How to calculate the eating disorders in adolescents?

, medical expert
Last reviewed: 01.06.2018

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When teens see on the TV the beautiful bodies of models, and the glossy magazine waist without a single wrinkle, they think that they are inferior in comparison with these handsome men and beauties. And they begin to exhaust themselves with diets. Boys begin to rock hard, buy expensive supplements in the pharmacy for muscle growth ... Do teenagers know that their efforts are directed against their own health? The task of parents - in time to recognize eating disorders in adolescents and gently reduce them to naught.

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Teenager and diet

"You're too fat (thick)," the parents say and start to fry the teenager with only vegetables and fruits or restrict the baby in meat and milk. Parents are guided by the most kind motives, but do they understand that improper nutrition for a child can upset his entire endocrine and digestive system? And the weight can not decrease, but, on the contrary, increase.

If the initiators of the diet are themselves teenagers, and parents do not know about it, the consequences can be even more terrible. Bulimia (the so-called wolfish famine) and anorexia (permanent malnutrition) can destroy the body so much that it will not be easy to restore the exchange processes - it can take years.

The reasons for a strong desire for a diet in a teenager can be justified and far-fetched. The justified include obesity or inclination to it. To far-fetched - the desire to be like 45-kilogram models with normal growth, weight and development. The desire to fully meet the far-fetched "norms" of beauty is more characteristic of girls than of boys. According to statistics, girls become victims of diets 4 times more often than boys.

What should parents do?

The most important thing is to determine if the child has a problem or a fictitious one. About this with accuracy can only judge a dietician. The second step is to develop an action plan to correct the situation. If a child has a contrived problem with weight, it may need to be reduced to a session for a psychologist. He will help the teenager to really assess the situation. Plus, work with a psychologist is also one that in adolescence, children seldom listen to their own parents. Often a stranger to him is a much greater authority than his father and mother, who "do not understand anything at all!"

If the child's weight is really a problem, parents will not be enough just a visit to a dietician. It will be necessary to pass with the child all that way (often long and difficult!), Which the doctor recommends. The causes of problems with the weight of a teenager are not limited to just how much and what he eats. Although this, of course, is not the last important factor.

Causes of overweight teenager

  • Wrong diet (a lot of fatty and floury, improper diet, large doses of foods)
  • Genetics (hereditary weight deviations) - this is very difficult to cope with
  • Lack of mobility (little or no sport at all)
  • Depression (psychological deviations)

Each of the causes of excess weight need to be eliminated in many ways. And in this parents should not be guided by their own intuition, because in the case, say, with genetic abnormalities, sports and diet may simply not work. Perhaps the child needs to put in order the hormones that in adolescence are ruled by weight, development, and character. In addition, a diet successfully tested on 45-year-old aunt Sonia, may prove ineffective and even harmful for 11-year-old Anechka. It is not necessary to drink it all week with low-fat kefir and unsalted buckwheat.

As if you did not want to see your daughter Claudia Schiffer, and your son Arnold Schwarzenegger, you should not torture them with extremes. Especially mono-diets. Mono-diets are fast diets that involve losing weight on one product only for 3-7 days. For a growing child's body, this is simply unacceptable. You will achieve only exhaustion, nervousness and fainting in class. This was hardly the goal of loving parents.


The most common deviations in diet of adolescents

There are not so many of them, and if the parents do not particularly watch what and how much the child eats, you can remember immediately when the child has anorexia, bulimia or a compulsive overeating. More about these abnormalities, often occurring asymptomatically and requiring close-eyed parents.

Anorexia in adolescents

Anorexia is often called anorexia nervosa. This disease is associated with abnormalities in the nervous system associated with the task of certainly losing weight. At the same time, a girl or a boy is categorically unhappy with her weight, figure, height and, in general, herself as a person. Most often anorexia develops in insecure adolescents. Since this disease does not develop in a day or two, but can continue for one and a half years, when the child is completely depleted, parents need to be alert and in time to recognize the initial stage of anorexia nervosa. How to do it?

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The first call: conversations

Listen carefully to what your child says about himself. If he constantly reflects on how to lose weight, and compares himself to lean and slender models - these are the first alarming bells. Viewing yourself in the mirror is normal for a teenager. He treats his "I" and his appearance with special attention. If the child is confident in himself, he will move away from the mirror with a sense of satisfaction: "What I am beautiful (what a beautiful!)" Or see the most winning features of a figure, faces.

If a child suffers from his own inferiority, he does not like the mirror, his mood spoils after looking at his reflection, he becomes nervous and irritable. Then parents should talk with the teenager that he is loved the way he is, give examples from his own life, show actors and singers who, with fairly average appearance, have become very successful people. And go to the practical steps: buy children videos, write it for a swim, reduce to a dietician to adjust the diet, to the dermatologist - for the selection of masks and skin care products and hair.

Very often, discontent with the child's own appearance arises from a lack of attention from adults. This defect, he compensates for food, but it would be necessary - a joint holiday with my father and mother.

The second call: choice of diets

Children who are going to compensate for the shortcomings of their appearance, begin to act. And they do it at their own discretion: they subtracted this diet in a magazine, and this one was heard from a friend, and these "harmful" products will never be eaten, because they said so on TV. Parents should be alerted if children start to exclude from the diet some products, prefer others and sharply reduce portions. If you skip this stage of anorexia, then the child loses weight to 12%, and parents write off this for school stress or loss of appetite.

They do not know that with an appetite, everything is just right, the child is torturing himself in the hope of acquiring a model appearance. It is worth paying attention to such an important detail, as portions of the eaten. Rarely, a teenager is able to control his appetite at a time when nature requires normal healthy portions with all the proteins, fats and carbohydrates. A teenager who is in the period of anorexia develops, then nothing at all, then suddenly pounces on food. Some children often use laxatives and enemas.

Against the background of diets, a teenager can start cooking all the time. Mom is happy: what kind of aide is growing! But an unhealthy love of constant cooking can be just a nervous breakdown: the subconsciously the teenager compensates for the lack of food, only does not eat it himself, but feeds others.

The third call: an unprecedented love of sport

A child in the anorexia stage can greatly increase physical exertion to lose weight even more. From this, his body is gradually depleted. Appearance also changes: in a healthy child, the skin of the face begins to peel off, the hair becomes fragile and weak, the nails break very quickly, bad breath, general weakness and increased fatigue, and at night the teenager may suffer from nightmares. All this against the background of weight loss should become a guiding light for parents.

Going to a therapist and a nutritionist is the best thing you can do at this stage of anorexia, because the digestive system is already broken, you may need medicines to restore it.

The fifth call: time is lost

If the parents were inattentive and too busy to catch the changes in the state of the child, now they definitely need to see changes in his appearance. Podrotsky is severely depleted. They have a bad appetite, often there are bouts of vomiting, not right stomach (ulcers, gastritis). The face changes color from pink to pale or earthy, on the face there may be spots, pimples, even sores. Hair weak exhausted, nails break, the child is weak, languid, poorly poured, his blood pressure is low.

Such a state does not appear immediately, a year and a half of bullying should take place over one's own organism in order to bring oneself to full exhaustion. A characteristic sign of bulimia in its last stage is the sharply negative reaction of a teenager to food. And in extreme cases up to 40% of children die from anorexia. It is important for parents to react in time to any strangeness in the child's behavior concerning food, and then a difficult situation can be avoided at the beginning.

Bulimia or wolfish hunger

Bulimia in adolescents is another serious mental disorder associated with eating. Bulimia is attributed to complex eating disorders, which is difficult to treat, especially at later stages, when the moment of destruction in the body by parents has already been lost. With bulimia, a teenager has a brutal appetite, he eats everything he sees, then feels unbearably ashamed of what he has eaten and gets rid of food, causing artificial vomiting. Laxatives and diuretics are the usual medications with which the first-aid kit of a teenager suffering from bulimia is crowded. At the same time the teenager is obsessed with all sorts of diets and tries to get rid of excess weight, in his opinion, by increased physical exertion.

How is bulimia diagnosed? First of all, you need to pay attention to what and how much the child eats. If his portions are negligible and then too large, at times the teenager refuses to eat at all, hides the fact that he ate, runs to the toilet immediately after eating to get rid of the eaten - these are bulimia signs.

Bulimia can lead to irreversible effects: metabolic disorders in the body, malfunctioning of the kidneys, liver, endocrine system. Cases of death are very frequent if the parents did not follow the child and bulimia passed into the last stage. This disease does not develop in one day. It may take six months or a year before irreversible consequences for the adolescent occur.

Anorexia and bulimia are very closely related, and they are very difficult to treat. We need a maximum of care and attention of parents, as well as strict control over the intake of medications prescribed by the doctor, and the baby's diet. He should eat at least 5-6 times a day in divided batches. In the diet should be present proteins, fats and carbohydrates, so as not to de-energize the child's body and give him everything necessary for development.

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Compulsive overeating

What is compulsive overeating? This eating a huge amount of food in one sitting. In other words, this is an uncontrolled intake of food, with large doses and immediately. If your teenager is exposed to this terrible disease, you need to contact a dietitian and endocrinologist.

Compulsive overeating can be the result of intense stress. For example, a child has lost someone from the family or has a love drama. This loss is compensated by the child in the most accessible and fastest way - to eat something tasty. In this case, the areas of the brain that control appetite, do not work. Therefore, a teenager is able to eat just a giant portion of pizza or a high-calorie pie.

The bingeing overeating should be distinguished from a sudden and severe brutal famine, which happens in a state of stress or after hard physical work, or after a child plays for a long time in the fresh air. One-time feeling of brutal hunger for a teenager is normal. But the constant attacks of hunger for, say, a month should alert the parents. To yourself not to guess with a diagnosis (you can easily mistake) you need to spend time and lead the child to a doctor.

Compulsive overeating can also be distinguished by the fact that the child tries to hide these bouts of hunger, as in bulimia. This distinguishes a morbid state from a healthy healthy appetite, which among teenagers is not uncommon. And overeating in the abnormal state is characterized by mood swings. A child may have depression or a neurotic condition, which he also tries to hide.

In these cases, a psychologist or psychotherapist will help you, which will tell you what activities the child can be distracted from obsessive thoughts that cause depression. And a dietician who prescribes a reasonable diet. A doctor-endocrinologist will help you choose drugs that reduce appetite and improve your mood, because it is impossible to cope with compulsive overeating with psychological methods alone, without medications.

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The eating disorders of the teenager are defeated. What's next?

Once bulimia, anorexia or compulsive overeating are strangled in the bud or defeated at any stage, you need to calm down and live happily ever after. Correctly? Of course not. A teenager who once turned to experiments with food as a way to compensate for something can do it again. Therefore, parents should not forget about control over the diet and mental state of the child.

Any illness that involves conscious malnutrition or overeating, is based on psychological problems, often deeply hidden. This may be a lack of love, attention or too low self-esteem. It can be the loss of a loved one, whose fragile psyche the child can not bear. Therefore, the slightest change in the behavior of the child, aimed at changing moods, desires and habits, should not pass the attention of parents, even the busiest. And then the teenager's eating disorders can not affect the quality of his life. And yours, too.

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