Anorexia can also develop as a response of the body to an infection. It can be seen most frequently in urinary tract infections, upper respiratory tract infections, parasitic diseases, constipation, adenoid enlargement, vitamin deficiencies, some metabolic diseases, and more rarely in childhood cancers and rheumatic diseases. This loss of appetite caused by diseases can last for 2-3 weeks, but if the time is longer, the necessary tests should be performed and precautions should be taken.
Does Prolonged Loss of Appetite Affect the Child’s Growth?
Prolonged loss of appetite can affect the growth and development of the child. In this case, because the necessary caloric intake cannot be provided, proteins, hormones, vitamins and minerals, which are the building blocks of the body, will be deficient and development will be interrupted.
Could there be other reasons for loss of appetite besides physiological reasons?
Loss of appetite can sometimes be related to the child’s psychology. A change in appetite can be observed in hyperactive or introverted children. If the growth and development follow a normal course (tracking of height, weight and head circumference), ie according to the measurements in the normal standard table, one need not be alarmed.
It is generally thought in our society that a strong child is healthy and a weak child has a problem, which is why families panic and suggest to eat a poor or weak child, sometimes even pressuring it. We received his opinion on the subject, Dr. Fikret İşbilir said: ‘Sometimes the child has a normal height and weight, even though he/she does not eat as the family wants. In this case, the attitude of the family should not be stubborn.
You should not be urged to take the food he doesn’t like, or mixed with other foods he likes. For example, a child who does not like cheese can get this food in pastries or pasta.
İşbilir also suggested that cute plates can be prepared for the younger age group by decorating the food or giving them different shapes, and the child’s interest in those foods can be increased.
Another point to take into account is that the child needs to get used to certain foods beforehand. Especially in the first six months, only breast milk should be given to the baby and then other foods should be introduced gradually. The three-day rule should be applied when starting supplemental feeding.
So what is this three-day rule?
The 3 day rule should be applied when starting any new food for the baby. From the moment he is born, it is checked for allergy, sensitivity and indigestion to the foods he first encounters. Since the purpose of this first meeting is not to feed the baby, but to introduce the food to him, it will be enough to give only 3 spoonfuls of that food at the beginning.
Other situations to be considered so that the child’s eating habits are not adversely affected; The child does not eat junk food before meals, does not get bloated from drinking water or fruit juice, does not eat in front of the television, sits at the same table with the family if necessary, does not rush to eat, prepares the portion and cutlery according to the child and makes the table attractive.
Speaking of an interesting reminder on this topic, Dr. Fikret İşbilir underlines once again how important it is to raise awareness among the family. Those were the first years of my residency. I worked in a cute little town on the Black Sea. A four-month-old baby was brought in for examination. When I examined the baby, his height and weight were within the normal range. The physical examination findings were good, but the parents complained that the baby had no appetite and was not gaining weight. I learned that although only breast milk should be given during these months, they accept that the baby has no appetite and give him hazelnut paste so that he gains weight quickly. That was a tragicomic event.’
Be yourself, don’t risk your child’s life by acting on hearsay information without researching it thoroughly. While you’re trying to gain weight, you could be dealing with much more serious health issues.