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Old 06-05-2006, 08:42 AM   #1
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Mysteriously overweight girl...any suggestions?

Cristiano's 10 year old daugher Lucilla has a big problem. Well, literally, big. She is seriously overweight. She has been always pretty hefty and we had hoped in the mean time her height will catch up with the lateral growth, however she still continues to grow in every directions, and it seems to me the proportion is getting worse than ever. The mystery of it is she doesn't eat THAT much (though she dislikes vegetables in general and probably doesn't eat them enough), and even though never an athletic type, she is active enough, enjoying going outside and play with her friends.

We suspect some sort of chemical inbalance, she had undergone some sort of check up, but nothing came out of it. (They suggested a possible intolerance to lactose, we tried to limit her milk intake for some months but this doesn't seem to be the case) We suggested to her mother with whom she live that she should take Lucilla for a thorough examination with a specialist, but the big problem is that the mother fails to see the gravity of the problem, and if Lucilla has to miss a day of school for this, she wouldn't agree to do that. Now the school is almost over and maybe it is a good time, if her mother still isn't interested, maybe Cris should take her in himself.

However in the mean time, I wonder if anyone here knows someone with a similar problem, and have a suggestion for the reason of her being so overweight. She is reaching the age where her condition might also affect her self esteem in a very negative way, aside from the ovbious health issue, and we think we need to do something about it as soon as possible. Any word of wisdom will be very much appreciated!!

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Old 06-05-2006, 08:50 AM   #2
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I'm not sure but it could be genetics.
Have them check her thyroid too.
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Old 06-05-2006, 09:42 AM   #3
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Thyroid is what I was thinking as well Middie.

Licia it sounds to me like you guys already know what you need to do. Wait until school lets out and then Chris should take her to get an in depth exam. There has to be a reason somewhere and if one doctor does not find it then try another. Lucilla is lucky to have you and Chris who love her and are looking out for her best interests. I wish you guys the best of luck. Keep us updated!
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Old 06-05-2006, 10:05 AM   #4
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My heart goes out to her. She definitely needs to make friends with fruits and vegetables, and needs to become more active. BUT, barring a medical problem, NOT making a big deal out of it is probably better than calling attention to the problem. A sad fact of life is that some people just aren't going to be slim ... that is life.
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Old 06-05-2006, 10:41 AM   #5
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I think that the issue of kids and weight is a delicate one indeed, but at the same time it sounds like you and Cris are approaching this issue wisely. Indeed a thorough medical examination may be needed if it just doesn't seem like there is any other explanation for her increasing weight gain. When looking at her diet are you taking her calorie, carb and fat intakes into consideration? If they are all at or below the norm for her age that does signal reason for concern, but as others have touched on exercise can play a big factor too.

Thyroid is certainly possibility, but there are many other reasons why a person (child) can gain weight mysteriously too. Existing health issues, prescription medications, stress, certain G.I. related issues, poly cystic ovarian syndrome (though she may be too young for this to be a consideration), depression, eating disorders (such as binge and excessive comfort eating), lymphatic obstruction, Cushing's syndrome, some types of endocrine disorders (which would include thyroid probs as well as diabetes) and genetics are amongst other possible causes.

I agree with you that as she reaches puberty being heavy could cause her to experience negative self-esteem and possibly develop body image problems (things that are easily compounded by the potential taunting of her schoolyard peers). As well she might develop an eating disorder, be put at a higher risk of depression and very importantly, she might be setting herself up for serious health problems later in life.

If the doctors are unable to find anything, and you have no reason to believe that she could be eating meals that you guys are not aware of (aka, hiding snacks, eating lots at school, etc) perhaps a registered dietitian could be of service. He/she could help to analyze Lucilla diet in depth and perhaps suggest means by which it (her diet) could become healthier, while still allowing Lucilla to feel full and satisfied with her meals.

I wish you all success in helping Lucilla. This is not an easy subject to tackle, but so long as she always feels that she is loved for the person that she is and that no one is trying to change her or doesn't love her the way she is, hopefully she will be an active and happy participant in her own plight (& fight) with weight gain and weight management.
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Old 06-05-2006, 10:43 AM   #6
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Thanks guys... I hardly knew anything about thyroids and I looked it up, and yes... you are right this could be one of the strong possibilities. I will talk to Cris about it tonight.

And Claire, you are right in a certain sense... this kind of approach may be the best if she is just a bit on a chubby side, but unfortunately she is much more than that and I fear that it may affect her health sooner or later. I was always concerned about this issue but kept quiet, after all Lucilla is with her own mother and the mother has the final say about what to do with her upbringing. But to this day nothing has been done and the situation is getting worse, I just think it is a high time for us to step in for a further action for the sake of poor Lucilla.

Thanks again for the inputs and sympathies, we will try to do what we can!!
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Old 06-05-2006, 11:04 AM   #7
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Thanks Jessica... you sound like you know about the problem very well, and I really appreciate your genuine concern... I see that she is beginning to see the reality and sometimes gets hesitant about eating some sweets or chocolates etc. and it is really sad to see. And I also fear that she may go on the other extreme by developing some horrid eating disorder in a few years (I have witnessed a few serious cases first hand and I CANNOT allow her to go down on the same road!), and this is one of the reason I decided to raise the issue before the problem gets full blown.
Thanks again and wish us luck!!
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Old 06-05-2006, 11:08 AM   #8
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No answers.. just lots of prayers and lots of good energy being sent your way.
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Old 06-05-2006, 02:58 PM   #9
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Another thing to consider is she may be eating too few calories. Once the body thinks it is starving it will store almost every calorie intaken. This happens when the caloric intake is set too low for too long. The body will slow the metabolism to prevent any more starvation.

I suggest getting her to start being more active. Walking, riding bike, playing a sport, anything that gets her moving. This will boost the metabolism and make the body start requesting more calories (hunger). Once she is more active she may start to thin out some.
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Old 06-05-2006, 03:30 PM   #10
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I think thyroid as well. My daughter is going to be checked for this as well as cholestoral, and glucose. My daughter is big and we dont understand why. Myself and my ex are slim. Her lab tests will be done this week. Definately take your daughter to be tested for thyroid problems. Good luck. I hope all goes well for her.
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Old 06-05-2006, 06:29 PM   #11
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Thyroid can certainly be a possibility. I know a guy that was 17 years old, 6 foot 7 or 8 inches, and 345 pounds. Definitely getting that checked in due time should be high priority.
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Old 06-06-2006, 12:29 PM   #12
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First things I thought of were glands and thyroids. Secondly the not liking veggies, have a friend with a 7 year old, she's hitting the 100 lb mark and shes not very tall, doctors say its the bad snacks she's having, I recently put her on to fruit and yoghurt, sometimes separate, sometimes together. Also, she had a tendency to help herself to lunch snacks, which were not good ones (how many different kinds of gummy candy do they make for crying out loud). Also, juices and soft drinks are loaded with calories... strict portion control on juices, and soft drinks as a whole are very limited. There's so much out there that kids have access to, and not having developed self control yet, the do help themselves. Unfortunately it tends to lead to obesity both in their youth and as they age because now they have trouble getting rid of it. I would consult a dietician before it goes too out of control.
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Old 06-07-2006, 06:29 AM   #13
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Okay, upon talking to Cristiano, he told me Luci had already been checked on thyroid, as well as the possibility of diabetes and this matters were cleared.
For many of her rather bizzare whims which she inflicted on her children, her mother educated them well on drinking water instead of soft drinks, now Luci, along with her extremely finicky little brother, always asks for water to drink over any sort of sugary drinks. I know in many cases this can play a key role to their obesity, and this point is also clear.
Which deepens the mystery of her problem, though there are always other possibilities like intolerance to certain food item, or hormone inbalance of some sort...and like Trip suggested, I really wish she would start eating more vegetables.
Anyhow the school lets out at the end of this week, so we will try to find right people to examine her and get an appointment. A mother of a friend of ours who we know at the gym is an experienced dietician often counselling children, maybe fixing her up is a good first step...
I really appreciate all the support shown here, wish us luck and I will keep you updated when something comes out!!
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Old 06-07-2006, 08:34 AM   #14
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I am Tattrat's fiance, and I was going online to check my email when I saw this window open. For some reason this thread was the only thing I saw & I felt the need to input some advice. I was never a heavy child or anything, but when I was 20 years old I was diagnosed with a macro pituitary adenoma (large benign brain tumor located on the pituitary). It was diagnosed by my eye doctor, as it was resting on my optic nerve & causing my perifial (sp) vision to be non-existent. Anyway, I had it removed & four years later I not in the greatest health, but I am doing well. I have done a lot of research on this condition & have learned that when it occurs in children their initial symptom is being overweight with no reason why. The reason this happens is due to thevery low amount of growth hormone in the body which not only controls her height, but also disperses the fat throughout the body. I am currently on growth hormone shots to prevent bone loss & heart problems when I get older. The pituitary controls all hormones in the body, even thyroid. If they checked it before, the pituitary may have been still sending a signal to the thyroid, or if it is a tumor it could be making the hormones, which often disquises itself so it is unnoticed. Once the tumor is removed (no scars as the incision is through the gums in front of the top front teeth...and then through the back of the nose to the brain) Now... this may not be the reason for her being overweight, but it may be wise to look into. In fact, last year on "House", they did a show with an overweight child who was diagnosed with this condition. Since I had done some research on the topic for my own interest, I found it a great dramatization of this condition. The main thing to ask for is an MRI with contrast of the brain. This will be key to any brain tumor that could be causing her condition, and the sole proof that this is the pituitary adenoma. I hope that her condition is something not as complicated, but if you have any questions, I would be more than happy to answer them, just let tattrat know. I hope you find the answers soon, as her current condition could prove harmful not only to her self-esteem, but to her health & life.
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Old 06-07-2006, 08:53 AM   #15
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I strongly suggest you take her to a specialist.........endocrinologist

One of my very best friends daughter was in a similar situation. She took her to her family physician and he ran random thyroid test and ultimately he said that her thyroid was fine....turns out that it truely wasn't and she suffered with steady weight gain for many years. Finally her mother was able to get her to agree to go see an endocrinologist. All sort of things were out of whack........thyroid, cholesterol, etc..... He began her on a prescription plan and slowly the weight began to come off. The best thing is that after 5 unsuccessful years now as an adult she was finally able to become pregnant.

I think its great that she has you as a support system.
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Old 06-09-2006, 04:34 AM   #16
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Thanks so much, Sizzlin and (oh, you didn't even leave your name!!) future Mr. TATTRAT, for possibly very helpful informations!!

We will definitely check into them. Mr. TATTRAT's suggestion may not be a very common one but I suspect whatever the cause of Lucilla's condition may be something unusual just as well, so I agree that we need to check into every possible causes. TATTRAT, please relay my gratitude to him for taking the time to help out.

And Sizz, I also felt that she needed a second opinion on her thyroid condition... not long ago there was a horrible news here, one ER patient with a serious heartburn was sent home after diagnosed as a case of indigestion, then died of a heart failure soon after. I think it is the best to double check and make it absolutely sure...

I really appreciate all the input you guys provided to us, thanks again!!
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Old 06-09-2006, 07:10 AM   #17
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You are more than welcome! Please keep us posted on what you find out.
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Old 06-22-2006, 12:16 PM   #18
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Just wondering how Luci is doing? Did she go for testings?
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Old 06-22-2006, 05:03 PM   #19
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Diabetes type one or two. Type two is on the rise almost to epidemic porportions, even in children.


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Old 06-22-2006, 05:33 PM   #20
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We did take her to the dietitian we know (the one I mentioned above). She suggested a possibility of an intolerance to gluten, we need to put her on a special diet for this for a while to see how it goes. We suggested to her mother that she could come here and stay with us for a while so we can monitor her diet, but the mother is not cooperative for this suggestion at this moment. I really think we should persuade her to do it, she tends to feed whatever the kids likes, one day when we stopped by at their dinner time, what they were having was a huge heap of french fries. This type of routine needs to change, whatever it takes...

We also need to fix an appointment to more specialists. She was already tested for diabetes and came out negative, but it happens often that the initial check up misses something vital, so we should make sure of everything.

The problem is that Cris is having a lot of problem with his company right now and it is very difficult for him to take care of everything. I really wish her mother would take more initiative in this matter, but one way or another, we need to accomplish something while she is on the summer break from the school.

Thanks so much for caring, we will keep on trying!!
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