Concerned Father

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My daughter is 13 years old. She has recently-within the last 3 months, been experiencing many symptoms related to anaemia. Her blood count showed she is low on iron. She has been taking Feramax(150mg) for 1 month now. She is still exhibiting the same symptoms. I.e. Nauseous, headaches, shortness of breath, low blood pressure.

I have several questions. Is 150mg a day too much for a 13 yr old girl. Weight-115lbs. She is an elite athlete for her age, runner and highly competitive basketball player.

Can these symptoms also be a result of too much iron consumption?

How often should her blood work be done?

Please help. I hate to see her like this.

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9 Replies

  • Posted


    i am at the opposite end of the scale so to speak ... Peri menopausal so reversing out of  what your daughter is going into ... Blood loss is no doubt the cause of her anaemia .. As mine is .. 

    I took 2 months taking 299mg 3 times a day to get my blood count up and symptoms as you have listed to disappear ... 

    The gp told me it takes 6 months of taking iron tablets for anaemia to lift it is a slow process as the body only absorbs about 10 percent of each tablet ...

    taking the tablet with orange juice is vital for absorption and not having caffeine or eggs or cheese near to taking ...

    but your daughter needs to address the reason for the anaemia she eating a balanced diet? Does she need to see a gynaecologist.. Often simply placing a young teen on the pill automatically  reduces bloodless.. But being scanned etc rules out any problems ...

    basically asked for her to be referred ... To get to the bottom of it ..

    then iron rich foods .. To eat ..

    plots of girls suffer with anaemia but don't be fobbed off with some iron tablets make sure she is throughly investigated so you know why? 

    And I have my blood tested every 3 months ... 

    I have been scanned etc and know mine is just hormones and will soon end but your daughter has years ahead of her in this wonderful process of womanhood ... So do get her checked out ..

    Hope that helps 

    • Posted

      I'm worried she is getting too much iron.

      She started her cycle about 6 months ago, nearly the same time her symptoms progressed.

      As I mentioned she is a high intensity athlete, lots of sweating and i think with the new blood loss her body can't keep up. But after a month of taking 150mg a day shouldn't she be feeling better? She usually has an episode of shaking, shortness of breath and blood presure fluctuations once a day.

      I'm hoping it's not too much iron.

      Does anyone have experience with a young girl and/or athlete in this situation? 13 years old.

    • Posted

      Its best to take her back to the doc and have her iron level tested again to see where they are at if you are worried she has to much iron by the sounds of it though her iron is still low that's why she has the same symptoms in sire the dose would be accurate or I'm guessing the doc wouldn't of give her that dose the exercise and blood loss could be the reason she isn't storing the iron hope all is sorted soon for her sake my iron is low so I know how she feels I'm tired enough and I don't do any sport
    • Posted

      Ok. She was doing fine with no symptoms for 3 weeks other than tiredness. Then last Thursday she became lightheaded and dizzy, hyperventilating and had numbness in her hands which was likely from hyperventilating.

      The paramedics came to the school and reassured that they see this in many young female teens.

      I arrived shortly after her symptoms began. It almost looked like she was having a seizure but she wasn't. BP came down and was normal. Heart rate came down and was normal.

      She didn't eat anything since breakfast and this incident occurred at 3:30PM. Once she calmed she had some juice and seemed fine.

      How can iron depletion and not eating cause her to hyperventilate??

      I am at a loss here.

    • Posted

      Your daughter could have had the dizziness & lightheadedness from being iron deficienct, which in turn she panicked and started hyperventilating; which then enhanced the dizzy and lightheaded part.

      It also didn't help that she didn't eat anything earlier either. If she's still on iron pills, she needs to eat something, even something small, doesn't matter, as long as she eats something.

  • Posted

    Usually after a doctor prescribes something like an iron supplement, they like to retest blood after 3 months to see if there was any significant change in taking them or not.  It does take awhile for symptoms like she has to settle down or at least lessen.  

    I'd suggest she try taking it with orange juice as orange juice helps the body take it in better.  I take iron liquid that already has orange juice in it along with some other good vitamins so I don't have an issue.

    If that doesn't work, go back to her doctor and tell them her body isn't handling it and maybe they can try her on something else.

    • Posted

      Thank you sparky and everyone else. This is new to us and we are looking for answers. Is liquid iron more easily absorbed? And she has been taking her iron pill with OJ. We have an appt on Thursday and will be seeking a new cbc and a referral to a specialist. If liquid iron was a better option and this option wasn't presented to us then I don't think her GP is acting in her best interests.
    • Posted

      My body is really sensitive to medications so my doctor always tries to give me ones that I can better handle. Liquid iron is better absorbed because it contains oj and other vitamins that our bodies need. The liquid iron I take is called Floradix and it's over the counter, comes in two sizes.  

      From what I've learned in nursing school and from experience is that iron pills aren't for everyone. I used to take them when I was younger but stopped because I'm assuming my iron was back to normal. After that, I never bothered with it again until now since I'm in my late 30's and starting to have more issues than I did when I was a child lol. 

      I hope your daughter gets to feeling better and good luck at her appointment! 

      P.S. I've also had to deal with doctors that don't seem to listen and care what I have to say and how my body feels, so I always have ended up leaving them and finding a doctor that best suited me. smile

    • Posted

      I think most doctors go for the tablet form first as my daughter was 12 when she first needed iron replacement I've always been given tablets red meat and green vegies might help and finish off with an orange or other fruit that contains vitamin c there is a list of them out there if you have a look online good luck with your appointment Thursday


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