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Loss of Appetite in Children

Loss of Appetite in Children

The following article will take us through some of the reasons that contribute to loss of appetite in children and the treatment forms of the same. If you are having to deal with this problem at home, read on...
Rujuta Borkar
When children are at a growing age, one of the key factors to determine that they are growing well enough is to check for their appetite. The nature of their appetite is taken as a yard stick to determine whether they are growing normally for children at that stage or something is wrong with them. Which is pretty logical, if you think about it. When children are active they will have a good appetite, therefore they will eat better and in that way the required nutrition and energy will be supplied to them.
This then helps in not only their physical, but also their psychological growth. It is not surprising that loss of appetite in children is a factor to be worried about. It signals that all is not right with the child's body, and that is the reason why this condition is brought on. This is a condition that needs to be tackled at the earliest and for that to happen there has to be an understanding of what leads to this condition.
Influenza
The common flu is perhaps one of the most common reasons for why children lose their appetite. When there is the influx of the flu, it is usually accompanied by fever, a runny nose, dizziness and loss of taste in the mouth, along with other symptoms. At such a time when the body is trying to fight off the bacterial growth and restore the normal bodily functions, it is noticed that there is general lowered energy levels and all the other bodily functions do not function well either. At such a time, a person will experience an appetite loss because the digestion is not perfect either. If you notice that the child has suddenly lost his appetite, check to see if there is a temperature.
Constipation
Another common reason is if the child suffers from constipation. Constipation prevents regular bowel movements and therefore the feeling of bloating, gas and fullness comes about. When the bowel movements have not been cleared, the entire system is affected and it can cause for a loss of appetite.
Snacking Between Meals
Children, especially younger children can be very fussy eaters. If they do not find something that is interesting on the table, it can lead to a loss of appetite. For the same reason, junk food or more 'interesting' looking things like that can lead to gorging before a meal. Thus when it is meal time, they will experience appetite loss. What is one to do about this? Make the food more interesting. Either try out new recipes or better ways to garnish the food.
Pressure and Stress
Look at it this way, when you have a particular meeting or are tensed for some reason, don't you experience a loss of appetite? Similarly, when the child us facing pressure or stress, either at home or in school it could kill their appetite. When there is pressure and stress, the body produces harmful chemicals that suppress one's appetite. One way of finding out if the child is facing this particular problem is to look for others signs like the child becomes aloof or becomes quiet, makes a fuss about going to school etc. You need to also talk to them and find out about if they are facing any problems in their school or even at home.
Other Causes
  • Intestinal worms is a very likely cause that can lead to a loss of appetite.
  • Bulemia
  • Anorexia Nervosa (This is seen to affect the older children more than the younger ones)
  • Depression is also one of the main causes that leads to an appetite loss. This is a more common cause in adolescents.
  • Uneven meal timings can also act as one of the main causes of the same.
  • Distractions like television or playtime can also act as a hindrance when it comes to eating a proper meal.
These are some of the main reasons for why children can experience a loss of appetite. That is why a careful understanding of the causes is important for the parents to undertake so that the solutions for the individual ailments can be brought into action. Along with that, starting out on some appetite stimulants for children is also a recommended solution.