Q. My child has iron deficiency anemia, and she is intolerant to cow's milk. What would you advise?

Answered by
Dr. Mubashir Razzaq Khan
and medically reviewed by Dr. Preetha J
This is a premium question & answer published on Oct 31, 2020

Hi doctor,

My child, who is 6 years old, felt sick on his birthday this year (one week ago), accusing fatigue. He looks pale and vomiting. We took him for blood tests. His red blood cells were way below normal 3.8; the doctor sent us to an oncology hospital suspecting leukemia. Later, they said it is severe anemia because iron was deficient. They gave him iron through the perfusion, and they were supposed to discharge him from the hospital today. The latest check looks like he is not assimilating the iron still, and the red cell's situation did not Improve. They advised endoscopy and colonoscopy, suspecting now internal bleeding. Is the course of the current investigation is right? Should we look into a different approach with the treatment? What would you suspect or advise in this case? He is also intolerant to cow's milk.

#

Hi,

Welcome to icliniq.com.

Anemia is common in malabsorption diseases (cow milk intolerance in your case). Iron deficiency takes six months to develop in case of reduced intake or absorption or loss via blood. They are probably doing endoscopy or colonoscopy because of milk intolerance to rule out irritable or inflammatory bowel diseases. After intravenous infusion of iron, it takes one to two months to increase hemoglobin and red cells. There is also some immunodeficiency due to nutritional deficiency. Your child should also get vitamin B12 and folic acid supplements (regardless of blood results because of iron deficiency, and in such low hemoglobin, there must be folate and B12 deficiency accompanying). Some allergic trendy is also evident. That should be clinically assessed and investigated and treated either with antihistamines or leukotriene inhibitors.


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