Failure To Thrive

Failure to thrive is a medical term referring to an individual's failure to gain or maintain body weight appropriate to age. This can be the result of disease processes or of caregiver neglect. There are numerous gastrointestinal problems associated with the stomach and digestive system (such as gas or acid reflux) that cause feeding to be painful. Disease processes such as cystic fibrosis, diarrhea, liver disease, and celiac disease that cause the body to have difficulty absorbing nutrients are also a cause of failure to thrive. Additionally, failure to thrive can be the result of physical problems such as cleft palate (when the upper lip and palate fail to join) or ankyloglossia (tongue-tie syndrome) that makes feeding physically difficult. Caregiver neglect can be any of many possibilities with the main ones being failure to provide nutrition that is adequate in either amount or nutritional value. Failure to thrive is also occasionally used to refer to the welfare of geriatric (elderly) patients.

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