Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Failure to Thrive Overview

What is failure to thrive?
An infant with failure to thrive is unable to gain weight normally. Infants with failure to thrive may develop learning disabilities. Less than 20 percent of infants with failure to thrive have an illness that explains their poor weight gain. About 70 percent of cases are due to environmental problem, such as incorrect feeding.

What are the symptoms of failure to thrive?
Symptoms in an infant with failure to thrive include constant crying, diarrhea, irritability, lethargy, vomiting, poor feeding in infants, poor growth, delayed development, and low body weight.

How does the doctor treat failure to thrive?
Treatment for failure to thrive depends on the underlying cause. Treatment for failure to thrive may include high calorie diet, feeding education, and parent counseling.

Continue to Failure to Thrive Incidence

Last Updated: Feb 8, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Failure to Thrive References
  1. Chatoor I, Surles J, Ganiban J, Beker L, Paez LM, Kerzner B. Failure to thrive and cognitive development in toddlers with infantile anorexia. Pediatrics. 2004 May;113(5):e440-7. [1512198]
  2. Rudolf MC, Logan S. What is the long term outcome for children who fail to thrive? A systematic review. Arch Dis Child. 2005 Sep;90(9):925-31. [15890695]
  3. Stewart KB, Meyer L. Parent-child interactions and everyday routines in young children with failure to thrive. Am J Occup Ther. 2004 May-Jun;58(3):342-6. [15202633]
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