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Is sudden weight increase in child linked to abnormality? Is it a disorder, disease or deficiency?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2005
Answered : 2572 Questions
I have a 3 year old daughter. She was only 6 lbs when she was born and had very normal weight gain up about until the age of 15 mos. After this time her weight steadily increased and she weighs about 65 lbs now. My Pediatrician never seemed concerned, but I am and I am wondering if there is some underlying disease, disorder, or maybe deficiency in something causing this.
Posted Sat, 5 May 2012 in Growth and Development in Children
Answered by Dr. Prasad 12 hours later

Weight in Pediatric age group is monitored on percentile charts which are different for girls and boys as well as vary among different age groups. A child is considered normal for the age, if they are between the 5th to 95th percentile. A weight below 5th percentile is considered underweight, while above 95th percentile is considered as obese.

Accordingly, your daughter's weight is way above 95th percentile. It is definitely a reason to concern. The link below gives the percentile chart for girls between 2-5 years of age. You may want to use it for your reference. (the weight here is mentioned in kg)

Do you have history of diabetes, obesity, hypothyroidism running in the family?
These conditions apart from other endocrine abnormalities need to be looked for. And it is essential if there is history of such illness running in the family.

I suggest you to consult a Pediatrician, discuss about these with them. Endocrine work ups, I think is essential and needs to be done.

Thanks for your query. Hope I have answered your query.

If you have any follow up query, I will be available to answer them.

Best Regards
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Is sudden weight increase in child linked to abnormality? Is it a disorder, disease or deficiency? 32 hours later
We have no history of thyroid problems, obesity, or diabetes in our family. She has a normal appetite and enjoys eatting healthy foods. I don't want to make her have a problem, but as she gets older, it is obvious that she might have something causing her to be overweight. What types of endocrine problems in children might be associated with being overweight?
Answered by Dr. Prasad 21 hours later

Thanks for following up.

Endocrine abnormalities, most commonly thyroid dysfunction(hypothyroidism) and relatively less common Cushing's disease (increased secretion of cortisol) can lead to weight gain.

Apart from obesity, these conditions usually have other symptoms associated with it. Symptoms such as reduced growth, lethargy, skin conditions and so on.

In the presence of the associated symptoms with or without developmental delay; these endocrine abnormalities are to be suspected.

The pediatrician looking after your daughter is the best person to detect if such abnormalities or any other abnormalities need to be looked for or not.

These conditions can be ruled out by blood test - thyroid function tests, serum ACTH levels and others.

My aim is not to create an unnecessary panic amongst you and the family, but to make sure you know of it.

I wish your daughter doesn't suffer from any such abnormalities.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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