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What is the reason for low haemoglobin in infants?

Q: My son is 10 months old. We observed that he has whitish features. We found that his haemoglobin was very low a month back. We started giving more foods which are rich in iron. Today it is 8.3; kindly suggest what to do? What is the reason of low haemoglobin and what is the remedy?

A:You have not mentioned the first Hb report. Therefore it is difficult to comment whether his Hb has shown an improvement by October. While iron deficiency is a common cause for anaemia, all anaemia are not due to iron deficiency. If a young infant has anaemia some other tests apart from Hb estimation need to be carried out to find out the cause. While iron rich foods can prevent development of anaemia due to iron deficiency, they will not have any effect on anaemia due to other causes. Further, they are inadequate in treatment of iron deficiency anaemia, for which oral medicines containing iron are required. Thus, your child needs to be evaluated for cause of anaemia. After this is judged treatment is to be given accordingly.

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