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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello,

I was typing this out and accidentally hit something that erased everything, but i apologize if this comes through twice. I'm starting over now...

We adopted a little girl from Ethiopia 11 months ago. She is now 19 months old. She has always been food obsessed. We have still made no progress. I have written to you guys before, and I am begging for some help because no one I have been to or talked to has given me anything that can solve this problem. I have tried multiple suggestions, and everything seems to make this problem worse.

For example: This morning I gave K a good breakfast (1 cup adult oatmeal, whole milk yogurt mixed into oatmeal, blueberries, and a handful of Gerber puffs) We immediately drove to the park where there was a large group of moms I know meeting. As soon as we got there, though, K saw a banana that someone had. From that moment on, she would not do ANYTHING except suck her thumb, ask for food, stare at the table with snacks on it, or drink a bottle. If I tried to distract her or put her down for even a second, she would shreik like she was having pins stuck in her. The playground, the toys, other kids....NOTHING interested her. She was only focused on getting some food. I broke down and gave her a cookie, and she happily ate it, but once it was gone she only would ask for another. She was miserable, so was I, and we left early. My other kids were not happy.
As I watched other toddlers, my heart continued to sink into despair. Will I ever have that? Our dreams of having one more child to enjoy, nurture, etc., are gone, since we cannot really enjoy her unless she is eating or drinking a bottle. I have not once, in 11 months, felt like she has ever been satisfied. And if she is satisfied, it is only for 20 minutes or so until she starts asking for something else, or asking for a bottle, or if she sees food it doesn't matter if she just ate. I realize that all toddlers like to snack, taste others' food, etc., but there is NO POINT that she gets to where she has had enough and wants to other things.
At home, I can put all food away, and after a good meal she will play for a while. But if someone else wants a snack, she will be MISERABLE until she gets fed again, too.
I am at a loss. I have seen nutritionists, psychologists, etc. She is growing, gaining weight, and is getting an adequate amount of food. She is well porportioned weight to height.
She was overfed apparently, in the orphanage, and came home quite heavy. My pediatrician gave me the advice (she was wrong, I now know), to feed her a certain amount, and stop her even if she was crying for more. I did that for 3 months, and she lost some weight. When I realized how much she had lost, I asked a NEW pediatrician what to do. Her advice, as well as the nutritionist I saw, was to make sure she got 900 calories a day, and if she still wanted more, not to give it to her because that was enough (her activity level is low, and she only started walking at 18 months).
I am starting to lose my mind. I have decided I cannot go out into public anymore where there will be food. I have already stopped going to my book club and my son's playgroup, because those situations had become hours of misery as I could not focus on anything but her crying and whining for more food.
I have never gotten to the point where she is DONE. NEVER!!! Where we can happily go on to other things. Where we can do normal things again. She always wants SOMETHING. If it is not food, it is a bottle. If it is not a bottle, it is her sitting there sucking her thumb and focusing on the box of Cheerios on the counter, or my son eating a banana.

I have NO satisfaction of seeing her content as far as food goes. NONE.

I am losing my mind. Literally..

I am wondering if there is a solution, short of letting her eat nonstop, which will also curtail my regular life as I will have to stay in the kitchen all day, every day cutting up fruit or watching that she doesn't put too many Cheerios in her mouth at once. And should I let her get obese from eating nonstop and not moving from the high chair? Is it a good idea to let a child think they can eat all day every day? Will I be trading once problem for another? Will I ever have a normal life again??? I am pretty close to despair right now since I have other children and this problem is so pervasive. It is not like giving her an extra snack, or increasing her meal size, can be a solution. There IS NO amount of food that will satisfy her.

She does not have that disease that makes people eat nonstop. She has been checked by a physician. I don't know what else to do.

I am BEGGING for help. I have contacted professionals, and still have not gotten any help. She has NO attachment problems. This is definitely NOT an attachment issue.

Someone please just tell me what to do. I cannot take anymore.....

Thank you and God Bless anyone that can help me solve this so I can get our lives back and start living again.

Anna
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Hi,

First of all, I have no idea of any low calorie food except for rice cakes and puffs that she can have at this age. Cooked vegetables she gets at meals, but raw stuff is out of the question for this age.

But here is what happens if I give her a bag, or cup of something, with something to carry in it all day. IT IS GONE IN 5 MINUTES. Then, if I refill it, IT IS GONE AGAIN IN FIVE MINUTES. Etc., etc.......

I don't know how to do that when she will eat it ALL, NONSTOP, UNTIL IT IS DONE. I would be refilling the cup every five minutes all day. Then what? Put her in the high chair for a meal, and then let her go back to eating nonstop inbetween meals? She will not look at it and then go play. If it is there, SHE WILL NOT DO ANYTHING ELSE!!!! So I am stuck.... or so it seems.
 

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Discussion Starter · #23 ·
Hello,

Thank you to all of you that responded to my post looking for help/advice. I first want to say that nothing offended me because anything that was said trying to help me is fine with me. If I didn't agree with something, then I don't agree. But I have to say I agreed with almost everything. I am going to try to respond to some of the questions that came up, though.

My daughter has never thrown up after eating because I have never let her eat nonstop. I'm not sure if she would throw up or not.

Yes, it seems like she is a bottomless pit, although occasionally she will say "all done", but never when there is still food on her plate.

I have 3 other children, so I understand that all toddlers will want to share and watching someone eat might not sit well. But my other children, once they were full, would rather go and play than hang around the kitchen. I have usually had the experience that when we are out at a playground or someone's house, actually, that my other children will barely eat because they'd rather be playing. With K, she will DO NOTHING except eat.

K drinks about 10 oz. of milk a day and no juice. I water down her bottles because she still wants 4 or 5 of them.

I am thinking about the bootcamp, but I think I'll need some valium first. Watching her eat endlessly is difficult for me because I am so afraid I am teaching her unhealthy eating habits.

Someone suggested unlimited bottles. I would LOVE to do that. However, if I give her a bottle, she always completely finishes it, to the last drop (and then sucks on the air for a few minutes). So if I refilled it, she would sit and do it again. and again... Should I try it and see if she stops after 4 or 5?

Someone suggested SPD. What is that?

Thank you all again,

Anna
 

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Discussion Starter · #28 ·
Okay, so here is my question: Allowing free access to food (which I guess I am coming to believe is the only thing that is the right thing to do since nothing else I've tried has helped) is difficult for me, but I am going to have to do it.

1. She came home VERY CHUBBY, so clearly she allowed herself to be overfed even then.

2. She is STILL chubby, and I feel like she would eat 10 times more than she is now. So I can pretty much assume that she will gain ALOT of weight if allowed unlimited access to food, even if it is vegetables/fruit.

3. How do I do this logistically. She is 19 mo. old and needs finger foods, and we have an active life. Do I really just hand her a mountain of food in the car/stroller/family room/wherever we are and allow her to eat until she says she wants to stop?

4. What if she doesn't stop? What if she eats until she throws up?

I'm frightened of this scenario, and it is what has been keeping me from doing it. I wish I could hire someone to feed her for me......

Thanks!

Anna
 

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Discussion Starter · #43 ·
So much information, and so much help. I can't thank any of you enough for helping me through this. I am starting to realize that maybe my own issues about healthy bodies and healthy eating have influenced me being able to help my daughter. Helping my other children learn to have a healthy relationship with food was so easy.

I am going to do the "bootcamp", and prepare myself for the battle to be over. I cannot keep battling with her over food. I am just as afraid (if not more so) of her being anorexic when she gets older, and don't want to restrict her from what she wants and needs.

I am devastated, though, that all of the professionals have not had an ounce of helpful advice, and when I went to them, I think in the back of my mind it didn't feel right. Sierra's scenario hit the nail on the head in all areas and it explains everything very well.

We are hopefully now on the road to healing. I want to keep this board advised as to our progress (maybe once a month?) because I feel strongly about there being resources available for someone else that may encounter similar problems in the future.

A now hopeful mom,

Anna (and her beautiful Ethiopian daughter, K)
 

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Discussion Starter · #55 ·
Hello,

To update those who asked, my daughter is kind of short for her age (30 inches) and 22.5 pounds. She has gained a pound in about a month from 18 months old to 19 months old. Doesn't this in itself indicate that she is getting enough food? I'm not sure.

She also has an umbilical hernia, and I believe she has VERY WEAK stomach muscles, maybe even a separation of the rectus (sp?) muscle. Could this be the cause of the "bulging" stomach? Some of it is fat, but most of it is not, I think.

My next issue is this: She has quite the pot belly, which is where the "chubby" part comes in. When she wakes in the morning, it is much smaller, but still there, but after each meal/bottle, her stomach continues to expand at an alarming rate. This is to the degree that her diaper is getting hard to fit her at night time. I'm not sure this is fat, though, because it seems to "deflate" by the morning. Her thighs are a healthy chubby, but when she came home, her thighs were enormous and you couldn't even see her kneecaps. She was a VERY inactive baby in the orphanage, and only started walking at 18 mo. old.

My concern is with the fact that she is already gaining weight at a steady rate. I'm not sure what this means in terms of giving her unlimited access to food and increasing her intake by another 50% or so.

I think people are misunderstanding me, in one respect, in that I would not have a problem giving her unlimited food if she was gaining at a normal rate, or not gaining at all because she was super active. She is neither. She is not super active, and is ALREADY gaining weight with the 1000 or so calories she is getting now. I give her 3 meals and 2 snacks, along with 3 bottles approx. 4 oz each. So should I just let her continue to eat unlimted food and maybe she is just going through a growth spurt?

I know of many people in my life who have children that even eat more than my daughter and never get that inflated stomach, for one, and can eat and eat and eat and never seem to get fat. Yes, I am concerned she will get an unhealthy fat. I have to be honest. I fought with my weight my whole adult life, and I know what suffering it causes to try and break the habit of eating too much. I never wanted that for my kids.

This is a painful issue for me, and I still want to thank each and every one of you for taking the time to try to help. And again, nothing offends me, because I want to have an open enough mind that can accept the truth even if it hurts. I want to resolve this.

Thank you,

Anna
 

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Discussion Starter · #65 ·
Hi,

thanks for the continued replies. Nothing has improved here, in fact she has gotten worse. I have tried gluten free and not much changed. She still bloats, even with water, and someone mentioned it is because she has such weak abdominal muscles? She has an umbilical hernia and possibly her rectus (sp?) muscle is separated, so someone I know mentioned that could be why her stomach gets big even after drinking water. It is like when I was pregnant with my first child and had such great muscles in my abdomen and didn't show until I was 6 months pregnant, but later pregnancies showed much sooner because of weaker muscles. Don't know if this is the reason or not. Also, she has very normal bowel movements, which I heard it NOT indicative of a wheat/gluten intolerance.
Here is something else I don't understand, and would love some feedback on: She has gained at least 2 pounds in the last 2 months. If she was still "needing" more, would she be gaining weight? I have heard from many people that their kds eat enormous amounts, but they are so active they really don't gain too quickly. My DD is NOT active, part of which I attribute to her food obsession. I say that she is just sitting around waiting for her next meal on most days.
If she were active and burning all those calories off, I could certainly understand her needing to eat more. But she was gaining even on 900 calories (approx) a day.

Here's my newest theory. Fats. She needs to eat more FATS. I give her peanut butter in her oatmeal, and she usually has yogurt and cashew butter with her lunch, and meat with her dinner. But other than that, she mostly eats carbs and some vegetables. I don't know why this would even be an issue, though, because my other children didn't even eat meat at all until they were at least this age, and they never felt hungry like this. They also NEVER drank milk. They had formula until they were 2, and my 3rd child never even drank formula after the age of 1. It was just food and water. No milk.
Would a deficiency in essential fatty acids cause her symptoms? I read that a deficiency could also cause a decrease in your metabolism and make you gain weight faster than the average person.

Thanks,

Anna
 

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Discussion Starter · #77 ·
Ok someone asked that I post info. on what my DD eats in a typical day. Here goes. But I also wish I could post a picture of her, because although she is in a low percentile for weight, she is also in a low percentile for her height and NOONE that saw her wouldn't think she was a little chubby. Her thighs are quite chubby (in a healthy toddler looking way), and she has quite the pot belly. I am not saying she is fat by any means, but she seems to me to be perfectly proportioned and seems like a typical toddler except for the huge belly.

Morning: 1/2 cup oatmeal (dry), cooks up to over a cup, and I add 1T of peanut butter with flaxseed oil. Then she will have some fruit: this morning it was half an apple.

Mid-morning: bottle of milk (4 oz?)

Lunch: (about 2 hours later) she has a rice cake with cashew butter or peanut butter, some vegetables and she ALWAYS asks for Cheerios after any meal, so I let her have about half a cup of them. Usually some more fruit, too.

Snack after nap: cup of cheerios and another 5 oz. of milk or so.

Dinner: Whatever we are having. Last night it was spaghetti and meatballs and she had a regular cereal bowl full, with 2 meatballs. She had cooked carrots for finger food afterwards because she will still ask for more no matter how much I give her in the bowl.

Bedtime bottle: 4 oz. milk.

I guess this doesn't seem like a lot of food, does it? But she is still hungry after over a cup of oatmeal/peanut butter, and half an apple? That's what I don't get.

After breakfast this morning I took a chance and went to my monthly book club (I have not been going due to her issues). I gave her extra oatmeal and fruit. But as soon as we were in the door, she started staring at the table (no food yet) and wouldn't play the whole time. This was literally 20 minutes out of the high chair.

So I gave her a mini-muffin. It is usually worse to give her a little because then she won't stop, but I tried it. 1 minute later she was asking for more. I gave her some pretzels and told her to go play. She would not leave the table, and cried until I gave her more. But more is never enough. There never reaches a point where she wants to stop and go do other things.

We left. I told them I won't be coming back.

Thanks for listening,

Anna
 

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Discussion Starter · #125 ·
Hello all,

Thank you to everyone who has taken the time to respond to my posts. I want to reiterate that I appreciate EVERYONE's opinion, not just the ones that are what I want to hear. I am asking for opinions and am aware that not all opinions will be fun to hear, but may be the ones that I NEED to hear.

I have looked into a new pediatrician for my daughter and have an appointment in the middle of October.

I am clearly overwhelmed by the magnitude of responses but it is obvious that my daughter may simply be hungry and becoming food obsessed because she is not getting enough. Through all of this, I do believe, though, that there is also a psychological component, but that may have been initiated or compounded by her being hungry. So it will probably take more than "just give her more food" for her to learn to regulate her own intake. I HAVE tried letting her eat as much as she wants, and have only stopped her just short of vomiting. I have also experienced her occasionally saying "done" and wanting to get out of the high chair (all the food on her plate is gone) and then seeing me open the pantry door and asking for Cheerios. I KNOW she is full, she has said she is done, but would still continue to eat to the point of getting sick.

Nevertheless, I am accepting the scenario that she has NOT been getting enough to eat, especially enough fat. I have slowly increasing the amount of initial portions I give her, then providing seconds when she asks for more, and following her cues.

I think that one issue that compounds this problem is that I can literally see her stomach become HUGE after a meal. Since the day she came home and would never stop (yes I have tried), I was trying to use other methods to know how much to feed her. When she gets out of the high chair and looks 9 months pregnant I felt that she had had enough. I don't know why other kids can eat double what she eats and not look like that, but I was using it as a clue that she had had enough. She is gaining weight rapidly in the past week, even, and she still would eat more and eat constantly.

However, I will say that after a good meal, if there is no food visible she has been happy and only has a problem when there is food around. It is like she completely loses control when there is food around, even if she is NOT hungry. But hopefully that will end eventually and she will learn to self-regulate.

I know that some people can't understand this adopted child issue, and that is fine, but there is definitely more to this problem than simply not getting enough food. I have found a few other parents in similar situations, and no matter how much food they give their children, and no matter how much they let them eat, they will also never stop.

Thank you to everyone, and I hope I can continue to update the forum so that in the future if there is anyone who needs similar help they have information available.

Anna
 

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Discussion Starter · #128 ·
I went to a "feeding team" of specialists at our local Children's Hospital. They were mostly unhelpful because they really only dealt with children who had problems eating enough or eating certain things. They had never encountered this problem and they don't have any experience with adoption either.
But the one pediatrician I saw there said that it looked "normal". I have had three other children, and none of them looked like this after a meal. Another DD (bio) was pretty chubby until she hit about 3 years old, but never like this, with the HUGE stomach. She was just all over toddler chubby.

She does have an umbilical hernia, and weak abdominal muscles. Since her stomach expands so much even with just water, I am wondering if it is just that her muscles are weak. I don't know if I should see a GI specialist or someone else about this. Her current pediatrician has really been no help.

I think if I didn't see her stomach getting so huge after a meal I would probably not been as concerned about how much she was eating, right from the beginning. I had never experienced this and thought it was an indication that she was eating too much. Especially since she seemed to be eating huge amounts and never stopped at any point.

In retrospect, alot of things combined to either cause her current issues or exacerbate them. The issue now is how to fix the issue.

Also, we are going to be in Disney for 10 days in a few weeks. If anyone has any ideas for high protein/fat snacks that are easy to travel with, I would appreciate it. I am not sure how smart it is right now to take this trip, but I can't cancel it on my other kids. Traveling with a food obsessed child is not something I really want to take on, but we're going to do it anyway. My main concern is that she will want to snack constantly in the stroller but I don't know what to give her that I can easily carry with us.

Thanks,

Anna
 

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Discussion Starter · #139 ·
I am hoping to respond again,but we are going away for a few days and wanted to let you all know I won't be back for a while. I am taking the printout I made of all the responses because it has been so inspiring and helpful to hear everyone's opinions.
I will let everyone know how our vacation goes when we get back, but in the meantime I will tell you that my daughter has been VERY HAPPY this last week. Since I have increased her intake, she is MUCH HAPPIER, although she still has a long way to go because she still exhibits no control around food. But for now, I am thrilled that at least she is happy and more active.

I wanted to post the information I found out from my adoption agency, but it will have to wait until I get back.

Thank you all again,

Anna
 

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Discussion Starter · #151 ·
Ok, so here is an update on our DD. We went to Disney, and it was SOOOO easy. I guess it was all the distractions, but she was the baby that I always had hoped for. She was happy, active, and still slept well. We ate in restaurants, with absolutely no issues at all. She waited for the food to get there, and ate and left the table with no problem. Surprised the hell out of me.

But, I paid for that when we got home. She regressed to being clingy, whiny, and totally obsessed with eating and food. If she wasn't eating, she wasn't happy. End of story.

I took her to the pediatrician and asked to get her tested for parasites again. They did the tests, and told me they were all negative. However, when I pushed to see a copy of the lab report, it turns out that he hadn't tested for anything but salmonella and another parasite that is not an issue in Ethiopia. He specifically didn't test for the one I asked him to. This is what my life is like lately. Any possible help/hope gets squashed. I'm starting to get tired of this crap.

So after having a miserable Thanksgiving dinner where she screamed for food even with food in her mouth, food in her hand, and food on her plate, I gave in and poured a pile of Rice puff cereal on the chair, took her out of the high chair, and let her stand there and eat. She ate for a half an hour straight (after her very large Thanksgiving meal), then eventually went and played with others. She would continue to go back and have a few puffs, but at the end of the night there were still some left on the chair.

Next morning: She had her usual breakfast, then ate for TWO HOURS straight. Right up until lunch time. Then she had lunch and took a nap. Then she ate for an hour, right up until dinner time. Then she had her usual dinner, and ate more, pretty much until bedtime.

She is bloated, uncomfortable, and cannot bend over without spitting up because she is so full. She had not thrown up, however. I have split up the rice puffs with cucumber sticks, and she doesn't eat as many but still continuously eats them throughout the day, while the whole time asking for "Cheerios", which is the rice puff cereal.

She has pretty much not stopped eating for 4 days. I am having a hard time and don't know where else to turn.

If she wasn' already gaining weight quickly, and looking SO HUGE, I would be happy to let her eat all day until she wants to stop. But how can I let this continue?

About a month ago, my doctor suggested her bloated distended abdomen might be because of milk and dairy. So I have not given her dairy for a month. She gets NO milk, NO juice, very little in the way of carbs, except for rice cakes and rice at dinner (trying gluten free too), but yet she is still gaining weight (before the all day eating trial) at a very rapid pace. She gained 2 pounds in 3 weeks, and is now in the 40th percentile for weight and 15th for height. Something is wrong here.

Please be assured that this has nothing to do with me just not wanting her to be "chubby". This is way more than that. And if I let her eat all day for a month, she will soon weigh 40 pounds. Why is it that in addition to her eating problem, she also has this other problem which causes her to gain weight at a ridiculous rate? Others that have dealt with this issue have been able to let their kids eat Cheerios all day long for months, without any visible signs of a problem . It wouldn't be a problem for me, either, but to see her not fit into a shirt that I bought her last week because of her stomach, and I have had to keep changing diaper sizes every week, and I really don't know what kind of shirts I am going to put on her next week because NOTHING fits her anymore. I'm just sick over this. The cure for her eating obsession is leading to a whole host of other issues.

I am going to take some pictures of her later and post them so that you all can see what I'm talking about. I even went to look at old baby pictures of my other kids to see if I was missing something. My other daughters were both chubby until they started walking, then thinned down considerably. My son was never really chubby, but weighed a lot because he was so tall. My daughters gained only 5 pounds or so from the age of 2 to 3. At this rate, she is going to weigh what my small 4 year old weighs soon.

Again, being chubby is NOT the problem. If she is this way now, how is she going to keep gaining on the endless eating plan for the next few months? I feel like I'm setting her up to be obese at this rate, and it will happen quickly.

I also wanted to mention that she is NOT active at all, especially when she is not spending her entire day glued to wherever her food is. She pretty much stands around the whole day. She will come and get me when the food runs out, though.

I have no idea where else to turn. I would gladly see another doctor/nutritionist/etc., if I knew where to go. No one seems to be able to help me.

Anna
 

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Discussion Starter · #158 ·
Thanks for all the continued suggestions! I didn't realize the CHOP which is about an hour away from me has an adoption specialized department, so thanks to the poster that sent that list to me. I also want to clarify, that she is NOT huge, but her belly is. Some days she realistically looks like a baby that is 9 months pregnant. But other days she doesn't. From behind, she doesn't look chubby at all. I really don't think any other part of her but her belly is chubby. Not skinny, esp. her thighs, but the rest of her is small. But after she ate for 2 hours straight, and sometimes even after just a regular sized meal, she will have a very distended belly.

I don't think any of this fits symptoms of parasites, but I am definitely going to have that aspect checked out, as well as food allergies and anything else they can think of.

As far as vacation goes, the only thing I can think of is that it was REALLY hot, and it affected all of our appetites. Maybe she just wasn't hungry, and between that and all the distractions, I guess she just wasn't thinking about food as much.

Breakfast was exactly the same, as we had a room with a kitchen and I made her regular oatmeal and peanut butter breakfast. For dinner, she pretty much had chicken fingers every night, and seemed really satisfied after dinner. AT home, though, she won't touch chicken, so maybe I should buy some pre-made ones since she won't eat my homemade ones.

Thanks again everyone,

Anna
 

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Discussion Starter · #165 ·
UPDATE

Just thought I would come here and update all of you on what is going on with my daughter. She has undergone extensive testing from an International Adoption Clinic, and so far some of the testing has come back abnormal. (Liver enzymes elevated, and H.Pylori was positive). She has continued to be EXTREMELY unhappy most of the day, and I am starting to become more and more concerned that something horrible might be wrong. She is very lethargic, very irritable, has NO interest in playing at all, and is still ALWAYS HUNGRY. I have been constantly increasing the amount of food she is getting, and she has gained a considerable amount of weight, although the doctor is concerned about this because she told me that she is gaining "inappropriately" for the amount she is eating. She has stopped growing (height wise) completely. She is now in the 50th percentile for weight and 3rd percentile for height. The doctor told me that according to the charts, she is extremely overweight FOR HER HEIGHT. This doctor has really freaked me out because I was hoping to hear that I should just continue to let her eat as much as she wants, but I went to her and heard the opposite. I am even more confused now, and extremely concerned that something else is going on here that can cause her to gain almost a pound in 10 days. This has been her rate of growth lately, and the doctor says this is NOT normal. But I can't seem to find anyone that can tell me what is wrong and what to do about it. I have an appointment with a pediatric gastroenterologist, and I need to go see a pediatric endocrinologist too because she has stopped growing. So far, her thyroid tests have come back normal, as have her parasite tests, either of which would explain the weight gain and lack of growth. But apparently the parasite tests are not always accurate. Oh, and the blood test for celiac came back normal, too, which I'm quite relieved about, but I'm wondering if that is definitive or not.

The way she acts sometimes is as if she is ill, but after a year of seeing doctors we are no closer to having an answer. While I can understand her having an emotional need to overeat, there is no explanation for her distended abdomen, extreme bloating, inappropriate weight gain, extreme lethargy, and her failure to grow (went from 50th percentile in height to 3rd-in 1 year)

I just wanted to keep everyone updated. I know some people think I am overreacting to a child that just wants to eat, and that I quite possibly was not letting her eat enough, I can assure you that she is eating quite a healthy amount, but her behavior and other issues are extremely concerning even when she has had a huge meal. A child that is in the 50th percentile is certainly not overweight if their height matches that percentile, but it was explained to me by the doctor that if your child is in the 50th percentile for weight, they should be in the 50th (approx) for height, too. The disparity is what is not good.

I am at a loss. Still. But I wanted to let everyone know what is going on. I am considering going to a naturopath to see if they have any ideas. Someone mentioned that she can possibly have a systemic yeast infection. I don't know how to get her tested for that.

Anna
 

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Discussion Starter · #175 ·
Hello,

Thanks for all of the helpful posts. I am in the process of finding a naturopath to explore food allergies, etc. Also, although I still come here and update in the hopes that this story will someday help someone else because I have been helped by archives so much, I am at a loss as to explain why people continue to take things I am saying out of context. I DO NOT HAVE MY DAUGHTER ON A DIET. I merely stop her from eating nonstop from morning until night, and try desperately to get her interested in something other than food, when that is really all she is interested in sometimes. I don't think anyone understands unless you've been faced with this situation how it feels to see a child NEVER STOP eating. I feel like stopping my child at a certain point is just as much my job as a mother as is feeding her enough.

In addition, I understand that 50th percentile does not normally mean a child is overweight. But a child that is 3rd percentile for height should be somewhere around that percentile to be an average weight for that height. I'm not sure why some people don't understand this. It was explained to me like this: A man who is 6'4" and 200 lbs. is not overweight, but a man who is only 5'8' and 200 lbs. is very overweight. The ratio of weight for height is the unhealthy percentile. My daughter is in the 95th percentile for this ratio, which is considered very overweight FOR HER HEIGHT. I also have a child who is in the 90th percentile for height, but only 50th percentile for weight, which makes her UNDERWEIGHT for her height. She is just an extremely active, high metabolism kid.

Percentiles only make sense in relation to a child's height. A child who is in the 95th percentile for height AND weight, is at a healthy weight. The "50th percentile" comment makes no sense.

I really don't know why I'm explaining this, and I don't feel like defending myself here. I am just angry that people could possibly be saying things in an accusing tone when I am here trying to help my daughter, and hopefully provide information for someone in the future. If someone does not understand something, then they probably should not comment at all.

Thank you to the MANY helpful posters who have given me support, information, etc. This forum is a wonderful resource, and I WILL continue to update, and just ignore the hurtful comments from people.

Anna
 

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Discussion Starter · #187 ·
Thank you all for the continued support. Our appt. with the naturopath is this Saturday, so I will update again after that. Regardless of what the doctor says, I am going to try a gluten-free diet starting next week, but didn't want to take her off gluten until I saw him. Although she continues to gain weight, she is extremely lethargic/bloated/irritable, and increasingly miserable. She eats for an hour straight sometimes and still keeps asking for more. I am just at a loss.

Thank you again,

Anna
 

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Discussion Starter · #188 ·
Hi all,

I wanted to update after our appointment with the Naturopath this past Saturday. He diagnosed my daughter with leaky gut, yeast overgrowth in her intestines, gluten intolerance and dairy intolerance. He put her on a strong probiotic, digestive enzymes, and an Anti-Candida formula. Obviously, I have to take gluten and dairy out of her diet, and her wants her on a diet high in protein.

She has been having ALOT of trouble lately with abdominal distension, and I'm hoping that after a while her stomach will go down. The doctor is concerned with how quickly she has gained weight in the past month because she should be metabolizing her food betther. He said that it is because of the yeast and the gluten, most likely. Basically, Nothing in her digestive system is working correctly. He explained that her body is trying to make up in volume what it cannot absorb from the food she is getting, so she is constantly hungry.

My main problem now, is how to get protein into her without dairy. She hates chicken, and other than eggs and meatballs, I don't know what other things are high in protein. I have been giving her beans with almost every meal, but at this point they make her bloat so badly that she cannot even sit down after a meal with beans. I also cannot give her peanut butter, so I'm at a loss here. Anyone have any ideas?

Also, does anyone have any experience about how all this could affect behavior? Since I treated her for H. Pylori in the beginning of Feb. (2 antibiotics), her behavior has become intolerable. She is IRRITABLE beyond belief - EVERYTHING annoys her, and she is extremely lethargic and almost apathetic about playing or anything. The doctor explained that the H. Pylori meds caused yeast to die off and be dumped into her system, which is like having a load of toxins in your blood. But I'm still unsure if this could explain her behavior.

Thanks to everyone,

Anna
 

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Discussion Starter · #200 ·
Hello,

Just an update:

There has been NO change, after 19 days gluten and dairy free. In fact, my daughter had a well visit yesterday and gained another 1 1/2 pounds (in one month), and did not grow in height at all. The pediatrician told me on the "weight for height" chart she is in the 95th percentile, which puts her in the "obese" category. Nice, huh? I can't give her any LESS food!!!! She eats a very healthy array of foods, and in good quantities, but certainly nothing that anyone would consider excessive.

I am stumped here. She has been getting LESS carbs, more protein and good fats, probiotics, digestive enzymes, etc. If anything, her stomach is more bloated, and I just don't know what to do anymore. I'm tired of all the "mystery" here. I just can't seem to solve anything. She DOES NOT overeat, yet continues to gain and has the appearance of a child left in front of the TV all day with a bag of cookies. Yet my friends' kids eat junk, and anything they want, and don't have this problem. I have to worry about everything she eats, how much she eats, why she isn't growing, why her clothes I bought last week don't fit anymore because she is SO bloated, why she seems to have NO energy, etc., etc. And there are no answers for me. NOTHING works. NOTHING.

I'm tired. Just really tired.....

Anna

Does anyone think I should post this somewhere else where there might be people that understand this?
 

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Discussion Starter · #203 ·
Hello, She is 26 months old, is 28 pounds and 32 inches tall. That puts her BMI at 19.2, and her BMI percentile at 96%. The doctor at CHOP told me anything over 85% is considered overweight, and anything over 95% is considered obese. Such a sad thing to say about a 2 year old. I'm not sure that I can really come back here anymore. I am tired of hoping against hope that I might find an answer somewhere, and after 18 months, and several thousands of dollars, I can't hope anymore. I am feeling quite disheartened and even a little bitter lately. I have spent 18 months being her mother, and it feels like a hundred years. I have stopped being a good mother to my other 3 children, because her needs/demands/problems have taken over. I need to get back on track to being their mother again, and I can't do it like this. I spend my days tiptoeing around her. Her moodiness/irritability/ demands/whining/wanting to be held constantly/lack of interest in playing/ I can find an answer to NONE of it. I spent $1000 last month alone to see 3 different therapists to determine if they thought any of this is attachment related. They all agreed that she is very well attached, although the last one offered to charge me many more thousands of dollars to do some therapy that "couldn't hurt". NOTHING I have done has been enough. Not enough food/time/attention/ playing/rocking/carrying/cuddling/singing/playing/toys/activities/etc.-none of it is enough for her. I just don't have much more to give. And I feel horrible that it has all been at the expense of my other children. They get NOTHING compared to what I give her. It is starting to take a toll on them. They ask me to go out for breakfast "like we used to", and I know we cannot go and enjoy ourselves, because unless she is eating the entire time, she will have fit. We cannot do anything as a family anymore, and we usually split up in the house so my other kids can play in peace. She won't tolerate me doing anything with anyone else without crying or making a fuss. I can't cook when she is awake because she will cry the whole time while asking for "up" or food. She won't go play. Just looking at her will make her mad sometimes. I can't even imagine anymore what it would be like to have her act just like any other child in the house. What it would be like to wake up in the morning looking forward to another day, instead of dreading what the day is going to be like (just like yesterday). What it would be like to feel like I've satisfied her in some way, instead of her always acting like nothing I've done is enough. I'm tired of worrying about everything, all day (and part of the night, too). Worrying about her behavior, if she is going to be mad if she has to wait an extra 3 minutes for her egg, if she is going to be mad if one of the other kids says "good morning", or asks her for a kiss. Worrying about what she eats, how much she eats, how to hide the bananas, worrying about whether my 5 year old will say the word "snack" and she will have a fit even though she just finished breakfast, worrying about returning ALL the clothes I just bought because NOTHING fits, even though the pants are already too long (I can't put a size 4 pants on a 2 year old), worrying about how much money I'm spending, worrying about why she won't play, worrying about the book clubs I keep saying NO to, and how I'm going to keep making excuses for not going anymore, worrying about EVERYTHING. I'm tired. Really tired. If anyone believes in prayer, our family sure could use some. Maybe something will work out someday, but in the meantime, I have to go back andbe a good mother to my other kids again. They need me desperately, and they've already sacrificed so much. She will always be the baby, and be treated as such, ,but she can no longer have our house and our family revolving around her moods/behavior/demands/problems. I just can't do it to anyone else any longer. Thank you all for trying to help me. If a miracle happens and our problems get solved, I promise to come back and let everyone know. Anna
 
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