Failure to Thrive Question for a Friend
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    Posting Addict tink9702's Avatar
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    Default Failure to Thrive Question for a Friend

    Hi! Not sure where to post this question. I have a friend who has a 12 month old (Christmas baby!) He's been diagnosed with failure to thrive, started out on the 25% curve, dropped to 10%, 5% and is now off the charts. They are seeing a GI specialist who has basically told them to fatten him up with the most fattening foods they can think of (instant breakfasts, ice cream, etc.) In the past month he actually lost weight (but was sick with a tummy bug last week).

    Does anyone have expereince with this? What testing did they end up doing on your child? Any suggestions for my friend?

    Thanks!!!
    ~~Mel

    Ethan - June 21, 2009
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    Posting Addict ourfirstblessing's Avatar
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    i don't have experience with this but have acquantances (sp) that do and they were also told to give their child 'fatty' foods. they chose a healthier route, putting avacodo in lots of foods and at some specialty stores you can find whole milk yogurts and cheeses. nuts, if he has tried them yet, can be helpful too. i would personally hesitate just to 'fatten' my child up, i would prefer beneficial, higher calorie/fat foods. hope they find a good solution
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    Community Host AnnaRO's Avatar
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    Is it failure to thrive overall or just in weight? As in, is the height okay? Head circumferance? Mental development/milestones? If it's just weight, putting him on a high fat, healthy diet sounds like a good plan, but I would hope the medical community in his case would be doing additional testing to check and see why he isn't gaining weight properly. KUP on how he's doing and what happens with him, please.
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    Posting Addict Starryblue702's Avatar
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    I had never heard of this before. I don't have any advice to offer but I just wanted to say I hope everything works out for him and he gets "fattened up" soon!
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    Posting Addict tink9702's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AnnaRO View Post
    Is it failure to thrive overall or just in weight? As in, is the height okay? Head circumferance? Mental development/milestones? If it's just weight, putting him on a high fat, healthy diet sounds like a good plan, but I would hope the medical community in his case would be doing additional testing to check and see why he isn't gaining weight properly. KUP on how he's doing and what happens with him, please.
    It's weight, height and head circumferance. He is meeting all mental and physical milestones though and does not seem sickly etc. I'm kind of thinking she should have just said lets start testing just in case. At least a blood test to rule out certain diseases?

    Quote Originally Posted by ourfirstblessing View Post
    i don't have experience with this but have acquantances (sp) that do and they were also told to give their child 'fatty' foods. they chose a healthier route, putting avacodo in lots of foods and at some specialty stores you can find whole milk yogurts and cheeses. nuts, if he has tried them yet, can be helpful too. i would personally hesitate just to 'fatten' my child up, i would prefer beneficial, higher calorie/fat foods. hope they find a good solution
    I agree. He eats peanut butter, not sure about other nuts. He eats a ton of yogurt, cheese and whole milk. He keeps refusing meats and avocado though so that's frustrating for my friend. But she's at the point where she'll throw food at him because she's so worried....

    Quote Originally Posted by Starryblue702 View Post
    I had never heard of this before. I don't have any advice to offer but I just wanted to say I hope everything works out for him and he gets "fattened up" soon!
    Thanks! I believe it's typically more common for little babies (under 6 months), where he's been diagnosed with this at 12 months, but I could be wrong....


    Thank you everyone!
    ~~Mel

    Ethan - June 21, 2009
    Olivia - December 5, 2010
    5w3d - October/November 2012

    My Ovulation Chart

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    Posting Addict ourfirstblessing's Avatar
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    i can def. see the concern where he's losing weight, that can be scary at this age (even though he had a bug) the other thing that i thought of. will he drink/eat smoothies? she can make whole milk smoothies with whole milk yogurt and add a protein powder. we do this (not the whole milk part) for our 4yo who is insanely picky. there are flavored powders so it just adds to the flavor of the smoothy, she can buy it in bulk so it will last a long time and let him have a very 'fatty' but with protein smoothly on a daily basis.
    ~Kristen~
    <3 Dh Jason 3/22/03
    ~Connor~ 7/26/07
    ~Isaac~ 11/20/08
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    Community Host combatcutie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Starryblue702 View Post
    I had never heard of this before. I don't have any advice to offer but I just wanted to say I hope everything works out for him and he gets "fattened up" soon!

    I agree with you. I've never heard of it either. No advice, but lots of wishes that everything works out and he gets better

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    We didn't have failure to thrive but when DD1 started crawling/walking she dropped from 50th percentile to 5th (starting at 8 month). They started doing monthly weight checks and at her 12 month (when she was 5th) and said if she kept dropping percentile ranking we would have to see a nutritionist. They weren't super worried because she was meeting her milestones and was still growing (minor weight gain and she got taller). I looked at rules for watching calories for heavier kids and did the opposite. There was no restriction on drinking milk/juice. I focused on the high calorie food she would eat (cheese, yogurt, peanut butter, cottage cheese) and let her eat on demand since I had to get her to eat when she was hungry and if I made her wait until supper, she probably wouldn't eat.

    She didn't like meat, avocado or smoothies. She was pretty picky so we would give the food we were eating for exposure to other food but if she didn't want that she always had the option of peanut butter and toast or cottage cheese.

    By 18 months she had moved to the 25th percentile and has stayed there since. They stopped worrying once she started moving up the percentile ranks. I think for her it was a combination of being a picky eater, not really caring if she eats and being super active.


    I think for FTT they do some evaluation on vitamin and mineral levels. There are a few genetic causes for FTT. When I still worked in the lab, CF was a common cause for FTT but most places have tested that in their newborn screen for the last couple years so it is highly unlikely.
    DD1 July 2008 (41w3d)
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    The failure to thrive could be due to a food intolerance/issue and if that's the case until they know what food he's having issues with and cut it out of his diet he'll still have failure to thrive no matter what he eats. Celiac disease (have to cut out gluten which is in wheat, barley, rye, and oats that aren't certified gluten free) can cause this with children. It commonly causes issues with digestion leading to stomach aches, diarrehea, and even constipation. The specialist should have tested for food intolerances and specifically gluten. If they haven't she should demand having him tested for celiac disease and once he's tested she should really cut out the gluten 100% for at least a month to see if there are any improvements or until she gets the test. Testing for celiac disease requires gluten to be in the system so if they haven't tested yet she should keep him eating gluten. Hopefully it's not celiac disease but it's something she can rule out easily.

    Cindy

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    My oldest daughter was first labeled FTT as an infant (about 3 months) and is now FTT yet again. She also has accompanying GI symptoms like diarrhea, stomach aches, nausea, and reflux.

    At first we were told to give her fatty foods, even if they weren't healthy, to fatten her up. I put extra butter in/on things, added olive oil to her pasta, cheese on her veggies, etc. That didn't make a bit of difference in her weight. We also tried Boost drinks but she hated those and they didn't help her gain weight anyway.

    She has since undergone some testing to see what could be causing the FTT. The 2 most common causes are cystic fibrosis and crohn's disease. We still don't have a definite answer but have ruled out some things.

    I'd tell your friend to take the doctor's advice for now and see what happens. If he isn't gaining weight after a few months I'd ask about further testing. However, if he isn't having any GI symptoms and seems healthy he could just be a case of not eating enough for being such an active child.

    Hope everything turns out for the best!

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