Friday, August 07, 2015

ARFID may be affecting your child

We have all heard of anorexia (trying not to eat or not eat much) and bulimia (eating and purging), but now the book of mental disrorders has a new entry: Avoidant/Restrictive Food Intake Disorder (ARFID).

This is an eating pattern that persistently fails to meet nutritional and energy needs.

This can lead to significant weight loss or lack of expected weight gain. Nutritional deficiencies can also develo;. The child may need tube feeding and this whole thing can interfere with life and be a marker for future depression.

They are studying this at Penn State Hershey.

Usually the child is considered a picky eater. Parents are told the youngster will grow out of it. But if by the time school starts, the child is still extremely selective in foods or does not want to eat, this should be looked at.

Usually these docs see kids when the kids are around eight. They won't swallow for fear of choking. They get stomachaches. They say they are not hungry. This is from underlying anxiety.

This can ruin dinner time for the whole family and result in malnourishment.  Kids with severe selective eating are twice as likely to be diagnosed with depression later.

I once knew a kid who did not eat mushrooms--the word "mush" made him sick.

Should parents go with the "try three bites" deal? Maybe a therapist could answer that.

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