My daughter will turn 10 yrs old in two weeks. She is currently 4'2 and weighs 49 lbs. A few years ago, she was diagnosed with Celiac Disease after our pediatrician noted she had quit growing (height and weight) for over a year. She was diagnosed through bloodwork and then biopsy with our ped gastro. (She is VERY sensitive to even trace amounts of gluten which cause 7 - 10 days of diarrhea and stomach cramps). A follow up biopsy a year later showed that the damage had healed and she was doing well on her diet. We saw a good bit of growth during that time before it leveled off. She grows enough to keep our pediatrician happy, however, our gastro is concerned that she is still so small for her age.
My understanding is that he is worried about her growth/development in regards to growing up and puberty, etc. He said that she needs to gain a bit of weight to be comparable to her same age peers, even if she is still small at that point. He told us several weeks ago that he was hoping she would pick up some weight during the summer and if she doesn't by October, he wants to start her on some supplemental drinks, etc.
My question is, how important is it that she pick up extra weight?
In our opinion, she is very healthy. She eats well (lots of fresh fruit and veggies from our garden). She's academically gifted and a straight A student. She participates in extracurricular activities such as theatre, soccer, karate and cheerleading (Most of those are seasonal, so she isn't in them all year-round). She's happy and has tons of energy. We all eat gluten free as a family and her friends accept her celiac disease as a very minor part of her life. I'd rather not supplement with extra things and call attention to her weight if at all possible. (She does take a multi-vitamin every day). I don't want to imply that her size is 'bad' as she is sensitive at times to being smaller than her classmates. I worry about the focus on her weight. And, I'm not really sure we can change her weight. In spite of our best efforts (lots of high fat/calorie items added to her diet), she hasn't gained anything since that last doctor's appointment.
However, if there is truth to the concerns about her weight interfering with her overall growth, I'm on-board.
(As some background info, my brother has Crohn's and he has never held a full-time job because of it. He worries and complains about it constantly. Every doctor he's been to has given him a clean bill of health, but he is hyper-focused on the problems of the past and cannot get past his medical condition. I want my daughter to not be so focused on Celiac Disease. It's part of her life, but not the defining characteristic).
Thank you for your help. I'd talk with a nutritionist, but they are very expensive around here. After school starts back up, I think I can talk to the school's nutritionist to make sure what we're feeding her is fine, but for now, I'm operating on what I can read about or look up online.