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Toddler with no appetite and genetic testing

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Our little nephew is 14 months old. Since he was 6 months he quited eating and is now below average in body. Parents worry too much.
They were told to do genetic exams to check of syndroms.

Category: Pediatrician

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Category: ICU/ Critical Care Specialist
 20 Doctors Online

Dear Friend,

Thank you for your consult at

This period around 6 months to one and a half years is generally very important for the child's growth potential. If the transition from mother's milk to solid foods is not well performed, this can push the child into a state of malnutrition. Your nephew seems to fit the bill. So, it is important to get to the bottom of his dietary history and rule it out as the cause of the problem.

If he is found to have an adequate intake of calories and proteins, despite which he is not gaining weight, then we have to look into the other causes. Generally, doctors advise genetic testing early, if they find dysmorphic features (abnormal features). Need further details before I can offer any further help.

Saptharishi L G

Patient replied :

Thank you so much.
We can assume the baby does not take the required calories and proteins as it refuses to accept food. What do you mean "the transition was not well performed " ? How should it be ?
Parents worry and scared. WHAT SHOULD THEY DO ?


By transition, I meant, initiation of semi-solid feeds by 6-7 months and gradually moving on to solid diet by one year of age. Generally, by one year of age, the child should be able to eat whatever the rest of the family eats. But, many a time, this transition gets delayed and child continues to be predominantly breastfed till much later, this itself can impair the baby's growth.

Whenever a child between 6-12 months is hungry, he/she must first receive the solid feeds before being offered milk. If milk is offered first, the chid would drink milk alone and not take solid feeds. This would decrease the amount of calories and proteins that the child receives. All these are general advice regarding initiation of complementary feeding in an infant.

In an individual case, where a child is not growing adequately, he/she needs to be taken to a paediatrician so that a thorough clinical examination and anthropometry can be carried out. Only then further evaluation/ investigations can be planned. Please get your nephew to a paediatrician today for a head-to-toe physical examination and further investigations.


Dr. Saptharishi L G
Category: ICU/ Critical Care Specialist
Senior Residency: DM,  Pediatric Critical Care, PGIMER

Residency: MD, Pediatrics, Postgraduate Medical Education & Research (PGIMER), Chandigarh, 2013

Internship: JIPMER, 2009

Medical School: MBBS, Jawaharlal Institute of Post-graduate Medical Education & Research (JIPMER), Puducherry, 2008
Dr. Saptharishi L G and 4 other Medical Specialists are ready to help you

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