"In the past year, Patience has gained at least 30 pounds," says her father, Jerry.
"Patience doesn't seem to get full. Her face looks like it's blown up and her hands get swollen," her mother, Tori, adds. "Shopping for Patience is heart-breaking and stressful."
[AD]Tori doesn't understand why her daughter is overweight, because she says the little girl eats healthy meals and gets plenty of exercise. "I've taken her to three different nutritionists, and none of them seem to help. We are clueless," she laments.
"She's so big, I can't hold her in the position I want to hold her in," Jerry says of his daughter.
"My biggest fear is if we don't get control of this, Patience will not live the life that she's meant to have," says Tori. "I want her to be healthy, and happy and not be affected by her weight."
When the videotape ends, Dr. Phil turns to Patience's parents. "How do y'all feel about watching that?" he asks.
"It breaks my heart," Jerry replies, his voice tremulous.
"Why do you think it's happening?" Dr. Phil inquires.
"That's the reason we came to visit today," Tori answers. "If we're feeding her wrong, we'd like to know. I think maybe it's thyroid, insulin level. I'm not sure. I'm not a doctor."
[AD]Dr. Jim weighs in. "You guys have done everything right so far. I looked through your daughter's medical records very thoroughly. Her thyroid levels were normal. Her blood-sugar levels were normal," the pediatrician reveals. "You mentioned her insulin levels, and that's one thing they uncovered. It's called insulin-resistance. Her body has lost the ability to process sugar. She eats what might seem to be a normal American meal, and all those carbs can't get into the cells anymore, so they just go to storage. They don't get used for energy anymore."
Dr. Jim says that the youngster is in danger of developing diabetes, because her pancreas is going to burn out as it works overtime to create insulin to process sugar.
Dr. Phil rattles off a list of foods that Patience consumes regularly: "Cheerios, pizza, chocolate chip cookies, pizza rolls, yogurt, goldfish crackers, shrimp, oatmeal, frozen food, cupcakes," he reads. "A normal child could eat some of these things from time to time, and it wouldn't be a problem."
"That's why she says she's always hungry, because her brain isn't getting the signals that she's full," Dr. Jim adds.
[AD]"That's what my main question is, could it be something that's not connected?" Jerry says.
"I do think something's happening there, but here's the thing: It may be the cause of her problem, or it may be an effect of the problem," Dr. Phil says.
"What do these people need to do to get answers?" Dr. Phil asks Dr. Jim.
Dr. Jim suggests that Tori and Jerry visit a local endocrinologist who specializes in childhood diabetes.
Dr. Phil reveals the third mistake parents make: overfeeding and putting children on diets.
"Find something your child loves to do, whether it's cheerleading, dance or gymnastics, and let her get into that with all her heart," Dr. Jim suggests.
"I don't think you guys are just sitting there while your child is eating tons and tons of candy," Dr. Phil says. "There's something going on; we just need to find out what it is."
Bistro M.D. will provide Tori, Jerry and Patience with food delivery for however long it takes for them to reach their weight-loss goals. Dan DeFigio, a personal trainer and director of Basics and Beyond, will work personally with the family to assist them on their fitness journey. [AD]