Feeding and eating Disorders

Eating disorders are defined as a preoccupation with an ideal body type, disordered thinking about weight and weight loss, and unsafe eating and dieting habits. If a child loses a lot of weight suddenly or is small for their age and doesn't seem to growing normally, it may be a sign that a feeding or eating disorder is present. When malnutrition is not caused by a medical problem, it is referred to as a feeding disorder of infancy or early childhood.

Eating disorders can result in emotional and social dysfunction and life-threatening physical complications. They include pica, rumination, anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, binge eating disorder.

Pica is a disorder that occurs when children persistently eat one or more non-food substances over the course of at least one month. Pica may result in serious medical problems, such as intestinal blockage, poisoning, parasitic infection, and sometimes death. Younger children with Pica frequently eat paint, plaster, string, hair, or cloth. Older children with Pica tend to eat animal droppings, sand, insects, leaves, or pebbles.  Adolescents affected by the disorder often consume clay or soil substances.

 Rumination Disorder: The child repeatedly regurgitates and spits out or re-chew their food following eating. This disorder usually develops in infants or young children. It must last for at least one month before the diagnosis can be made. Children with Rumination Disorder do not show nausea, retching, or disgust associated with their rumination behavior, and do not have associated gastrointestinal problems that can account for the behavior.


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