"Not Fat Because I Wanna Be"

Six-year-old LaNiyah Bailey speaks out against bullying with new book.

Posted: 04/21/2011 02:19 PM EDT
Filed Under bullying

(Photo: CreateSpace)

Imagine being just six years old and constantly tormented about your weight, or worse still, imagine not being able to do anything about it because it's due to a medical condition. This is LaNiyah Bailey's struggle, but instead of sitting by idly, or even retaliating against the bullies, she penned a book entitled "Not Fat Because I Wanna Be."

LaNiyah wrote the book with the help of her mother to share her experience being bullied in order to transform it into something positive. Doctors don’t have a clear picture of everything that LaNiyah suffers from but mom, LaToya White, has been on a mission to get to the bottom of LaNiyah’s health issues.

Since noticing an abnormally protruding belly when her daughter was just two years old LaNiyah’s family has been through a number of doctors who have diagnosed and debunked condition after condition including a possible brain tumor, swollen colon due to severe constipation and polydipsia.

Polydipsea is more of a symptom than an actual disease and is often linked to water diabetes. People with polydipsia find themselves insatiably and excessively thirsty. What makes this so dangerous is that if a patient drinks more fluids than their kidneys can process they could water down their body's serum sodium level causing heavy bloating, seizures or even cardiac arrest.

When doctors prescribed medicine to treat the polydipsea that could potentially cause seizures White sought a second opinion. The family, currently on their seventh doctor, never accepted any of the physicians’ suggestions that it was poor diet that has the six-year-old weighing 115 pounds. Children LaNiyah’s age vary weighing about 45 to 50 pounds, sometimes even up to 65 pounds if they are tall for their age or have high bone density, according to Dr. Georgette Katsetos.

After convincing a new doctor to run some genetic tests the family is beginning to feel like they’re getting some answers. Just two weeks ago the family was notified that her weight could be linked to a resistance to the hormone leptin, which is believed to regulate fat storage and appetite.

Since the fanfare stemming from the book, doctors from around the world have reached out to help LaNiyah, and though there are still more tests to be run, White finally feels like they are on the right path.