Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"Will a pediatric endocrinology consultation inform me as to whether my child's metabolism is very slow?"
Hello. My daughter does not eat a lot but she seems to be gaining weight. I think there may be something wrong with her metabolism. Who should we go see?
Pediatric obesity is one of the most important issues facing the health of our children in this country today. There is excellent available evidence that pediatric obesity leads to adult obesity and the associated health problems including but not limited to diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and arthritis. You should undoubtedly take your child to your primary pediatrician's office for a check-up if this is a concern. First of all, your pediatrician will use standardized growth charts to plot your child's growth and see if she is truly overweight, as well as if there has been a change in the pattern of her grown (i.e. she used to be of normal weight but has suddenly started to accelerate her weight gain, etc.) Your pediatrician will also be able to identify, at least initially, causes of obesity in your child's eating and activity habits. Finally, your pediatrician can perform screening blood tests for common reversible of obesity such as thyroid disease. Many pediatricians work closely with weight management clinics that have specialized resources, such as low-cost gym memberships or after-school exercise programs, to help overweight children manage their weight. They will also be able to determine if referral to a specialist such as a pediatric endocrinologist would be of benefit to look for rarer metabolic causes of obesity. Your concern is appropriate and I encourage you to pursue this issue further.
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