Loss of weight is always a worrying thing. Weight loss in your baby needs to be reported to the doctor immediately. This article cannot replace doctor's advice and does not mean you can delay contacting a doctor. However, at least you have an idea and know what questions need to be asked to the doctor, as well as tests or treatments that might be referred.
Your baby loses weight when he doesn't get enough calories or if he burns more calories because of an illness or other reason. Let's look at the possible causes of weight loss in your child.
Pediatricians may diagnose your child by "failing to develop", a term used to describe slow growth in infants. Babies may not get enough food. Nursing mothers may not produce enough milk for their baby's growth, or parents may think that the food they give to babies is enough. Problems that make it difficult or painful when eating, such as defects associated with the mouth, teeth, or tongue may also affect weight loss in your baby.
Problems with nutrient absorption (malabsorption)
Your child may have got a lot of food, but still lose weight. Diarrhea, bruising, weight loss, and vomiting may be the symptoms of your baby if he has problems absorbing nutrients. Malabsorption can be a result of infection, and your pediatrician may prescribe antibiotics.
In other cases, your child may need treatment for overactive intestines. Your baby may need to undergo a special diet throughout his life to prevent malabsorption from happening again.
If someone in your family has celiac disease, your child may inherit it. Someone with celiac disease has a problem digesting gluten, which is found in wheat products. Babies may experience diarrhea, abdominal pain, and lose weight if their diet contains gluten products. These children will never be able to eat gluten, and pediatricians will recommend a gluten-free diet. Children are generally diagnosed with celiac disease around the age of 6 months, when starting the transition to solid food.
Autoimmune diseases that your baby brings from birth may have a role in losing weight. Baby girls have a higher risk of lupus than boys, which causes the body to attack healthy cells. Vomiting, diarrhea, sensitivity to the sun, weight loss, glandular swelling and problems with joints and muscles are common symptoms of lupus. Your pediatrician will refer to rheumatology if you suspect lupus. Appropriate treatment and diet are common treatments for lupus.
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