Monday, September 27, 2010

A Link Between Eosinophilic Diseases and Eating Disorders

A recent issue of the Kids With Food Allergies e-newsletter pointed to a recent pediatric study that looked at the link between eosinophilic gastrointestinal disease (EGID) and eating disorders. The results were published in the Pediatrics Journal.

Two hundred children with EGIDs were studied. The objective of the study was to further understand and document food disorders in children with eosinophilic disease.

Not surprisingly, they did find a strong link. More than 16% of the group studied had significant food disorders. In addition, the researchers documented what they called “a variety of learned maladaptive feeding behaviors,” in nearly 94% of the group. These included:
  • Frequent gagging or vomiting – 84%
  • Food sensitivity – 88%
  • Failure to thrive – 21%
These results are consistent with my experience as a mother to a son with eosinophilic esophagitis (EE), one of the most prevalent EGIDs. What the study calls “maladaptive feeding behaviors” I would simply call eating problems. In a prior post on EE, I described some of the symptoms I had seen:
  • Slow eating (last to leave the table and usually left food on the plate)
  • Complaints about the texture of certain foods, and that some foods were too dry
  • Cutting food into small pieces (smaller than typical)
  • Throwing up, spitting up, or regurgitating
When my family first started on this journey there was little information available on EGID, and few doctors were even aware of the disorders. I am thrilled to see that research is being done that will help this information become more mainstream in the medical world.

You can read more on my family's journey with EE here.

You can find out more about Kids with Food Allergies and subscribe to their neswsletter here.

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