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  • My 15 yr old very low ferritin and very sick

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    Old 06-16-2013, 10:49 PM   #1
    mom2ajnm's Avatar
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    My 15 yr old very low ferritin and very sick

    My 15 year old has been very sick since November. She was in the hospital twice in December for a 8 week migraine. They even did a lumbar puncture and MRI. MRI was abnormal but 6 weeks later it was normal. She ended up getting IV DHE for her migraine. Since then she has been extremely tired, has restless leg syndrome and had lots of stomach pain. She missed 30 days of school since she was in so much pain. She got really bad 2 weeks ago. Her legs and arms hurt so bad she cries in pain. She doesn't want to get out of bed and when she does she gets very tired. She can't even reach for something since her arms are so weak. She has a constant headache, no energy, unexplained stomach pain, no appetite, nails are breaking and cranky.

    She was diagnosed two weeks ago with Fructose malabsorption. We are working very hard to change her diet.

    Finally her allergist ran labs, results below..

    Hemoglobin 10.9 normal range 11.1-15.9
    Ferritin 4 normal 15-77
    MCV 75 normal 79-97
    MCH 23.4 normal 26.6-33
    MCHC 31.4 normal 31.5-35.7
    Vit D 18.9 normal 30-100

    Here PCP started her on Ferrous sulf 325 mg three times a day. He said he would re-run her labs in 3-6 months. What I'm I supposed to do until then. She needs to be better to go back to school in August. Any thoughts.


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    Old 06-19-2013, 04:10 PM   #2
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    Re: My 15 yr old very low ferritin and very sick

    I'm so sorry your daughter has been so sick. That must be very frightening!

    Does the doc think that the fructose malabsorption is the cause of all of her symptoms? Does it explain the anemia?

    I have a ferritin level of 5 myself as of about 2 weeks ago. My hematologist said that once ferritin gets into the single digits you really have to treat it. I've been having a major GI work-up to find the source of either internal bleeding (I've had a hysterectomy, so it's not that), or some other reason that my body is not able to absorb/retain iron.

    Have you been to a hematologist? If not, I think you should. I would think that you could argue for an IV infusion of iron instead of oral medication. It would bring her iron level up so much faster and improve her energy. My doc is trying to get that approved for me. Since your daughter has been ill for so long and she's having stomach issues (oral iron can be hard to tolerate) I think a request for an infusion would be very reasonable. But I believe that only a hematologist would order that. My doc (heme) will be re-testing me on 7/1, after getting the results of a pill camera I'll be swallowing tomorrow. She is having me come in an hour before my appt w/her to do a blood draw so that she can see where my iron levels are. I don't think that a hematologist would wait 3-6 months for a re-test for your daughter. They take anemia much more seriously than most GPs.

    Best of luck to you, and please let us know what happens.

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