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Signs and Symptoms of Eating Disorders in Children

SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS OF EATING DISORDERS IN CHILDREN

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Eating disorders are related to persistent eating behaviors that damage a person’s overall health, emotions, and abilities. Most of these disorders focus on your body weight and shape, leading to dangerous eating behaviors. These behaviors impact the body’s ability to absorb appropriate nutrients. Eating disorders are considered to damage the heart, lungs, digestive system, bones, and other major parts of the body.

There are commonly four types of eating disorders among children

Anorexia Nervosa: a person eats too little and remains underweight.

Bulimia Nervosa: a person typically weighs normally but eats too much.

Binge Eating Disorder: Commonly known as BED, a person gets overweight and eats too much.

Pica: a person might eat non-food or non-nutritional substances including dirt, soap, chalk, sand, etc.

All these eating disorders can cause a variety of complications, some of which could be life-threatening. As they cause serious health problems, including depression and anxiety, social and relationship problems, growth and developmental problems, and work and school problems, empowering suicidal thoughts or behavior leading to death. 

The common symptoms of an eating disorder can be noticed by some physical or behavioral signs of a person.

Physical signs may include rapid weight changes or significant weight loss. A person will feel always tired, dizzy, or fainting, and this may reduce the ability to concentrate, it can also affect the normal body temperature and the person feels cold in warm environments as well.

Behavioral signs may include making excuses to avoid eating, distress or anger at meal times, unusual eating behaviors, obsessive interest in cooking food but not eating anything, imitability, moodiness, social withdrawal, and wanting to be in solitude more than often. 

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All of these signs may result in refraining from food, reducing food portions, thinning and lack of hair growth, weight loss, constipation, digestion problems, mood swing, and abnormal hair growth on the body affecting the body’s hormones.

Although the exact cause of an eating disorder is unknown, likely many other mental illnesses it is also connected to genetics and biological factors which impact the psychological and emotional health of a person as they lead to low self-esteem, impulsive behaviors, and troubled relationships. It is difficult to manage or overcome eating disorders on your own, as they can virtually put your life at risk. If you think that you are having an eating disorder, you can seek medical help and opt for the required treatment as suggested by a medical expert.

If you are a parent and you are aware that your child is suffering from an eating disorder, it would be better for you to reach out to a pediatrician, nutritionist, or another health professional who can support you and provide the best care for your child. The medical experts will help you to develop your child’s healthy relationship with food and guide you through the whole process. What else could be more important than your child’s health?