Nutrition Forum
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Avatar universal

ferritin level of 5

My daughter just had a physical.  I asked the doctor to do some blood work since she is SO lethargic.  She gets plenty of sleep at night but basically lays around and naps all weekend.  She's on the dance team and practices 3 days per week - but nothing overly vigorous.  The rest of the time, she basically lays around some more.  I know teenagers typically sleep a lot but this was definitely outside the norm.  Her periods are not heavy.  Her diet isn't very good - pretty much all carbs.  Until now, she was very resistant to changing her diet and, at her age, it's hard to force her to change and I have a lot less control over what she eats.  My daughter says she's willing to try to clean up her diet - and that's a great start.

Anyway, her ferritin level was 5. The reference range is 14-350.  The pediatrician (per a message from her medical asst.) just told her to take a multivitamin with iron.  Well, she already does that.  With her ferritin that low, I seriously question whether that's enough (well, obviously it isn't since she's already supplementing)  but I'm not sure how much to give her as far as additional iron.  (My NP insisted I supplement and my level is 28.)

I'm very concerned - and more concerned that her pediatrician is NOT concerned.   Am I over-reacting?
2 Responses
267079 tn?1195146570
Women have a higher demand for iron then men due to monthly menstrual flow. You do not want your daughter to become toxic with Iron supplementation which is worse. Replenish Iron through food sources. There are 2 types of iron in our food sources, Heme iron and Non-Heme iron. Heme iron is from animal sources (meat, dairy) and Non-Heme is plant sources (beans, nuts, potatoes). Non-Heme iron has more iron then Heme iron , however, it does not absorbed well into our bodies so it is important to eat foods with Vitamin C and Heme iron foods to enhance absorption. For example, chicken with beans and a fresh orange; drink orange juice with the iron supplement; or have mashed potatoes with meat at a meal. High Iron food sources are all meats, fish, dark green vegetables, beans, enriched rice (cooked), enriched pastas (cooked), and whole wheat breads. Did the Doctor look at folate or Vitamin B12 levels for possible other types of anemia? Hoped this helped you.
Avatar universal
Thank you for the suggestion.  I'm not sure iron replenishment thru food will be enough but we are working on it.  Actually, she just had labs drawn this week so we'll see if there's been any progress.
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