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Forum Name: Pediatric Topics

Question: Excessive, unexplained weight gain in 9 year old


 jjmsgdavis - Mon Jul 25, 2005 7:18 pm

My daughter, who just turned 9, has gained 20 lbs. in the past year, 5 since late June and 2 in a week. She swims competitively year-round (in the water approximately 5 hours a week, not counting meets), plays travel softball and basketball. This is in addition to the usual kid stuff like riding her bike and playing outside. She eats a very healthy diet (loves broccoli and brussel sprouts and drinks water 95% of the time). This has been an on-going problem that has begun to snowball. We have talked with her pediatrician several times over the past few years. Until recently, they did not really take us seriously. She has seen a nutritionist who said she was consuming about 700 calories a day less than she safely could given her activity level (eating about 1200-1400). She has had some sleep problems (tonsils and adenoids removed and some changes in habits have helped this). She has seasonal and year round allergies that she takes weekly injections for and uses Zyrtec and Nasacort as needed. She has exercise induced asthma that is getting worse and not responding to the preventative albuterol inhaler. She has been tested for thyroid problems and Cushing's. All tests are normal. Her metabolism has been tested and she was found to only be burning 900 calories a day. We have tried to cut calories even more and have only seen weight gains. We have made changes as a family. I have lost 30 lbs and her dad 20. Please help! We are being referred to a pediatric pulmanologist and a pediatric endocrinologist but have been told there probably was nothing the endo could do (has been consulted, just a courtesy visit). My daughter is becomimg upset!
 Michele P, RN - Tue Jul 26, 2005 2:17 am

There are so many different possible ways that these things that you stated could be leaning towards. As I read further, I saw that you are already scheduling to see a endocrinologist, which was my 1st suggestion. I would say that this is the best route to go at this point.

You did not mention anything about diabetes or any symptoms other than weight gain, but I wanted to add that when you have a child that has excessive thirst, urination, sweating or weight gain to name a few, these all could be signs of diabetes. Before you prepare yourself for the worst..see the endocrinologist.

And of course, if you are not satisfied with what you are being told and still feel uncomfortable, you have every right to get a 2nd opinion.

Good luck :D
 Dr. Heba Ismail - Tue Jul 26, 2005 7:25 am

Hello,
I agree with MissNurseM that you have a right to a second opinion if you're not satisfied.
I'd also like to add that there is a possibility this could be related to the intake of steroids for her asthma. Steroids causes water retention in the body, which would look like weight gain.

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