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3 reasons why children are anorexic and how to handle them

Infections, poor digestive function… are common causes of anorexia in children that parents need to be aware of.

Dr. Pham Thi Thu Huong – Head Doctor of Nutrihome Icon4, Nutrihome Nutrition Clinic System, said that there are many causes of anorexia in children, which can be divided into two main groups: anorexia due to disease. physiological, anorexia not due to physical disease (physiological anorexia, psychological anorexia…).

When children suffer from anorexia due to illness, children often have manifestations such as eating less, losing appetite, eating slowly, being lazy to chew or swallow, having a hostile mentality when eating… Pathological anorexia in children lasts Long term can negatively affect the health and development of the baby.

Children may have anorexia due to related diseases.  Photo: Shutterstock

Children may have anorexia due to related diseases. Photo: Shutterstock

The cause of anorexia in children, according to doctor Thu Huong, may include the following 3 common reasons:

Poor digestive function or children with diseases related to the digestive system: When having digestive disorders or impaired digestive function, children may feel nausea, abdominal pain, vomiting after eating, accompanied by raw stools, constipation or prolonged acute diarrhea. Digestive disorders hinder the body’s process of digesting food and absorbing nutrients, thereby leading to anorexia pathology in children.

The main causes of diseases related to the digestive system of children are mainly due to long-term unbalanced diet, intestinal disorders, stomach, intestinal contractions or secretion disorders, colorectal polyps. colon…

Infected children: Due to the immature immune system, children are not able to eliminate all harmful bacteria. Therefore, children are susceptible to minor illnesses such as coughs, colds, rhinitis, etc., which are at risk of serious changes into infections, acute or chronic inflammation of the respiratory tract or digestive system. Infections can cause impaired absorption of nutrients and decrease appetite in children. In addition, children with anorexia due to illness can also be a side effect caused by prolonged treatment of infections with antibiotics.

Oral medications: When sick, children are prescribed to use a variety of antibiotics, pain relievers, vitamins, … to relieve symptoms. The long-term use of drugs can sometimes create the side effect of causing anorexia in children.

Some factors that lead to other pathological anorexia children can be mentioned as parasitic infections, sore throats, otitis media, fevers, etc. Parents should consult a specialist doctor. To accurately determine the cause of the disease, choose a timely and safe treatment method.

Doctor Thu Huong recommends that children at risk of anorexia nervosa are those aged 2 years and older. In particular, children who are in the teething stage or are prone to minor diseases are at a higher risk of anorexia.

A child can be diagnosed with pathological anorexia when at least two of the following symptoms are present: no weight gain for three consecutive months; refusing to eat, showing signs of opposition to eating such as running away, crying,…; children hold food for a long time inside the mouth, refuse to chew and swallow; eat less than half of the usual diet; your baby takes more than 30 minutes to finish a meal or refuses to finish the food.

However, the above signs are similar in the case of children with physiological anorexia. Therefore, parents should pay attention to monitor the accompanying pathological manifestations of the child to avoid confusion. Unlike physiological anorexia caused by the transition between developmental stages, pathological anorexia is caused by a disease in the child’s body that affects the digestive system. At this time, the only way to overcome it is to completely treat the related diseases, then gradually create the children’s normal eating habits and preferences back.

“The diagnosis of pathological anorexia in children is mainly based on symptoms of the disease combined with a number of other tests such as blood tests, stool and urine tests, etc. After determining the exact type of pathology cause anorexia in children, the doctor can offer appropriate treatment solutions, thereby improving the disease condition and increasing appetite,” said Doctor Thu Huong.

Children are examined and nutritional counseling at Nutrihome.  Photo: Nutrihome

Children are examined and nutritional counseling at Nutrihome. Photo: Nutrihome

According to experts, one of the effective ways to prevent anorexia in children is to prevent infections and diseases of the digestive tract. In order to prevent diseases, parents need to promote the development of a scientific diet, strengthen the child’s resistance and physical strength. If the child unfortunately has an infection, digestive disease, etc., it should be treated promptly and effectively so as not to affect the needs and enjoyment of eating.

Pathological anorexia in children, if not treated in time, can cause many consequences. In which, the most serious children are malnourished, lack of nutrients, anemia, body weakness, growth retardation, underdevelopment, easy digestive problems.

Hoai An

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