Eating disorders Flashcards Preview

Pediatrics > Eating disorders > Flashcards

Flashcards in Eating disorders Deck (26):


Clinical observation
1. A susceptible person (biology, societal patterns, or behavioural makeup), begins dieting; 35% of those dieting progress to pathological eating habits, and 20% to 25% go on to partial or full-blown eating disorders.
2. Weight loss gives positive reinforcement to continue avoidance of food, intense exercise, or bingeing and/or purging behaviours.
3. The effect of low weight and starvation leads to nutritional imbalances and psychological changes.
4. Obsessive behaviours and rigid thought patterns facilitate maintenance of the anorexic cycle.
5. The act of starvation and weight loss may provide a sense of pride and positive drive for the patient.
6. Any life stresses are avoided with the obsessive focus on food and weight management.
7. The patient gains confidence and resists walking away from the safety of routine. AN relieves generalised anxiety, which takes the form of an easy-to-identify fear of food. The fear of gaining weight leads to avoidance of food, which leads to relief of anxiety through weight loss.
8. Physiological changes propagate the disease and continual relapses. Corticotrophin-releasing hormone, released during starvation, promotes appetite suppression but this also increases cortisol levels, which in turn increases the risk for osteoporosis.
9. Vasopressin is high and oxytocin low in cerebrospinal fluid, which is hypothesised to promote the unhealthy thought patterns


Diagnostic criteria, including changes from DSM 4

The following are the key changes in the DSM-5:
-Removal of the amenorrhoea criteria
-Addition of BMI criteria to determine severity
-Criteria for partial and full remission
-Creation of category for subsyndromal or atypical anorexia nervosa entitled 'other specified feeding or eating disorder'.

A. Restriction of energy intake leading to a significantly low weight in the context of age, sex, developmental trajectory, and physical health
B. Intense fear of gaining weight or persistent behaviour that interferes with weight gain
C. Disturbance in body image.

Specific type:

Restricting type: no episodes of binge eating or purging in the preceding 3 months; weight loss has been achieved by dieting, fasting, and/or excessive exercise

Binge-eating/purging type: recurrent episodes of binge eating or purging in the preceding 3 months.


Levels of severity in adults

Specific level of severity for adults:
Mild: BMI ≥17 kg/m^2
Moderate: BMI 16-16.99 kg/m^2
Severe: BMI 15-15.99 kg/m^2
Extreme: BMI


Clinical history

May present for effects of starvation->fatigue, dizziness
Family members may have identified weight loss
Resistance to weight gain
Distortion of body image
Fixation of "overweight areas"
May/may not recognise overall low weight
Self worth hinges on weight
Type of diet
Use of laxative, enemas, diuretics

Asses comorbidities:
Depression, anxiety
Substance use

ALWAYS include psychiatric assessment->SUICIDE risk


What should be considered in pre-pubertal children with sudden onset AN shortly after apparent streptococcal infection

Paediatric autoimmune neuropsychiatric disorders associated with streptococcal infection (PANDAS) should be considered


Physical assessment

Bradycardia ( 20 mmHg), systolic murmur
Hypothermia (temp. 30% of pre-morbid weight), BMI low
Lanugo hair
Lack signs indicating alternate diagnosis
Enamel loss, salivary gland hypertrophy



Urea and electrolytes, creatinine, calcium, magnesium, phosphate
Urinalysis - including pH (possibility of diuretic use )
ECG (if K+ abnormal) A medical admission for resuscitation would usually result in a 4 week period of inpatient treatment.

Nutrition assessment
1. 24 hour recall
2. %IBW-> 50th% BMI for age
3. Recent losses or gains


Findings on chemistry panel

hypokalaemia, hypochloraemia, elevated serum bicarbonate levels, or elevated urea levels, especially in those patients consistently purging and abusing over-the-counter (OTC) medications. Elevated urea levels may indicate dehydration or can be an indication of kidney abnormalities. Kidney failure is a common physiological cause of death in AN patients. A urinalysis may reveal ketonuria indicative of semi-starvation.


Investigations if amenorrheic

Pregnancy test
Bone mineral density if amenorrhea for >6-12 months



Structured eating plan
+/- Potassium repletion

If unstable, need IP
Oral, enteral, parenteral nutrition
Fluid intake correction
Potassium, sodium, calcium, magnesium repletion

With depression:

With OCD:
Behavioural therapies
SSRI or clomipramine or olanzapine



1. Predisposing
Female sex
Family history
Diffiuclty displaying negative
Difficulty resolving conflict
Negative self esteem
Enmeshment in family
2. Biochemical
+co-existence of depression, anxiety, OCD-->dopamine and
Starvation->further decline in neuro function->developmental disorder
3. Precipitating
during phase where intrapsychic challenges are not overcome and manifest as psychological illness
In adolescence->weight gain
Peer pressure
Struggles with autonomy, independence and transitioning to adulthood



Age of onset, worse in adulthood and


Endocrine complications

Diabetes insipidus
Euthyroid sick sydnrome



Medical, nutritional, mental health, school
1. Refeeding
2. Normalising eating patterns
3. Achieve normal perception of hunger and satiety
4. Psychological-> Maudsley method of family therapy
Cognitive behav. therapy++
Motivational enhancement
+Self esteem, assertion, anxiety management techniques, treat comorbidities
5. Pharmacotherapy: unless concomitant depression/OCD, not helpful. Need to differentiate
depression primary vs
due to starvation. Start lower initial dose with anti-D if required due to possible cardiac complications
6. Inpatient
Wt gain expectations
Supervised eating
Activity restriction
Limitation on family/peer interactions
Psychiatric consultation
Parent education


Method of family therapy

Teach families how to ventilate emotion, set limits, resolve arguments and
solve problems more effectively; increase parents’ understanding of the
difficulties of the affected child; avoid a view of the world where success or
failure is measured in terms of weight, food and self-control



For anorexia nervosa:
• around 40% of patients will make a 5-year recovery
• 40% will remain symptomatic but function reasonably
• 20% of patients remain severely symptomatic and are
chronically disabled

Poorer outcomes:
Later age of diagnosis, longer duration, lower minimal weight, low self esteem.


Epidemiology of eating disorders

1. Bimodal age of onset 14 and 18
2. 10 times more common in women than in men
3. 0.9% anorexia in women, 1-3% bulimia, EDNOS 3-5%
4. Has familial component
5. Mortality 5-15%


Vulnerabilities in three spheres

1. Individual
2. Family
3. Socio-environmental


When should you suspect an eating disorder

1. Unexplained weight loss
2. Change in eating patterns
3. Change in activity patterns
4. Lack of concern by child/teen about emaciation


What is atypical presentation of eating disorder

1. More in males
2. Context of stressful life event
3. More likely to have comorbid psychiatric diagnoses
4. Less likely to have body image disturbances->agree they are thing
5. Weight loss is unexpected-"eating healthy"
6. Often leads to delay
7. May not have lost ++++weight->any weight loss in child or failure to +as expected weight should be concerning


Cardinal features in anorexia

1. Self induced weight loss
2. Psychological disturbance
3. Secondary physiological abnormalities


Criteria for bulimia

1. Recurrent binge episodes
More rapidly
Uncomfortably full
When not physically hungry
Alone b//c embarrassed
Feeling disgusted, guilty, depressed
2. Compensatory behaviours
3. At least once a week for three months
4. Self evaluation based on weight/shapes
5. Does not occur in presence of anorexia nervosa


Binge eating disorder

1. Binge eating recurrent
2. Marked distress during
3. Twice a week for 6 months
4. No compensatory measures after binging



1. Cardiac impairment
2. Osteoporosis
3. GIT
4. Endocrine/metabolic
5. Cognition
6. Dental


Indications to admit

1. Hypovolemia, hypotension
2. Severe malnutrition hypokalemia, hypoglycemia
6. Rapid weight loss despite interventions
7. Intractable purge episodes
8. Suicidal thoughts or gestures
9. Highly dysfunctional family/abusive
10. Failure of OP therapy


Advice for families

1. Patience with the process
2. Avoid blaming
3. Avoid power struggles
4. Avoid comments about weight and appearance
5. Avoid unreasonable preparations to purchase or prepare special foods
6. Get support
7. Get rid of the scale
8. Pay attention to siblings

Decks in Pediatrics Class (58):