Eating Disorders in Children

If your child has ever watched the movie “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs”, chances are that your child got overwhelmed by the number of tasty treats that fell from the sky even though the rain of food was more than you could ever chew. To any growing child, a responsible adult or parent would say to “eat your veggies”, “eat healthily” or to “eat on time”. As much eating food may not look like a problem, eating disorders are a few of the silent killers in the world associated with mental health. To go head to head with this problem be sure to consult one of the best child doctors in Gurgaon so that you and your child are better prepared when early signs of eating disorders are seen.

Eating disorders are more commonly detected among adolescents. However, recent studies have shown that children as young as five can be affected by eating disorders. More children are suffering from eating disorders than ever before as the research shows.  Eating disorders can cause serious problems such as changes in eating habits which may lead to major life-threatening complications.

What is an eating disorder?

Eating disorders are illnesses which are linked with psychological factors. People with eating disorders display abnormal or disturbed eating habits and severe distress. Basically, a person’s thoughts or emotions will always be related to their eating habits.

The child specialist may advise you to know the early signs of an eating disorder.

What are the early signs?

A pediatrician identifies mainly three types of eating disorders and each will be displayed differently by the patient as this involves a mental aspect too.

  • Anorexia: The child may refuse to eat due to the intense fear of becoming fat. They are constantly obsessed with their body image trying to achieve the perfect body even by going to dangerous lengths. Starving oneself can lead to major organs in the body being damages, irregular heartbeat, sensitivity to cold, etc.
  • Bulimia: The child overeats but uses laxatives or vomits to purge in order to prevent weight gain. The child will overeat losing all sense of control and after overeating, they will feel ashamed of themselves causing them to urge to relieve themselves. By chronic vomiting, there can be serious complications, the inflammation of the esophagus and swelling of the salivary glands and lowering of potassium in the blood levels.
  • Binge eating: The child does not take any measures to purge but will overeat to handle their emotions such as anger, stress, sadness even to the point of discomfort. Since they do not purge, binge eaters suffer from obesity. Being obese leads to a different set of problems including high cholesterol, heart diseases, and high blood pressure.

A patrician is not certain about what causes eating disorders but many doctors suspect that a combination of biological, behavioral and social factors have a vital role to play in this condition. Most of the time eating disorders go hand in hand with other psychiatric problems such as anxiety, depression or substance abuse because they feel that eating is a method that can be used to cope with their issues.   

How can it be treated?

Treating eating disorders is more than a “eat properly” or “eat on time” kind of advice-giving condition. It takes more than willpower to overcome eating disorders and most adults even check into therapy. A pediatrician would recommend medical treatment if early signs of eating disorders are detected. Children affected by eating disorders require medical and psychological assistance. Treatment is needed to restore normal weight and usual eating habits.

The best child doctors also address the underlying psychological issues that may be in association with the child’s eating habits. Just as the medication is used to treat eating disorders, therapy and support groups are also prescribed. Symptoms of depression and anxiety are also tackled with eating disorders and if treated at the earliest stages the desired results can be attained.

Eating disorders can be a serious illness which may cause fatal results if not treated.  As parents, it’s your responsibility to keep in check with your child’s social, psychological and behavioral aspects in order to make sure your child lives a happy and healthy life. You might as well need to give a visit to a pediatrician in Gurgaon in case of any issues.

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