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Why does my son have low ferritin levels?

Q: My three years old son has reported feeling giddy and experiencing panic attacks on many occasions in the last one year. Whenever he feels like this, he holds his grandmother or my hand and tell us that he is feeling giddy. We consulted a doctor who recommended a blood test. As per test his test, ferritin level is very low. The doctor has prescribed iron and mineral tonics. My son is a fussy eater. He just had milk for almost the first two and a half years of his life. What do low ferritin levels indicate?

A:Having low ferritin means low iron stores, and thereby indicating iron deficiency. This is seen especially in children who basically feed only on milk. Iron is needed for the proper neurological development of the child, and the panic attack manifestation could be attributed to the iron deficiency. However, one must ensure ruling out other neurological issues for generally; the issues in iron deficiency are loss of alertness etc and usually not the panic attacks. I would therefore, recommend to get in touch with a neurologist (paediatric) to further assess the situation. Also, an opinion from the hematologist would go a long way to help in your child’s case.

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