My children just don;t seem to gain weight form food appropriately

Katherine - posted on 02/03/2009 ( 5 moms have responded )




I have 3 children , the oldest is small for her age- underweight but not severely. The 2nd had IUGR (Intrauterine growth restriction), was SGA(small for gestastional age) and dx with FTT ( failure to thrive) at age 1 because she was losing weight. That was when she was weaned off breastmilk and was hospitalized. Since that time we have been back and forth to Childrens' in Boston and to 1 million depts (Genetics, Endocrine, Metabolism, and GI)- no real answers for 2 years- everything is a bit off but nothing is a true dx. The top 2 choices have been CF or celiac disease- but not confirmed. SHe will be 3 next month and weighhs 23 lbs and is 30 inches tall. Now the baby is following the same pattern- losing weight, falling off the growth charts. Anyone been through something similar? Any ideas? Suggestions?


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Kristina - posted on 05/20/2009




I am glad to hear that there are others out there who have small children and no answers. I have identical twin girls that are 18 months old and between 18.5 and 19 lbs - they seem to be ill a lot and lose ground on weight. They have been poked and prodded more times than I can count since they have been born. Their appetite isn't what it used to be but when it was high - they were good at just maintaining weight. Their development is behind and they still look like they are 10 months old. One of them just started walking a couple weeks ago and the other is trying very hard and is getting very frustrated!! To me they are happy babies and they love life and when not ill, they seem to enjoy everything and everyone that is around. Im personally sick of Drs telling me to push calories - it seems that most foods with high fat calories are bad choices in food and they are going to get the wrong ideas on what is ok and not ok to eat - if they hit a spot in their life where they finally start growing, they will have bad eating habits and I will feel so guilty...... It is just an emotional roller coaster watching them and trying to help them and not knowing if what Im doing is helping or hurting.......

[deleted account]

Testing children, especially under the age of 3 yrs, for celiac disease is very hard. A lot of children under 3 do not have the capability to produce antibodies to gluten, so tests can most definitely turn up negative. Older children also can do the same. If a child (or older even) is IgA deficient, the test can also be negative. Intestinal biopsy, which is considered the 'gold standard' for diagnosis is also questionable, as they have found that most doctors performing this test only do so in a very small portion of the intestine. If they don't find 'damage' they say the child doesn't have celiac. Damage can occur anywhere in the small intestine with Celiac so you have to find a doctor willing to be more thorough than most that will check a larger portion of the small intestine for damage from gluten. The only truly DEFINITIVE way to find out if your child is Celiac is to put them on a gluten free diet for a short amount of time ( approx. 3-6 months). If you see improvement, then you know you have the possible culprit. If you reintroduce gluten to the diet after that time and they have a reaction (diarrhea, vomitting, stomach cramps, headaches, canker sores, blisters , or other symptoms) then you will know for sure. Most kids that are Celiac and go gluten free start to react positively within DAYS. Myself and my four daughters are Celiacs. Please go to this site and scroll down to the article "When to Introduce Gluten to Children" mentions all the information about testing, results, false positives and false negatives,etc for Celiac Disease.

Sharon - posted on 04/17/2009




I also have discovered that I have small son is now 15 yet in kindergarten he wore only a 4 toddler....he was in a 6 slim until he was in 3rd grade...he is now 5'8'' tall and wieghs about 135 my daughter is having some GI problems..nothing severe just severe GERD...she has been tested for everything under the sun and all her blood work comes back as healthy...we have been tested for CF, celiacs...crohns...ect... I am just beginning to believe that she is just small...she is happy and loves life and has a lot of energy....she is 36 pounds 42" tall....and is 6 years old....

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My daughter is 8 and weighs 37lbs and according to my doctor she is healthy as a horse. She has a great appetite and shows all good with her blood work. So your 3 year old is not really that bad. My little girl was about the same weight at that age but your good to look into if it doesn't feel right. Just remember when comparing your kids to others at the same age, childhood obesity is at a critical high right now and you may be comparing your child to someone who has a problem in the other direction.

My son (who is now 12 and is 5' and weighs 83lbs) was tested for Celiac when he was 2 and his blood work came back fine. My doctor told me that a negative blood test means there is no chance of Celiac, however a positive blood diagnosis does not mean a person has it either. The only way to positively diagnose Celiac is with blood work and an intestinal biopsy. So if the blood tests can not confirm it and your doctor hasn't ordered the biopsy it means it isn't Celiac, although look into lactose intolerance. I never knew till my son was diagnosed with lactose intolerence how much stuff contains lactose, inlcuding brocolli and processed hot dogs.

Is there a possibility that your family is just petite at the younger stages? I thought both my children were sickly skinny until my mother showed me pictures of me as a child (I'm 34 and I am 5'7 and weigh 150lbs) and I was the tiniest kid in class and all bone.

I really hope you find answers to your questions as I know how frustrating it is to feed your children well and not have them gain weight, but hopefully its just that they are blessed enough to have good metabolisms and won't face obesity problems when they get older.

[deleted account]

I have totally been there... Jonas is 4 and weighs 25 lbs.


We too have been to every speciality there is, but no one can seem to figure out what is going on. He tested neg. for CF and celiac...


we are gowing for GH testing next week. After that we are stumped

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