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87651 tn?1259602403

My child won't eat and is always sick. Can this be a medical issue?

Hello,

My name is Michelle and I am writing in regards to my 5 yr old. She won't eat. Its that simple. Her diet consists of pancakes, mac n cheese and cereal. It's getting worse. She says, I do not know how to eat "real" food. We"ve tried the whole.. Not bother her and not force food on her. We have been going through this for almost 3 yrs. She hasnt gained a single pound in over a year. She is always sick. I have a 3 yr old that is healthy as a horse. If she gets sick.. she fights through it and moves on. My 5 yr old on the other hand, takes forever in a day to recover from a cold or flu. She has bags and dark circles underneath her eyes. Complains of leg pain, itchiness etc. Just found out she has Asthma and a low case of sleep apnea. She's only 5! I'm going on 38 this yr and I have none of these issues. She tires very easily. Her Dr is looking into bloodwork for her. She had labs over a month ago and her WBC was low. So we are retesting next week. She is also having her Adnoid removed this week. ENT Dr thinks it needs to come out due to the fact that its blocking half her airway area. I am terrified for her recovery as she mends very very slowly. Not to mention this is very stressful on my husband and I. Eating in this household is not enjoyable in the least. She avoids meals as if she is trying to save her life. I am just wanting a healthy child. I know kids are picky, but this is beyond picky. I could put a blueberry in front of her face and she will have an anxiety attack and stress over it fo rthe entire day. Its unreal. HELP HELP HELP! Just looking for some reassurance.

Thanks,

Michelle
3 Responses
267079 tn?1195142970
MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL
Her weight is just below the 25th percentile and her height is just below the 5oth percentile for her age. It can be very frustrating when your child has no interest in food. Suggest replacing her milk at meals/snacks with Pediasure, or milkshakes (milk and ice cream blended), or yogurt smoothies (yogurt, ice cream, or frozen fruit-if he accepts it- blended) for additional calories and protein for weight gain. Recommend giving her a chewable children daily multi-vitamin due to her eating habits. Try engaging her in the kitchen more. Have her help you with planning and preparation of food, and setting the table. Hopefully this will increase her interest in food. The most important is to relax at meals. If she will not eat a certain food not eat too much, do not make a fuss over it. Let it go and enjoy the meal. Suggest asking the Expert Child Behavior forum for additional tips. Thank you for your question.
757137 tn?1347196453
"She avoids foods as if she is trying to save her life."

Maybe she is trying to do just that. Children do not starve themselves out of orneriness. She could have a severe food intolerance (as well as allergies) which the body sees as a poison. Some people are intolerant to the nightshades (potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, eggplant), or gluten, or lactose, among others. I would investigate this area.

If she is suffering sleep apnea then she is not getting the rest she needs, further adding to her problems. My second daughter suffered sleep apnea as a very young child. Unfortunately we did not discover her problem until many years later and just thought she was like her father and didn't need much sleep.
757137 tn?1347196453
You only see this as a psychological or behavioral problem. You should consider other possibilities. If it is physical, all the psychology in the world won't help this little girl, and ignoring the problem will harm her.
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