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4 Year Old With Aneamia

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HI guys,

I just have a few question about your kids and Anaemia. I am pretty sure that my 4 year old is becoming anaemic again. The Paed GI (who is a celiac specialist) still doesn't know what is wrong with him - if he is celiac he is testing negative on every test (his younger brother just came up borderline on his endo). Crohn's has been mentioned. But at the moment he is on a gluten free diet to see if that works (so far it hasn't - but he keeps accidentally getting glutened so it may take awhile).

I was just wondering if your child had any signs and symptoms they were anaemic and if so what were they?

Is there anything I can do to stop this happening again? I'm reluctant to self prescribe iron therapy because I know that if it isn't that then he could overdose on iron and that is just as bad, but we don't have an appointment again with the specialist until 17th May and whatever this is it is happening really really fast. Like all in the past few weeks.

He became severely anaemic really quickly at the beginning of 2010, to the point where he couldn't breathe properly, couldn't walk without falling over (which resulted in two lots of stiches), couldn't play and wouldn't eat anything and developed a heart murmur. I am really scared that is going to happen again and I can see that the signals are there.

He is waking up screaming with severe leg cramps that takes hours to massage out, he can't sleep, he is having trouble eating, black under the eyes, pale, bruises easily and the worst thing - Its like he has had a personality transplant - gone is my sweet little man and in his place an angry, screaming, howling child. He just screams and cries and hits and punches all day long.

I have no idea what to do. What would you guys do?

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If it is anemia that you are afraid of, have you tried calling your general practitioner and asking if you can get in to see him within the next couple of days? Most will gladly do so for suspected anemia. Another option, and the fastest for verifying your fears is to go to the ER. They can get test results in a few hours. (Sadly, I had this recent personal experience.) If it is anemia, it is very dangerous for it to go untreated...sometimes fatal.

My other suggestion, on the Celiac diet end of things, is to cook up some very basic foods for him to eat (chicken, rice, peas, etc.) and keep him out of situations where he could accidentally eat something he shouldn't. If you're in doubt about a particular item, don't let him have it. The diet (if that's what he needs) won't work without 100% compliance.

Have you tried any gluten-free, chewable or gummy vitamins?

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Thanks for your reply. Might just take him to the GP to get his bloods done - thanks! His specialist can take up to 10 days to call back!

Yeah -he has those nice chewy vitamin tablets that taste like lollies.

He has come off a 3 month course of ferro liquid about 3 months ago and here we are again. If we pack him full of iron then he seems ok - but as soon as we stop iron therapy it all starts again.

The problem is preschool and also friends who just don't get it, he shared some sandwhich with a kid a preschool the other day before the teachers caught him. I tell him over and over not to share food -but he is only 4 and I suppose he doesn't really like it or understand it. And we have friends who (no matter how much I say to them he can't have something) buy him treats and then say things like, "there is only a tiny bit of gluten in it" - I'll explain and explain - but they just don't want to hear me.

If it is anemia that you are afraid of, have you tried calling your general practitioner and asking if you can get in to see him within the next couple of days? Most will gladly do so for suspected anemia. Another option, and the fastest for verifying your fears is to go to the ER. They can get test results in a few hours. (Sadly, I had this recent personal experience.) If it is anemia, it is very dangerous for it to go untreated...sometimes fatal.

My other suggestion, on the Celiac diet end of things, is to cook up some very basic foods for him to eat (chicken, rice, peas, etc.) and keep him out of situations where he could accidentally eat something he shouldn't. If you're in doubt about a particular item, don't let him have it. The diet (if that's what he needs) won't work without 100% compliance.

Have you tried any gluten-free, chewable or gummy vitamins?

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Have they checked him for Pernicious Anemia? It is the lack of enzyme in the gut lining to properly absorb vitamin B12.

There is also ITP (I will probably slaughter the spelling ~idiopathic thrombosis purpura?)

It sounds like there is way to extreme of anemia problems.

My daughter would get pale and lethargic. She also was too tired to chew food and swallow it (so she would chew and spit it out) PICA is the craving of non-food items. Ice chewing. Crunch sensation of your mouth but not that you really want to eat anything. headaches and easily bruised skin.

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I have Pernicious Anemia...if that is the cause of his problem, his symptoms are so severe that a simple blood test for b12 will show his counts at rock bottom, and he either already is, or will start to feel weird sensations in his hands, and have urinary incontinence. You don't have to have the auto-immune version of Pernicious anemia to get anemia from b12 deficiency, though. It is often a side-effect of other digestive disorders (including Celiac) and parasitic infections. Now, if it is Pernicious anemia, he'll be ok...it will be a miraculous recovery without long-lasting effects. :) Mention it -- it's a pretty common thing to look for on a blood test.

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My son was diagnosed with Celiac because of his severe anemia. He was exhausted all the time and was so tired he wouldn't even open Christmas presents and he was vomiting at night and we knew there was something seriously wrong. Additionally, he would rarely eat and had gotten so skinny and sickly. They ran a CBC which clearly showed anemia. We started giving him massive doses of liquid iron a day. That went on for a year while they tried to figure out what was wrong with him and running iron studies every 6 weeks. He had nearly 0 iron stores the whole time. We started him on the gluten-free diet and now, 3 months later, he has iron stores for the first time ever. He is still on liquid iron supplements though for another 6 weeks. I wouldn't be so afraid of the supplements if they are necessary. You will certainly notice by the poops if he is getting too much iron.

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