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Growth Delays

April 10, 2012


As most of you know, my kids are three years apart.  If you look at the picture above, you will know that my Morgan is a peanut. At 38″ tall and 28 lbs, he easily fits into 2T-3T clothing even though he will be five this summer.

So how much of this stems from being Vietnamese and how much is attributed to delayed growth? We’ve been struggling for a few years to find the answer.

I have pointed out his short stature at each pediatric appointment. I showed  them his scooped nails.  I  pulled his socks and shoes off to show the doctor’s his “wavy” toenails. I have shown them a small knot on his sternum. Most people have brushed these signs of vitamin deficiency off.

After endless blood work, and evaluations by three pediatricians and two different endocrinologists we have found that Mo is deficient in Iron and and Vitamin D.  I was angry–because both conditions are easily diagnosed and have a direct affect on his growth. It took two years for someone to perform these simple tests!

Frankly, I was shocked because we live in a sunny climate and my son eats a pretty typical diet. However, I have found research to suggest that Vitamin D deficiency is more common in SE Asian kiddos. As for the iron–we eat red meat 2-3 times per week but Mo is your average finicky toddler. He rarely eats iron fortified cereal because feed him very high calorie breakfast items like pancakes with peanut butter and syrup to attempt to help him gain weight.

Right now, Morgan takes Vitamin D with supplemental calcium each morning with breakfast and a Flintstone with Iron chewable each night at dinner with a source of Vitamin C. Calcium enhances Vitamin D absorption and Vitamin C enhances Iron absorption. We separate the two vitamin doses because they interfere with each other!

Morgan has grown 2 inches since we started taking the vitamins and his fingernails/toenails are finally starting to look normal. His weight still hasn’t changed, but we are optimistic.

It never hurts to be persistent when you believe something is wrong. I would hate for another parent to go through what we have been through and not find an answer.

7 Comments leave one →
  1. Laura Hodges permalink
    April 10, 2012 5:08 pm

    Couldn’t figure out why I was draggin around…..guess who else was Vitamin D deficient? Had heard about it on Oprah….so I asked my doc….he kind of poo pooed my suggestion, but I insisted that he do the blood work and check me out…so he did….not only was I lacking…but I had none…I mean none…so he put me on vitamin D and then a weekly supercharged supplement….he checked me in a month and I still registered none…he freaked….we kept doing this for three months until I finally began to register a level of vitamin D…’s that for being persistant? He finally apoligized and said that he is now including checking for vitamin D deficiency on most all blood tests he runs on his patients…..woo hoo! It’s amazing how different I feel too!
    I noticed in some pics you posted that Mo looked like he had grown some….way to go Jen! You are the perfect Mom for the Mo Man!

    • April 10, 2012 10:27 pm

      Thank you! I do my best to figure things out–it is tough when you cannot find many doctors familiar with international adoption and potential issues. So glad that you found a diagnosis for your fatigue–Oprah really has some insight at times 😉 Don’t forget to take calcium to help with vitamin D absorption. The extra Vitamin D can cause calcium to leach from your bones if there is not adequate dietary calcium intake. xoxo

  2. LeAnne permalink
    April 10, 2012 5:52 pm

    I totally agree. I think that’s why our pediatrician (who was awesome) in El Paso sent Brandon to Phoenix to see a neurosurgeon when they diagnosed him with possible Dandy Walker at 18 mos. It is frustrating, but you do have to be persistent and do research on your own. I am still convinced that I am having issues with my thyroid. The doctors keep saying that my labs are normal, but they were normal when I was symptomatic for a year and hyperthyroid. The docs panicked after my uptake scan & rushed to get me on medication before I had thyroid storm. I’ve had a full executive physical at the MAYO Clinic with no solution. My TSH is normal, but the symptoms are real and I ended up in the hospital for 3 days because of it. I got into an argument with my endocrinologist during our last visit, he basically called me a liar because he says it isn’t possible to have normal labs values & be hyperthyroid like I explained. I let him have it and researching new treatment options and doctors!! Exhausting!
    Glad to see that you finally got some answers. He will probably feel much better and sprout up like a weed! He’s still a cute little guy!!!

    • April 10, 2012 10:28 pm

      So sorry to hear that you are still struggling with thyroid issues. Just got tested myself for breaking hair and a few other symptoms but it all seems to be tied to changes associated with weaning the bug. hang in there and call me chica!

  3. Katie permalink
    April 10, 2012 11:40 pm

    Thanks for this. Our baby will be from SE Asia too. We will need to watch for this.

    • April 11, 2012 11:03 pm

      Katie–Morgan was still on iron fortified formula when we had our first panel of tests so anemia came later. Not sure if he was ever tested for Vitamin D deficiency. You might ask your doctor to do a nutrient work up if you suspect malnutrition. Morgan was 14lbs at 10 mos old so we were concerned.

  4. April 15, 2012 3:04 am

    Granted Morgan has a year on Aiden but they are the same size. I always assumed we was just going to be small. Okay…he is, but I never really considered deficiencies until I talked to another parent at culture camp. He doesn’t really have wazy nails but until about 2 months ago I never had to cut Aiden’s toenails. And i also learned about the Vitamin D deficiency in SE Asians…so this is my long winded comment to say, okay, I don’t know what I was trying to say other than Aiden is taking supplements for the same reasons. Glad you were persistant and found some things to help!

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