I had seen plenty of poor eaters in my practice, but this one had left me with no doubts that he was the worst amongst all. . With a history of bird’s appetite, this time he was breaking all records. It was nearly three days since he had taken a morsel. It looked as if he had taken recourse to some kind of Satyagraha. Any attempt to feed him forcefully would end up in a vomit. The young parents were nearly on the verge of a breakdown, when on the fourth day he ended his fast.
When kids don’t eat, why is it that they don’t eat? What makes them a poor eater?
The Eating disorders are complex disorders. It could be a simple behavioral disagreement to food or as some Research shows that its origins can have more than one reason – Biopsychosocial. A neurobiological brain disorder with a strong heritability component is also under investigation. Some individuals with eating disorders have an imbalance of certain chemicals in the brain that control hunger, appetite, and digestion. The exact meaning and implications of these imbalances remains under investigation. Behavioral disagreement occurs if the child is force-fed or over -fed.
When kids don’t eat, it can be very distressing for their parents, but is this disorder treatable?
Yes, but first it is important to understand the relationship between the child?s total family environment and his eating disorder. The individuality of each child is an important factor in assessing the most suitable approach for dealing with food refusal. It would simply be illustrated by a case that I treated without any medication. A child of two had developed a very obstinate food refusal. It was assessed that the disorder had no biological angle, but was a case of behavioral disagreement. The mother was feeding the child at an inappropriate time, seven thirty in the morning, as she had to leave for her job by eight, which had resulted in an overall refusal to food. A simple adjustment in the feeding time gave the desired results.
In another case a little one had developed disgust for food after her mother used harsh punishment for not finishing meals in time. Such a situations can become a psychological deterrent and the child may sub consciously develop a contempt for food.
Homoeopathic medicines are very helpful in treating eating disorders.. Antimonium Crudum, Lycopodium, Nux Vomica are a few of the important homoeopathic medicines. Antimonium crudum is very helpful for infants who vomit milk immediately after breast-feed. Some peculiar mind symptoms easily identify the child who requires this medicine along with a very weak appetite he is Cross and contradictive; whatever is done fails to give satisfaction. The little one is Sulky; does not wish to speak. Child cannot bear to be touched or looked and gets angry at every little attention.
Lycopodium has a very strange indication. Although the child may be very hungry, eating ever so little satiates him easily. Nux vomica is often an abused appetite stimulant. Nux should only be used only when it is indicated. It should not be used as an appetite panacea. Homoeopathic medicines should only be used with the advice of an expert homoeopath.
Eating disorder can result out of general ill health as in chronic disorders like asthma and recurrent coughs and colds, also at times a result of over or an improper medication. Such children need to be treated with a constitutional and holistic approach where the root cause is identified and remedied.