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8 years old child is under weight. What could be the reason? Is this hereditary? Any suggestion

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2009
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Hi, My daughter is 8 years old. Since childhood she is underweight, as of now she weighs 18kgs. Food consumption level is quite good but not sure what could be the reason for underweight. Is this hereditary? becas I was lean when i was young and after the delivery I have put on weight. If Yes, is there any medicines for gaining weight. Please suggest.
Posted Thu, 9 Aug 2012 in Child Health
 
 
Answered by Dr. Aparna Kohli 2 hours later
Hi XXXXXX
Thanks for writing in.
Your child's weight actually is just the lower limit of normal for 8 year old kids. Having a lean body frame is partly determined by genetics but we should first try and rule out other reasons as well.
The first thing would be a chronic worm infestation. You should speak with her pediatrician about a regimen of anti-helminthics like mebendazole or albendazole. Other issues like stress, social issues can also cause inadequate weight gain.
As such a healthy and balanced diet and a healthy environment for the child is what she needs. There are no medications to make a child gain weight .As of now, our focus should be on understanding whether this is a normal thing ( as in your case) or we're dealing with something else.
Hope this helps
Regards
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
 
Follow-up: 8 years old child is under weight. What could be the reason? Is this hereditary? Any suggestion 2 days later
Thanks Doctor for your suggestion!

Can you shed some more information on chronic worm infestation & a regimen of anti-helminthics like mebendazole or albendazole.

Thanks,
XXXXXX
 
 
Answered by Dr. Aparna Kohli 11 hours later
Hi XXXXXX
Thanks for writing back.
Chronic worm infestation can be due to parasites like hookworm which can get into the body when we walk around barefoot. They go and stick to the intestine and keep taking the nutrients from food and also cause blood loss. This leads to a situation where even though your child eats a lot of food, she cant gain weight.
Anti-helminthics like mebendazole not only take care of this infestation but also take care of parasites like Giardia ( which we acquire through infected food and water).
These are prescription drugs and should be given only after your daughter has been examined by a physician.
Hope this helps. Let me know if you have any more concerns.
Regards
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
 
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