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Help for my rapidly gaining 10 yr old son?

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

I have 5 children (10 yr old ds the eldest), and they mostly all have the same problems, except weight gain. They are all quite thin, and ds always was, too. I had to buy him slims his whole life. When he turned 7 he began gaining weight. But let me go back.

 

He has allergies, both food and environmental. I didn't learn the true extent of his allergies and get aggressive about removing them until he was 6. He was chronically ill, colicky, spit up a ton, had ear infections, sinus infections, and even a bladder infection when 2. We had a chronic case of thrush, told by the pediatrician was not thrush. No remedies ever got rid of it.

 

He received zero sugar in his first yr of life and I worked in as much "healthy foods" in as possible, having read things like SuperImmunity for Kids, by Leo Galland (avacado, fruit, veggies, fish and soy milk). I nursed him until he self-weaned at 17 months, while pg with dd#1. I also gave him probiotics any time I gave him antibiotics (about 4 times in those 6 years). I learned more and more about natural alternatives in that time. After dd was born we learned in a few days that soy was causing her problems, so soy was out, replaced by rice milk. That's when ds's teeth started rotting. Between age 2 and 5 he had many cavities and an abcess. He had to have 4 molars removed. However, I never let them put an amalgam in his head (though I have 13 large ones, including some placed while pregnant and nursing). From age 4-6 I was getting raw cow milk, wanting badly to believe that it was doing more good than harm, being raw and all. Then I learned it was the root of the hyperactivity and mood swings, along with some other allergens evident in baby #3, so dairy, soy, corn and garlic were pretty much removed.

 

At 7 I had severely restricted his allergens, yet he still had moderate sleep apnea. Everywhere I turned the "cure" was to remove his tonsils. I desperately wanted to avoid removing an essential part of his body and asked everywhere (including here) and could find no alternative, but plenty of info on how badly the sleep apnea was hurting him. In fear I had his tonsils removed. He'd already begun gaining weight at that point and no longer required slim pants. After surgery he lost 7 pounds and looked much more like himself. Within 2 months it was back and more. In his 8th yr he had gained 20 pounds in 6 months, despite vigorous activity all day long and almost no junk. I homeschool, so he's with me literally night and day, so no opportunity to sneak. I know he was eating fairly well for an avg American.

 

Then Fall '09 we started renovating an old family-owned farmhouse in preparation for a move after struggling with finances (STRESS!) for some time and finally giving up our house to foreclosure. We lead-poisoned the entire family redoing the hardwood floors. We were told his lead levels were "acceptable" and not of concern. Somewhere in this period ds turned 9 and really picked up on the wieght gain. I realized he was the same age as I was when I started unexplained gaining, so I began monitoring his waking temps. Low. Dr agreed we should get him on Armour thyroid like me. During the 3 month renovation we traveled 2 hours/day and ate too much fast food. After we moved we were incredibly financially distressed due to loss of hours for dh's work. Our food budget was insane, and my time was so limited I think we ate frozen meals and any other junk on sale exclusively for about 3 months. In that time I got pregnant w/baby #5 and got incredibly sick, as usual, and didn't do much cooking, so we ate about 90% processed foods. Over the summer I began cooking a lot more, semi-homemade style with one of the meal planning services, but it was heavy on cheese and lipton onion soup mix. It was in this period that I realized I was violently ill when I ate onions and quit the service.

 

Fast forward to Dec of that yr (2010) and I found this area of MDC. I devoured knowledge and radically changed our diets. REMOVED ALL allergens. And introduced TFs. Almost removed all sugar, most grains, etc. Went to all grass-fed beef, pastured pork, pastured eggs. Drinking water kefir and kombucha, making coconut milk yogurt, getting in coconut whenever possible. Celtic sea salt, honey, maple syrup, digestive enzymes, FCLO, zinc supplements, cell salts, nettle infusions. We got to a baseline, then reintroduced a little bit. Gluten didn't seem to bother anyone, so it got the ok to come back. Then I started getting raw grass-fed cream and making my own butter. We tried milk from the same cows again, but no dice. Kids got all the same behavioral problems as usual. So, we tried raw sheep's milk. It didn't seem to have any side effects (no behavioral, no diarrhea, no skin issues, etc, like w/cow's milk) so they've been doing it all summer.

 

Ds still gained. He was up 40 lbs in 6 months, to 120 lbs at 9 yrs. I upped his Armour to 90 mg/day and got him in to order more blood tests. I read Healing the New Childhood Epidemics: Autism, ADHD, Asthma, and Allergies: The Groundbreaking Program for the 4-A Disorders by Kenneth Bock and Cameron Stauth and Dr is completely on board. However, financial strain has put off the tests, thus the start of treatment. However, I did get all the kids on nystatin right away. I tried some MB12, but didn't notice any change. Could be the compromised gut, so we're going to try transdermal, but again medicaid doesn't cover any of it and coming up with the cash hasn't happened yet.

 

At the start of these appts in June he weighed 124. Weighed him last week at 140. I'm starting to literally get scared. He's starting to complain of more pain, joints and otherwise. Not sure if they are caused by the weight, or by the underlying problem causing the weight gain. He's huffing after climbing stairs, and isn't very physically active anymore. Not "lazy", as he'll still do some outdoor activity if we organize it, just doesn't seek it out anymore.

 

So, you see his history and my plan beginning. But I need more. I know "diets" don't work, so I've not even attempted to restrain his intake of food. Just making sure there are always healthy choices and severely restricting the things that are detrimental to his health. What more would you suggest? And thanks for sticking with me this long!

post #2 of 5
While my 11yr dd had a huge growth spell, it sounds like your child probably has a more medical issues going on.
Wishing you the best
post #3 of 5

I don't think my son has quite the issues as yours but i am getting very concerned about his gaining weight as well. He is just 5 and up until about 1 year ago he has always been on the thin side. but he has slowly filled out and now it is seeming to happen more rapidly. He has gained about  6 lbs in 3 months which is a lot for him and now all of his pants are not fitting him. He is about 66 lbs. I think for him it is a lot of sedentary lifestyle, my recent pregnancy and now lots of stress in the home from a troubled marriage. I know sometimes he seems to eat a lot, but then goes without for a long time as well, it does seem like he keeps gaining. I did the hypothyroid arm pinch test on him and he seems to have the build up under his skin, as do I, but have had a lot of other things going on, i have not pursued the idea we may have thyroid issues( i am being monitored as my TSh levels PP were off) though.

post #4 of 5

The first thing I look at when children gain too much weight is how well they are processing their emotions, the level of stress in the environment, and the use of food for comfort or to combat boredom. Does he eat when he's in front of the TV or the computer, for example. Does he eat frequently, such that having the feeling of food or a taste in his mouth has become a habit? Children are not very good at identifying and working with their feelings, so for children, sometimes the very first place you see evidence of anxiety or depression is weight gain, weight loss, stomach aches, headches, etc. Children somatize their feelings more than adults do.

 

Sometimes there's a combination of feeling more fatigued than the "average" child due to their bodies fighting allergens, and that tends to make them more sedentary, and being unable to tolerate uncomfortable emotions. Being sedentary leads to eating because its boring being sedentary; and its hard to encourage a child who feels less energetic to get up and be active. It might work better to eliminate food associations with any activity other than sitting at the table, doing nothing else, but eating when its time to eat. And trying to find activities that are interesting and engaging enough that he doesn't keep thinking about eating.

 

I wouldn't restrict how much he eats, but I would restrict how and where he eats it (only at the table, only with nothing else going on). I would restrict what he eats between meals - free access to fresh fruits and vegetables; all other carbs and fats are meals only. Its one thing to put him on a diet - you sure don't want to do that - but its another to teach healthy eating habits and break unhealthy food associations. Sometimes its hard to find the balance. For us, this is just the way it is, for all family members. Its how we eat.

post #5 of 5
Quote:
Originally Posted by BellinghamCrunchie View Post

The first thing I look at when children gain too much weight is how well they are processing their emotions, the level of stress in the environment, and the use of food for comfort or to combat boredom. Does he eat when he's in front of the TV or the computer, for example. Does he eat frequently, such that having the feeling of food or a taste in his mouth has become a habit? Children are not very good at identifying and working with their feelings, so for children, sometimes the very first place you see evidence of anxiety or depression is weight gain, weight loss, stomach aches, headches, etc. Children somatize their feelings more than adults do.

 

Sometimes there's a combination of feeling more fatigued than the "average" child due to their bodies fighting allergens, and that tends to make them more sedentary, and being unable to tolerate uncomfortable emotions. Being sedentary leads to eating because its boring being sedentary; and its hard to encourage a child who feels less energetic to get up and be active. It might work better to eliminate food associations with any activity other than sitting at the table, doing nothing else, but eating when its time to eat. And trying to find activities that are interesting and engaging enough that he doesn't keep thinking about eating.

 

I wouldn't restrict how much he eats, but I would restrict how and where he eats it (only at the table, only with nothing else going on). I would restrict what he eats between meals - free access to fresh fruits and vegetables; all other carbs and fats are meals only. Its one thing to put him on a diet - you sure don't want to do that - but its another to teach healthy eating habits and break unhealthy food associations. Sometimes its hard to find the balance. For us, this is just the way it is, for all family members. Its how we eat.



honestly you brought up a point i really overlooked, my ds's allergies. Last summer is when they got horrible and when he always complained of being tired, i kept him indoors a lot because the allergies were so terrible, when the weahter was great, and that is when his more sedentary life began...He loves being out and about, when he is there, but getting him out of the house is like pulling teeth. I am going to try to get him into swimming lessons next week and hoping that helps. His allergies weren't as bad this season but there have been other stressors at home.

 

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