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New finding: Vitamin D deficiency associated with increased risk of anemia

Posted on: October 25, 2013   by  John Cannell, MD


Anemia or low blood is present in up to 20% of children at some time during their childhood.

Some physicians think childhood anemia is almost always caused from iron deficiency, but a 2005 study called that into question, finding anemia was common in children with adequate iron stores and that most children with iron deficiency did not have anemia. 

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2 Responses to New finding: Vitamin D deficiency associated with increased risk of anemia

  1. Rita and Misty

    I wonder if the number of cases of childhood anemia has increased over the last 30 years, corresponding to the anti-sun campaign and the general move towards indoor play activities rather than outdoor play activities.

    I also wonder if children with autism have higher rates of anemia.

  2. acar4

    I was D deficient (also Iron, B12, folic acid, Vit A) during pregnancy (due to undiagnosed Coeliac Disease) and baby #4 was born D deficient and coincidentally anaemic and B12 deficient.

    This was sadly not discovered until day 12 post delivery when my usually ample supplies of breast milk were just not normal and baby was losing weight. She was also exhibiting some odd neurological behaviours (odd to me compared to the other 3 babies).

    We spent 12 days in NICU whereby she was rehydrated and supplemented with formula (which broke my heart to introduce such foreign substances into her immature gut) whilst also attached to a supply line which ran down my breast along side the nipple and into her mouth. This stimulated the nipple to increase my supply which was guessed at being low due to my age 43.

    I had this awful intuition it was not that! I felt my milk was not normal due to some other reason. Not my “advanced maternal age” which incidentally is such an unflattering term.

    After blood tests revealed my severe deficiencies the turn around was simply remarkable in a matter of 10 days. I was given injections of B12, 300,000 IU of D3, iron transfusions (painful and caused violent nausea). My Vitamin A was also topped up and my milk started to change within 48 hrs. It was remarkable really. If I had not insisted there was something amiss with my normal supply and that I was to have us treated as a Dyad I hate to think where we would have ended up. The NICU were really just interested in her post birth condition and wanting to treat her but since I had “grown” her I felt sure the problem had been passed onto her whilst in utero. Therefore the answers may lie within me. So glad I stuck to my guns.

    We were discharged with her fully breast feeding, no supplementation whatsoever!

    She behaved as my other newborns did. The weird behaviours were gone. The squirming and inability to keep still had disappeared. I think that was the lack of B12. It was almost like she had restless leg syndrome. Horrible. She had a strange cry too prior to supplementation. One of the Drs thought she may be profoundly deaf as it was the oddest sound. Turned out she was just starved of nutrients as my poor Coeliac body struggled to nourish her. We are probably lucky she was born weighing 3.3kg.

    Happy happy endings. She regained her weight within 14 days and we continued home to begin a more healthy start to her babyhood.

    Anna in Australia

    Ps she has been diagnosed at 4 yrs with Coeliac Disease.

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