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Friday, 16 October 2009

Our not-so-Iron little man

Long time no type! I have been dedicating ALL free time (if any) to researching sources of omega-3 essential fatty acids and more recently, iron deficiency so I apologize for the delay in updating you all.

Ethan turned one this past Tuesday... a milestone I remember fearing he would not see when he first took a turn for the worst only months ago (seems like an eternity ago). Needless to say we delighted in the privilege of his health and strength. He has been fighting a cold for a few weeks now so Papa kept him home during Thanksgiving festivities.

So what do you do as a birthday celebration for a highly allergic one-year old boy? Well, take him to two doctor's appointments, of course! Yes, happy birthday precious Ethan... here are some skin pricks to test more allergies, a puffer prescription to treat asthma, and an eczema protocol that includes antibiotic & hydro cortisone creams... again.


What of his birthday cake? Oh silly, silly you... unless you can find a gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, soy-free blah-blah-blah-free cake (THAT IS EDIBLE) I am afraid it is sweet potato puree with a hypothetical candle on top!

What of his presents? A high quality Britax car seat and the added discovery that he is highly allergic to mustard, curry and mildly allergic to lentils. But we also learned that he is NOT allergic to kidney beans, dill, zucchini, olives and watermelon. Another "gift" was the results of his hematology report which showed extremely low red blood cell count (104 when normal is 140-175... and below 100 can cause serious damage to the heart & other major organs). Within that test, they also discovered that his iron stores (ferritin levels) are alarmingly low measuring in at 6 ug/L (normal range is 20-250).

Our son is quite anemic and the neurological long-term damage if left untreated could be significant.

Now, try finding a bio-available source of iron (preferably ferrous fumarate which has 33% availability for absorption) in liquid form WITHOUT additives such as citrus flavour or berry flavour... crap he is ALLERGIC TO!!! Good 'ol enfamil's Fer-in-Sol will have to do for now as we try to treat him with therapeutic amounts of iron without toxicity issues.

For your own info, should you experience major fatigue, dizziness, inflamed tongue, destructibility... (later edit... just noticed the word DESTRUCTABILITY instead of disTRACTability! Hee hee hee) you might want to look into this iron supplement fact sheet.

As for taking in adequate amounts of iron through diet, he is allergic to the fish, eggs and dairy but can eat red meat, fortified cereals and chicken (thank goodness). Further research shows that calcium interferes with iron absorption so try avoiding taking any supplements (or eating iron-rich foods) along with calcium. But vitamin C is welcomed during iron-ingesting time! Oh yes, it plays a key role in its absorption. Hooray vitamin C!

Delving deeper into issues creating hemoglobin, I discovered a huge link to vitamin B12 deficiency which correlates with my theory about his gull bladder affecting his fat-soluble vitamins... there is a bigger picture and I feel like I am working on a 2 million piece puzzle with little to no time to work on it! And by the time I get to it again, I forget where I left off in organizing my pieces!

Suffice it to say that I am determined to find the ROOT CAUSE of this eco-system of off-kilter-ness (if that is a word... highly doubt it is but it sure sounds good). My concern is the link between iron deficiency and ADHD... as my son is pulling out every kleenex from the box at my feet... oh and chewing on it now... sigh. Thank goodness he is not allergic to kleenex... Wow, who am I claiming is ADHD? I can barely focus on one paragraph over here!

Bottom line, we are getting answers that lead us to more specific questions which means we are on the right track. Luv you all!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Holy smokes. It must be tough trying to get him proper nutrition when there is so much he is allergic to. Thank goodness he can eat a few more things now.

With every piece of information you get, it is my belief that they will find an answer. Hang in there, you're doing all you can!
Your Cousin,Cindy