, 2 tabs in the morning with a glass of orange juice, this produces much less stomach distress than standard ferrous sulphate. Taking them with orange juice or a vitamin c tablet boosts the amount of iron the body adsorbs from the pill.
if you cant find them localy, you can buy them online from a well known online drug store for about $6 for a 3 month supply.
Once her ferretin levels are back to normal (maybe six months?) one pillo a day might be enough to keep her iron levels nice and healthy.
The desire to take medicines is what seperates man from the lower animals - William Ostler
I also have very low ferritin, 5. They say i am anemic. i have been seeing my reg. family Md for this. I'm running out of patience (and time) since the reg. MD, I feel, hasn't helped me much and am looking for some answers. I feel weak, faigued, and exhausted all the time. They ask if i am depressed and I say how can i NOT get depressed when one feels so weak and exhausted *all* the time? Did your daughter need a referral to see a hematologist and cardiologist?
Sounds like jonnstar has a good recommendation for an iron pill to take when you have a sensitive stomach. Also, I wonder if those that have trouble with weak stomachs and the iron are waiting to take it until they have something in their stomach? I always wait about a 1/2 hr after eating to take my iron. I take the Farrous Sulfate but have never taken one without a stool softener and never taken it on an empty stomach.
Sounds like your daughter is going to think this is going to be a quick fix maybe. Even if she does take it, I hope she doesn't think she will feel better overnight. Oh, maybe see if she'll take pre-natal vitamins. I started out taking those (not enough iron for what she needs but it would be a good start anyway). They coat them now so they are big but they go down easy. I honestly was starting to feel better even days after taking those... then my hemotologist added 1000mg of farrous sulfate (with stool softeners)...with food in my stomach I've never had a problem...
Good luck, sounds like you're having to get past the psychological issues before you can start solving the iron issues! If it were one of my kids I'd tell them they were acting like a 15 yr old, not a 21 yr old adult. I'd tell them they are lucky to have a basically healthy body that does not have a disease like cancer, look at what those people have to take to stay alive (chemo). I'd tell them your body is like a car, you have to maintain it, you have to make sure your fluids (in this case her iron) are topped off... and in her case, her IRON is like OIL in a car - without it, her body (like a car without oil) cannot function, it will break down and it won't run... all she needs to do is try a different type of iron (like the one suggested), not on an empty stomach, every day, and she should hopefully bounce back fairly quickly since she's so young. Does she eat leafy green veggies and red meat? That alone won't be enough but she should have both.
I was just posting on another thread and had an idea for your stubborn daughter. Maybe try picking up a bottle of the prenatal vitamins (for 'starters' anyway - I know it's not all the iron she needs but it's got to be better than NOTHING), make a nice salad out of the "spring mix" (my favorite salad greens and my 17 yr old son's girlfriend's favorite around my house) - it's the mix that has the greens and the purplish colored leafy lettuces too... pick up some grape juice ... make her a steak... serve her that nice meal with the purple (red) grape juice in a pretty wine glass and have her take a prenatal vitamin - make sure she drinks all the grape juice with it and takes it at the end of the meal.
Foods that are naturally green, red, purplish in color are generally high in iron. Beets, purple grape juice, pomegranate juice, spinach greens, red meats, the dark meat of chicken...
Just an idea... good luck - it's not easy dealing with the psychological issues with kids/teens/tweens... been there, done that, still there (just not on the iron issue with mine)
I too was reluctant to take the iron supplements. Didn't even take my prenatals during my last two pregnancies because the iron made me even sicker than I was. I have lots of stomach issues. My dr put me on Integra. I take it with food which might inhibit some of the absorption, but that is better than me not taking it. The Integra has NOT bothered my stomach at all. Anemia has a LONG and SLOW road to recovery. I am just now at the three month mark and starting to feel better. She needs to hear from someone she trusts or that will scare her that this can turn into a very serious issue. If she is having heart palps then it is affecting her heart. Explain to her that low iron in her blood means LOW oxygen in her body. All of her organs and muscles (and brain) live on Oxygen. Help her undertand it on a practicle level.