Failure to Thrive

failure to thriveGuardian featured Harley Street IBS & Autoimmune Clinic addresses the underlying issues in children, not just the symptoms in their failure to thrive.

What is failure to thrive?

Children are diagnosed with it when their weight or rate of weight gain is significantly below that of other children of similar age and sex. Infants or children that fail to thrive seem to be dramatically smaller or shorter than other children the same age. Teenagers may have short stature or appear to lack the usual changes that occur at puberty. However, there is a wide variation in what is considered normal growth and development.


Infants or children who fail to thrive have a height, weight and head circumference that do not match standard growth charts. The person’s weight falls lower than the third percentile (as outlined in standard growth charts) or 20 percent below the ideal weight for their height. Growing may have slowed or stopped after a previously established growth curve.

The following are delayed or slow to develop:

  • Physical skills, such as rolling over, sitting, standing and walking
  • Mental and social skills
  • Secondary sexual characteristics (delayed in adolescents)

Our Treatment

The treatment depends on the cause of the delayed growth and development. These causal factors can include endocrine issues (hormonal factors), chronic infections, gut health, emotional health and previous complications in pregnancy. Delayed growth due to nutritional factors can be resolved by a tailored nutritional plan and other treatments for failure to thrive will address each root cause with non pharmaceutical medicine and a bespoke plan.

Our approach is kind and very gentle.

We also address any tummy issues the child may have.


Failure to thrive: current clinical concepts. Jaffe AC.Pediatr Rev. 2011 Mar;32(3):100-7; quiz 108. doi: 10.1542/pir.32-3-100.PMID: 21364013 No abstract available.
Disorders of childhood growth and development: failure to thrive versus short stature. Grissom M.FP Essent. 2013 Jul;410:11-9.PMID: 23869390 Review.
Diagnostic Workup and Micronutrient Deficiencies in Children With Failure to Thrive Without Underlying Diseases. Selbuz S, Kırsaçlıoğlu CT, Kuloğlu Z, Yılmaz M, Penezoğlu N, Sayıcı U, Altuntaş C, Kansu A.Nutr Clin Pract. 2019 Aug;34(4):581-588. doi: 10.1002/ncp.10229. Epub 2019 Jan 15.PMID: 30644589
Failure to thrive. Krugman SD, Dubowitz  H.Am Fam Physician. 2003 Sep 1;68(5):879-84.PMID: 13678136 Review.
Failure to thrive severity determination by new design curves in standard growth charts. Hosseini F, Borzouei B, Vahabian M.Acta Med Iran. 2011;49(12):795-800.PMID: 22174167

If you would like to book an appointment

Contact Deborah’s Medical Secretary for an appointment