not eating

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Ktllc, Aug 8, 2012.

  1. Ktllc

    Ktllc New Member

    V has completely lost his appetite. He used to always be hungry and eat all day. I always have snacks in my purse and car for him. He is tall for his age but has always been thin but healthy weight.
    For about 1 month, he's been barely eating. It is to the point that he only eats one bite of his food and then says he is full. Forcing him is not an easy task and I have to be careful 'cause he tends to vomit when forced.
    He is VERY skinny right now: I can see all of his ribs on his chest and his legs are very very small.
    Since he well child visit in June, he lost 4 pounds. He was 43lbs, now he is 39lbs.
    He had a 24hour bug but it started way before the bug.
    I know eating issues can be sensory related and in his case I actually believe he does not feel hunger (when before he used to feel hunger all the time).
    husband and I are starting to worry about his weight.
    What are we supposed to do? He like nuts so that is good because it is nutrious. Besides that, it is almost impossible to force him.
    Even when he asked for some to eat (outside of meal time), I direct him to some nutrious (cheese and ham sandwich for example). But he takes one bite and then claim to be full...
    Any suggestions? I thought about pediasure drinks, but I don't know if it is really healthy. He needs food.
  2. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    I "thought" I might give an intelligent response...and then I saw how young V is at this time. Sorry. I honestly don't know what to say. I will say, however, I am sending caring thoughts and hugs your way. DDD

    Ps: Is there any chance that he is constipated and just hasn't shared it with you?
  3. Ktllc

    Ktllc New Member

    Constipated... had not thought about it. I will ask him. His belly is pretty flat though. I did tell him that if he does not start eating soon, we might have to go to the hospital and he would get an IV. A big needle in the arm. He asked a few questions about it but it did not scare him into eating supper.
    What was your intelligent suggestion? I'm a bit curious. V is 5 but maybe I can adapt it?
  4. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Is he taking a stimulant? That'll do it.
  5. Ktllc

    Ktllc New Member

    no medications.
    I just tried the pediasure and he refuses... husband tried to make him nible on "breakfast to go" (nuts, raisin and dried banana blend) while we watched tv. He ate like 2 nuts and then stopped.
    He is not constipated but good thinking.
    I'll try to cook with him tomorrow and see if it helps him eat afterwards.
    In the afternoon, husband and I are goimg out of town until Friday night. I think I'll call the pediatrician first thing on Monday.
    I'm not sure what a doctor can do though if it's not caused by an actual illness. Pills that make you hungry?
    I know of eating disorders like anoraxia, but he is only 5. Would it be possibe??
  6. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    You really shouldn't wait until Monday to call the doctor! There could be something going on that is very medical. I would not be surprised if they wanted to see him soon and maybe even do an ultrasound of his stomache and intestines. This is not something I would wait with. Is he drinking much? If not, his electrolytes are already pretty out of whack and his system is going to start getting out of whack without the necessary vitamins, calories, etc it needs. If that happens, it won't be pretty. Sorry but I've seen what that can do and you don't want to go there.

    PLEASE call the pediatrician first thing in the morning!!
  7. chloedancer

    chloedancer New Member

    I agree that he should see a doctor quickly. That is a huge weight loss in comparison to his size.
  8. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    call the doctor! Can you touch his tummy and see if it hurts in any particular area? This strikes just too close to home for me after not being able to eat anything for almost 6 weeks! Even if V is 5, he could have the beginning stages of ulcers. Jamie had them at 9.
  9. Ktllc

    Ktllc New Member

    Thanks for all your advice. I have touched his belly and V giggled. lol He has no pain. I started giving him some B12 on top of his regular vitamins. husband was telling me that B12 increase appetite. V ate half a mini bagle with cream cheese this morning.
    I will note what he eats every day. A food journal is probably going to be useful for the doctor.
    Unfortunately I cannot take him before Monday as the out of town trip is no vacation... kind of pain but I have to go.
    V is pretty active so I don't believe we are in an emergency situation. And he does drink good (he pees frequently so dehydration is not in the equation).
  10. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    I wasn't worried about dehydration. My concern was for all the vitamins and minerals he's missing by not eating. On top of possible stomach issues that "could" be bad, the inbalance with those could make the situation a whole lot worse.
  11. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Does he worry he will choke? Is he afraid of swallowing food?
  12. allhaileris

    allhaileris Crumbling Family Rock

    I know you're going to take him to the doctor, which is the best solution to rule out anything medical. Has he recently had a growth spurt? Mine gets a little like this after one, and she's super skinny so it worries me.

    The only pill I know of that'll make you hungry would be a cannabis pill. They make tinctures and pills that people have given their kids to get them to eat (but these are mostly kids with cancer or major digestive disorders). I don't know if that's legal in your state or not. It is here, with doctor's prescription. I'm sure there is some horrible pharmaceutical that does it as well.

    Can he smell? Can he taste? What do his taste buds look like? Does he have post nasal drip?
  13. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    Hi Ktllc. I understand how worried you are. J also eats like a bird and you can also see his ribs and he looks too skinny... I've just accepted it, really, since one simply cannot force a child to eat and somewhere I do believe a child will take the nutrition he or she needs if left to their own devices. But V used to eat more and has lost weight. This is a little worrying. Let us know what the doctor advises.
  14. pasajes4

    pasajes4 Well-Known Member

    If he is drinking then give him pedisure or mix pedisure into a milkshake.
  15. Signorina

    Signorina Guest

    At 5 it could just be a non eating "jag". I have a tiny kid. He's 18 now and barely 120 lbs. it's just who he is. Extremely healthy, extremely lean. He was meant to be this size.

    He was a chubby baby and toddler and then literally lost weight/did not gain (tho grew in height) from ages 3-6. He is now 18 and still in boys sizes. Again-super healthy kid tho!!

    Make your ds's calories count. Yes-make sure he eats a healthy diet! But add full fat ice creams, nut butters, cheeses, chocolate milk. Choose the calorie dense versions of the foods he likes. Add cheese sauces to vegetables, protein powder to ice cream, make salad with creamy dressings, ranch dip for carrots, pizza is a great choice, etc. Eggs are also a good source of healthy calories. Avocado too.

    For my son-lean is his genetic code. And he is thriving!
  16. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    I'm with Sig... feed him "like he's PG". Lots to "graze" on that is both high-food-value and high-calorie, with a good cross-section of vitamins/minerals/etc. Trail mix. Dried fruit. Cheese. Just avoid empty calories because the nutrition is vital when they are eating less.

    Second reaction is... once they haven't been eating for a bit, their stomach shrinks. Does he like popcorn? If he can "fill up" on fluffy stuff that expands the stomach, it can help hunger come back.
  17. Ktllc

    Ktllc New Member

    The part that I don't like is the weight loss, otherwise I would not worry at all. He has always had strange eating habits and I've just learned to accept it. I would serve him a regular portion and he would work on it for about 3 hours: eat a bit with us, then stops but would go back to eat it a little at a time. By the time it was time for another meal his plate would be empty. Now he eats one bite and is pretty much done.
    Just now, husband made him eat 2 pieces of dried meat before heas allowed to have cheese cake. He has not lost his sweet tooth yet.
    If V wants a piece of chocolate, we make him drink a glass of milk first.
    We've decided not to fight him though because we don't want to draw too much attention to it. Just in case it is a control issue.
    I'll talk to the pediatrician without V being present and will do the same with the Occupational Therapist (OT). See what they suggest/think.
  18. Giulia

    Giulia New Member

    Ok, I have sensory issues which makes eating very hard.

    As always as I can remember, stress makes me lose weight because I become sensitive +++++++ to taste.
    Swallowing becomes hard because I feel like a node in my throat.
    It makes me think about it because he refuses the pedishake drink (I tried such drinks, and they can taste very strong. I tried Fortimel, and it tastes very string even when flavored : I could feel the dextrine maltose falvor, and not everyone likes its taste).

    What helps me most is leaving easy to eat food, like finger food, chocolate cream... Even if they are not socially acceptable meals, but something he can nibble through the day. Even if it means nibbling all day. You'll think about socially acceptable meals later.
    Don't hesitate to go with smoothies, milk shakes.... You can also try small verrines (for appetizers) as we call here and fill it with nutritious but what he can handle at taste.
    You can also sweeten the taste of a strong dish with soft cream (Crème fraiche in France).

    Does your DS have difficulties with social cues ? With noise ?
    It can explain why meals are tedious for him.
    The simple fact he eats only with one person can help him to eat.

    What also can be a problem with eating is when I have a small plate with lot of food : I am easily overhelmed by a lot of food to eat.
    So, you can do exactly the opposite of what RD say : little food in a big plate, because he will be less discouraged by the quantity.

    I have always been at the 3rd percentile or even below if we think about BMI. But if we see about height and weight, I was at the third percentile.
    BMI-centile are very misleading : a child can be short and thin but be very healthy and he will be labeled as "failure to thrive" whereas he is short and thin like his parents.
    I tried the BMI-centile with my growth chart as a child and I superposed the BMI on a current chart (while taking all measures from my childhood). It labeled me as "failure to thrive" during all my childhood whereas my analysis were perfectly textbook (no illness found). If I worked as a model or an actress as a child, I would had been considered as "anorexic" whereas I have always been like my paternal grandmother, short, thin and lean, with three perfectly healthy children (my father and his two older sisters). All the specialists we saw as a child were categoric about ruling out an illness, furthermore an ED : I was meant to be short, thin, gracile but healthy apart ADHD and a Single Sided Deafness.
    So, take the BMI-centile charts for what they are : a measure, a comparison with the general population in a Gauss curve, a statistic. A child can be off chart and perfectly healthy, and a child can be in chart whereas unhealthy.
    Be careful, BMI are more and more considered as very misleading : a person with the same BMI can have a very different frame. So, someone with a BMI = 30 can be very tall and muscular (how many rugbymen have a BMI = 30 whereas they are nearly only muscles ?) or very short, sloppy and without energy.
    On the opposite side, you can have a BMI = 17 (considered as "underweight") whereas you eat 6 nutritious meals every day, your analysis are perfectly normal and you are not hyperactive, and another person can have a BMI = 17 whereas she is wasting muscle due to denutrition.
    BMI does not take into account the bone frame (of course, if you have thin bones, you won't weight the same as if you have a large bone frame), neither the muscle mass, so it can falsely label someone as "dangerously underweight" and a child as "failure to thrive".
    BMI is used because it's a very simple and quick count to do, with little needed information (you have no need to measure any size with a meter), but it overly simplistic and it can lead to wrong diagnosis of "failure to thrive".
    Also, why does the lowest BMI threshold for "healthy weight" varies from official organization to another ? Why is, for an organization, lowest BMI threshold for "healthy weight" is 18.5, for another it is 20, for another it is 19 etc etc... ?
    So, take these measures with a lot of detachment, because they lead to a lot of unnecessary worries.

    Take care
  19. Ktllc

    Ktllc New Member

    His pediatrician is sending V to a GI specialist.
    She actually really suspect some underlying issues (mentioned Chron's, celiac as possibilities).
    :sochildish:I was so sure physical issues were not a problem...
    A LOT of clues indicate a physical issues, I've just always thought there were "normal" because V always had them.
    Gosh... I'll keep you all posted in the watercooler! Definetly not a "diffucult child" issue.
  20. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    Ktllc, that's what I was thinking. I had a very strong feeling it was physical and shouldn't be put off too long. Glad you took him and they are following up.