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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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