Children Eating disorders are very common among children and teens as it can cause serious changes in their eating habits that can lead to life threatening health problems. The different types of children eating disorders include Anorexia, Bulimia and binge eating. In children and teenagers, these eating disorders can also overlap as some children can experience an alternate periods of bulimia and anorexia. These children eating disorders are generally developed during early adulthood or adolescence but are can also develop in childhood. Females are more vulnerable to these eating disorders as compared to males. The different cause of these eating disorders include distress, low self esteem, fear of being overweight and feelings of helplessness. It can also lead to more serious consequences like substance abuse, depression and anxiety disorders.
Anorexia - it is a condition in which the child does not eat or refuses to eat adequate calories in an irrational or intense fear of becoming fat. The children and teens suffering from this condition have distorted body image as they feel that they are very heavy. These children are obsessed with being too thin and refuses even to maintain a minimal normal weight.
Symptoms of Anorexia include Always dieting, Perfectionism, depression, being self critical and anxiety, Compulsive or excessive exercising, Intense fear of being fat even when the child is underweight, Rapid weight loss, Strange eating habits and Unusual interest in food
Anorexia can also have many other health problems like low blood pressure, thinning of bones, sensitivity to cold, irregular heartbeat and damage of major organs. This condition is very fatal and can cause electrolyte imbalance and cardiac arrest. Bringing the children or teens to their normal weight is the primary aim of treatment and the long term treatment include psychotherapy, behavioral therapy and anti depressant medication.
Bulimia - it is the condition in which they overeats or binges but then he/she purges the food by using laxatives or vomiting for preventing weight gain. They eat too much in a short duration of time and may fell ashamed or disgusted after eating and then to prevent weight gain they may use enemas, diuretics, laxatives and diet pills after which they feel relived.
The symptoms of bulimia include anxiety, alcohol and drug abuse, excessive exercise, mood swings, vomiting after eating, unusual interest in food, overemphasis on physical appearance and unusual eating habits. The complications that this condition can have on children include swelling of salivary glands, inflammation of esophagus and damage of tooth enamel. The treatment of bulimia includes nutritional counseling, group therapy, behavior modification and anti depressant medication.
Binge eating - it is a condition in which the child gorge rapidly on food without purging. It includes chronic and out of control eating of large mount of food in a short duration until a point of discomfort. These children tend to become obese or overweight and they may struggle to handle emotions. This condition is triggered by boredom, sadness, stress, worry or anger. Generally binge eaters are very upset about their overeating and tend to become depressed.