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courtnihays

16 Month Old-Doesn't Eat Enough

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Let me start off by backtracking to when my son was around 9 months old and you are suppose to start introducing solid table foods. My son showed absolutely no interest in table foods, which surprised me since he has two older brothers around. We didn't push it because we just assumed he would eat when he was ready to, and our doctors were saying the same thing. By the time his first birthday came around I came to the realization I wasn't going to get any cute cake smashing pictures of my little man because there was no way he would eat any cake on his birthday. By this time I was starting to ask more questions to the doctors, "Why isn't my son eating solids?" "Why is it that when he does eat solid foods he can only keep a couple bites down and then will not eat anymore without throwing up?" "Why does my son have a descended belly when he eats so little?" By the time he was 13 months old we started realizing that he was have huge mood swings. He would go from laughing and playing to screaming as if he was in a lot of pain. He would contort his body and get really stiff then switch to a limp noodle. He looked like he was trying to crawl out of his skin from the discomfort. After having some xrays done that should a lot of air they sent us to a Pediatric GI specialist. Once we got there right off the bat they did blood work to test for celiacs which then came back normal. We have now done a upper gi and barium follow through which both came back normal. We are scheduled to do an upper endoscopy in a couple weeks as well as MAG 3 Renal Scan and a VCUG. (The last 2 tests are with his urologist. He has a dilated kidney and they want to check on it's functionality) My little boy doesn't eat enough and I'm getting so frustrated with not knowing how to fix this. I was hoping that someone may have some similar symptoms or suggestions on what may be wrong with my little guy.

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The blood tests are not always reliable on one so young.  It can take a while for a baby to produce enough antibodies to show up in a blood test.  The endoscopy is a good place to look.  Hopefully, they will take at least 6 samples from the small intestine.

 

After the Celiac tests are done - and if they are all negative - you might want to look at the low FODMAP diet.  

 

Let me see if I can find an easy explanation for it and I will post it here.

 

 

http://www.cureceliacdisease.org/archives/faq/why-might-irritable-bowel-syndrome-ibs-improve-on-a-gluten-free-diet

 

(still looking for a better one)  :)


 

 

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Here is a good explanation.  FODMAPS are hard to digest foods.  In some people, they are even harder to digest.  I bet they are really hard for little ones that don't have much "pratice" at digesting food.  Wheat is a high FODMAP food - so many people feel better on a gluten free diet and think they have a gluten problem.  

 

https://stanfordhealthcare.org/content/dam/SHC/for-patients-component/programs-services/clinical-nutrition-services/docs/pdf-lowfodmapdiet.pdf


 

 

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Are your Dr's worried about your kiddos weight gain? Have they diagnosed him with FTT?  If they are not concerned then I would continue to offer whatever it is he will eat more often.  There are also formulas that are high calorie if you are worried about weight.   Also I have learned that as much as we say "it's not like the other kids" that every kid is so very different.  My oldest eats just enough (and he is on a special formula at 8 because of his weight).   His younger sister can eat him under the table all day, every day.  So if they are not worried he's FTT, I would continue doing what you are till you get all the testing done!

Good luck!!

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They haven't seemed overly worried until recently when his food intake dropped so much. He hasn't really lost any weight so that's why they haven't been too aggressive to figure anything out. I feel like with him he seems to be full after only 2 bites of anything, but 2 bites isn't enough. 

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It sounds like they are trying to rule out a lot and once they have figured that out, perhaps you can work on a feeding plan or something.  I know when my kiddos were little I would leave out a grazing station. I would fill a muffin tin with several things (carrots, grapes, granola nuggets, power balls) for them to pick up as they run past.  I'm sure you can find a lot of ideas online if that sounds like something that may be helpful.  They are SO busy at that age that asking them to stop to eat is crazy making for them and us (at least here in my house!)   Again, hugs. It's so hard to see our littles not doing as well as we wish they would be.

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Definitely get all the testing done. But if they can't find anything you might try a gluten-free diet anyway. And this:

 

When I was a little kid I didn't eat much either. I was EXTREMELY thin. Not only was I full after a couple of bites, but it took me forever to eat them. My doctor had me on an iron supplement and I'm not sure if it was his idea or Mom's, but Mom told me it was "medicine to make me hungry". As a suggestible child who believed everything my mother told me, I suddenly found myself eating more. It still took me forever to eat though, so give him time. I remember taking over a half hour to eat half a sandwich, but I got it down.


gluten-free since June, 2011

It took 3 !/2 years but my intolerances to corn, soy, and everything else (except gluten) are gone!

Life is good!

 

 

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Sorry you are going through this.  It is so hard to not know what is going on with a little one, especially when they can't talk to you!

 

We are in the process of trying to figure out what is going on with my just turned two year old.  He had loose stools for almost a year before suddenly having constipation.  He tested postive for one of the celiac test, but has now suddenly came back negative.  So we still have no answers......

 

I can totally relate to the cake at the first b-day party.  At 4-6 months when they typically start eating baby jar food, he refused.....  The daycare kept saying "all the other ones are eating....."  like I was trying to keep him from eating!  At about 7 1/2 months he finally started eating jar food.  Then around 11 months or so I started to offer table food (things you think a little one would like), but he wanted NO part of it.  At his one year old birthday party I remember putting a cake in front of him to take a picture, but knowing that there was no way he would eat any of it!

 

After he finally did start eating solid foods the diarrhea began within maybe a month.  That's when the appetite shot through the roof, but he stopped growing.  For over 6 months he did not gain anything at all but was eating like crazy.  He could eat 5 or 6 chicken nuggets in one sitting (which I understand you probably wish yours was doing), but you could tell he was malnourished, the food was going right through him, and no matter how much he was eating he was still not gaining weight.

 

Sorry for the long response.....I know this doesn't help answer your questions, just wanted you to know that I can relate to what you are going through!

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