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Tags blindness , diet , diet issues , health care issues

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Old 18th September 2019, 09:59 PM   #1
Ranb
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Eat Junk Food, Go Blind, Blame Someone Else

Mom blames healthcare system after her son went blind from diet comprised of french fries and Pringles

https://www.yahoo.com/lifestyle/mom-...204000918.html
Quote:
The mother of a British teen who went legally blind after eating a diet of potato chips and french fries says she blames the U.K.'s health care system for her son's illness.

Kerry James, whose son, Harvey Dyer, developed a rare form of malnutrition-based blindness in his early teens, made the comments on the U.K.'s ITV channel Tuesday morning.
Surprising to see this in a developed country.

Quote:
The 18-year-old also suffers from a rare eating disorder called avoidant-restrictive food intake disorder, which likely contributed to his pickiness early in life. The disease makes it difficult for people to stomach certain foods based on sensory traits, such as smell, texture or flavor.

"If they'd done the blood test then and realized [his] vitamin A was so low, they could have given him the vitamin A injections then," James said.

James added that doctors gave Dyer nutrition shakes and other health products to try, but he refused to stick with them.
If the doctor knew the kid was not eating right, then perhaps a test to determine if he had deficiencies was in order. But why would anyone allow their child to eat crap for so long?

How are they getting their son to eat properly now? Or did they decide he can't get much worse?

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Old 18th September 2019, 10:10 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Ranb View Post
If the doctor knew the kid was not eating right, then perhaps a test to determine if he had deficiencies was in order. But why would anyone allow their child to eat crap for so long?
Is it possible that she tried to impose a healthy diet but wasn't successful? It's not very easy to force someone to eat something if they refuse, which is why hunger strikes can be successful.
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Old 18th September 2019, 10:25 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Roboramma View Post
Is it possible that she tried to impose a healthy diet but wasn't successful? It's not very easy to force someone to eat something if they refuse, which is why hunger strikes can be successful.

Ya his fat Mom tried to impose a healthy diet while her chips, soda and cookies or whatever it was that made her fat were in the kitchen cabinets. Fat kid, fat parents. Fat parents, fat kids.

So they have a "condition" for kids that won't eat their veggies but will eat anything full of fat and salt? How do you spell that again - Bad Parenting?

Oh sorry am I fat shaming? Well then let's blame the doctors - oh wait, even they have to be careful how they say it. "Hey lady, you and your kid are f'n fat."
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Old 18th September 2019, 10:43 PM   #4
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My doctor was like "You're fat, lose weight or you're gonna die". So I lost some weight, gained it back, lost it, gained it and losing it again. He's not telling me I'm going to die anymore though.
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Old 18th September 2019, 10:51 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by mgidm86 View Post
Ya his fat Mom tried to impose a healthy diet while her chips, soda and cookies or whatever it was that made her fat were in the kitchen cabinets. Fat kid, fat parents. Fat parents, fat kids.

So they have a "condition" for kids that won't eat their veggies but will eat anything full of fat and salt? How do you spell that again - Bad Parenting?

Oh sorry am I fat shaming? Well then let's blame the doctors - oh wait, even they have to be careful how they say it. "Hey lady, you and your kid are f'n fat."
I don't know about the "health care system", but to attribute everything to bad parenting is just gratuitous these days imo. If we're going to blame the parents we should look at the possibly inherited personality traits, even things like how receptive the kids are to discipline and advice.

Some children just will flat out not eat certain things and poor, weak, or underprivileged parents might just feed them anything to keep 'em full.
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Old 18th September 2019, 11:00 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Ranb View Post
My doctor was like "You're fat, lose weight or you're gonna die". So I lost some weight, gained it back, lost it, gained it and losing it again. He's not telling me I'm going to die anymore though.
Unfortunately, you still will. When that happens is another issue of course.
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Old 18th September 2019, 11:33 PM   #7
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The child had been diagnosed with avoidant/restrictive food intake disorder which is an extremely serious eating disorder which needs to be managed very carefully. It sounds like it wasn't. That said, I would be hesitant to assign blame to just one party for this. The parents should have been working very closely with mental health experts, who should have assisted the parents to manage the disorder so that tragedy might have been avoided.
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Old 19th September 2019, 12:26 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
The child had been diagnosed with avoidant/restrictive food intake disorder which is an extremely serious eating disorder which needs to be managed very carefully. It sounds like it wasn't. That said, I would be hesitant to assign blame to just one party for this. The parents should have been working very closely with mental health experts, who should have assisted the parents to manage the disorder so that tragedy might have been avoided.
Like everyone else, my first instinct was to blame the mother, because that's how the "outrage bait" headline writers set it up. I mean, who could read a headline like that and not immediately jump to the conclusion that it's all the mother's fault. It's not until the 11th paragraph that readers are informed that the boy had an eating disorder (past where most casual readers will read).

To be sure, she probably shares some blame, but the circumstances were more complicated than the headlines and opening paragraphs would lead you to believe.



Now, some might question this "eating disorder". Is it just a fancy way of saying that the child was a picky eater? Can't kids be trained to be less picky? Perhaps the mother needed to be stricter, and not give in to the child's preferences. Hell, if I was allowed to only eat what I preferred when I was a young child, I would have chosen cake and candy and ice cream, not vegetables and other proper food. Parents are supposed to make their kids eat a healthy diet, and that may require putting your foot down and not allowing the child to rule you.
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Old 19th September 2019, 12:37 AM   #9
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To put it another way, could this eating disorder have been "nipped in the bud" at a young age before it developed into a serious problem?
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Old 19th September 2019, 12:48 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
The child had been diagnosed with avoidant/restrictive food intake disorder which is an extremely serious eating disorder which needs to be managed very carefully. It sounds like it wasn't. That said, I would be hesitant to assign blame to just one party for this. The parents should have been working very closely with mental health experts, who should have assisted the parents to manage the disorder so that tragedy might have been avoided.
Good luck with that.
It's really a postcode lottery.
We spent years pushing and pushing for sod all to happen about it, simply because there were no resources in the area.

Originally Posted by Puppycow View Post
To put it another way, could this eating disorder have been "nipped in the bud" at a young age before it developed into a serious problem?
It's what one of our kids has and no, it isn't something you can nip in the bud.
Something happens that buggers up their ability to eat outside of a narrow band, and they will (even at a very young age) starve themselves rather than eat something else.

Our doctor at the time told us that was the answer (just force him by not giving in)...
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Old 19th September 2019, 01:06 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Tolls View Post
Good luck with that.
It's really a postcode lottery.
We spent years pushing and pushing for sod all to happen about it, simply because there were no resources in the area.



It's what one of our kids has and no, it isn't something you can nip in the bud.
Something happens that buggers up their ability to eat outside of a narrow band, and they will (even at a very young age) starve themselves rather than eat something else.

Our doctor at the time told us that was the answer (just force him by not giving in)...
Just out of curiosity, how do you deal with it? Try to make nutritious foods more palatable? Try to find nutritious foods that he/she isn't averse to? Supplement with vitamins? All of the above or something else?

Seems like a pretty difficult problem to me. Maybe as the child ages making him/her aware of the importance of a healthy diet can help, but it's pretty hard to rely on that in a child.
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Old 19th September 2019, 01:10 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Puppycow View Post
Now, some might question this "eating disorder". Is it just a fancy way of saying that the child was a picky eater?
No. It is a diagnosable mental disorder in the DSM-5. It goes way beyond being merely picky. See the Wikipedia page I linked to for more information, including diagnostic criteria.

Originally Posted by Puppycow View Post
Can't kids be trained to be less picky? Perhaps the mother needed to be stricter, and not give in to the child's preferences. Hell, if I was allowed to only eat what I preferred when I was a young child, I would have chosen cake and candy and ice cream, not vegetables and other proper food. Parents are supposed to make their kids eat a healthy diet, and that may require putting your foot down and not allowing the child to rule you.
As a mental disorder, an approach other than mere discipline is required. ARFID in children is treatable by a carefully managed treatment program based on systemic desensitisation, or in adults by cognitive behavioural therapy. In either case the support of a mental health professional is essential to avoid further complicating the problem. Again, the Wikipedia page provides more information. I recommend reading it - that's why I posted the link.
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Old 19th September 2019, 01:14 AM   #13
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Thanks, arthwollipot, I missed that link originally, but it is interesting.
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Old 19th September 2019, 01:18 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Roboramma View Post
Thanks, arthwollipot, I missed that link originally, but it is interesting.
No worries. If even one person has learned a little bit more about mental illness, then I'm happy.
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Old 19th September 2019, 01:18 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by Tolls View Post
It's what one of our kids has and no, it isn't something you can nip in the bud.
Something happens that buggers up their ability to eat outside of a narrow band, and they will (even at a very young age) starve themselves rather than eat something else.
Yep. I worked for a few years with Aspergers teenagers and a few were just like this. But the vitamin issue has been anticipated well before their teens and they were given sweet and/or liquid supplements. The lack of supplements is what amazes me here. If the shake supplements were being refused why didn't they try something else? Just sprinkle a little vitamin powder on the crisps or fries?
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Old 19th September 2019, 01:20 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by Tolls View Post
Good luck with that.
It's really a postcode lottery.
We spent years pushing and pushing for sod all to happen about it, simply because there were no resources in the area.
Yes. If we had a perfect world then everybody would have the resources they need for the mental health care they require. Unfortunately, the world is not perfect and these resources are insufficient and unevenly distributed. And the results can be tragic.
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Old 19th September 2019, 01:38 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by GlennB View Post
Yep. I worked for a few years with Aspergers teenagers and a few were just like this. But the vitamin issue has been anticipated well before their teens and they were given sweet and/or liquid supplements. The lack of supplements is what amazes me here. If the shake supplements were being refused why didn't they try something else? Just sprinkle a little vitamin powder on the crisps or fries?
It's possible the actual doctors weren't aware that the shake supplements were being refused. If they prescribed/suggested the supplements, and he and his mother agreed to take them, and they didn't come back until three years later when he was going blind after they had privately decided not to keep up with the supplements and went back to business as usual all that time, how would the health provider know they needed to try giving him something else?
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Old 19th September 2019, 01:45 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by GlennB View Post
Yep. I worked for a few years with Aspergers teenagers and a few were just like this. But the vitamin issue has been anticipated well before their teens and they were given sweet and/or liquid supplements. The lack of supplements is what amazes me here. If the shake supplements were being refused why didn't they try something else? Just sprinkle a little vitamin powder on the crisps or fries?
ARFID is frequently associated with kids on the autism spectrum. The linked article does not say whether Harvey was on the spectrum or not.
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Old 19th September 2019, 02:37 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by Roboramma View Post
Just out of curiosity, how do you deal with it? Try to make nutritious foods more palatable? Try to find nutritious foods that he/she isn't averse to? Supplement with vitamins? All of the above or something else?

Seems like a pretty difficult problem to me. Maybe as the child ages making him/her aware of the importance of a healthy diet can help, but it's pretty hard to rely on that in a child.
Supplements as best you can.

We were lucky to some extent, as he would eat yoghurts (not bits, though) and drink smoothies, so that covered a lot of bases. He was never under threat of being undernourished. He's a skinny sod, though, but weighs almost as much as me at 16. I assume dense bones.
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Old 19th September 2019, 03:17 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by Tolls View Post
Supplements as best you can.

We were lucky to some extent, as he would eat yoghurts (not bits, though) and drink smoothies, so that covered a lot of bases. He was never under threat of being undernourished. He's a skinny sod, though, but weighs almost as much as me at 16. I assume dense bones.
Thanks And glad to hear things are going well.
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Old 19th September 2019, 03:21 AM   #21
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I guess we need a merge on this..

Mom Blames Healthcare System For Son's Poor Diet

Casebro says there is also another thread.
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Old 19th September 2019, 03:43 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by Checkmite View Post
It's possible the actual doctors weren't aware that the shake supplements were being refused. If they prescribed/suggested the supplements, and he and his mother agreed to take them, and they didn't come back until three years later when he was going blind after they had privately decided not to keep up with the supplements and went back to business as usual all that time, how would the health provider know they needed to try giving him something else?
Fair point, but it means the parents are utter morons. Somebody here is at serious fault.
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Old 19th September 2019, 04:00 AM   #23
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"Stop being anorexic!"
"Gosh, Mom, I never thought of it that way. Thanks!"
*heartwarming music*
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Old 19th September 2019, 04:05 AM   #24
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My goddaughter had something vaguely similar as a yoúng child. With her it wasn't avoiding specific foods but simply eating very little of anything. Her mother was referred with her to a paediatric eatíng disorders clinic where she was given advice and strategies to manage it and assured that it wóúld probably resolve (whích it did). But I remember her mother saying tó me that there were some far worse cases than Fióna in there, like one boy who had never allowed anything but Ready-Brek to pass his lips in his life.

It is a serious condition but one has to ask whether the parents made sufficient fuss in the earlier stages. It takes two to tango.

ETA: Having read the article I think there is truth in what the mother says about the blindness having been preventable with better preventative care. If someone's eating is that bad because of a mental health condition - which this is - then the NHS should have been more pro-active to avoid deficiency conditions.
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Old 19th September 2019, 05:34 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by Tolls View Post
It's what one of our kids has and no, it isn't something you can nip in the bud.
Something happens that buggers up their ability to eat outside of a narrow band, and they will (even at a very young age) starve themselves rather than eat something else.

This topic came up on another forum a few years ago, and several posters described how they or their children would uncontrollably vomit if they tried to eat something with particular textures.
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Old 19th September 2019, 06:04 AM   #26
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
"Stop being anorexic!"
"Gosh, Mom, I never thought of it that way. Thanks!"
*heartwarming music*
^^^This, this, this!

I know several people who are struggling with anorexia and I know that it and related eating disorders are among the most malignant and difficult to treat of all mental disorders. Many people with these disorders will literally kill themselves by enthusiastically persisting in their delusion despite everything their family, friends, doctors, and counsellors do. Many are also very good about hiding their non- compliance, pretending to eat, lying, hiding heavy objects in their clothing when being weighed, etc. Give them a supplement? What makes you think they will take it? Remember, they are avoiding most foods already; they probably will avoid the supplement too. Although they may pretend to take it...

People with these disorders believe they are correct in their views of food and the rest of us are wrong just as strongly as we believe the opposite. It is not just a matter of telling them to eat some yogurt or have a larger lunch or provide an example of healthy eating for them to follow. They view such advice as foolhardy, unhealthy, and stupid.

Doctors and relatives can try their best to help the person but as with many mental illnesses they are dealing with a patient who typically does not buy into, or is actively opposed to, the goals of the treatment. There are some intensive treatment programs that can help some, but these typically require admission to a closed facility for weeks. And even after improvement many can backslide and will require additional intervention.

Blaming relatives or doctors for failures when trying to treat eating disorders is like blaming them for an unsuccessful treatment of an advanced cancer: there is no magic trick that assures success; even the best therapy known may not work.
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Old 19th September 2019, 06:06 AM   #27
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Originally Posted by Puppycow View Post
Like everyone else, my first instinct was to blame the mother, because that's how the "outrage bait" headline writers set it up. I mean, who could read a headline like that and not immediately jump to the conclusion that it's all the mother's fault. It's not until the 11th paragraph that readers are informed that the boy had an eating disorder (past where most casual readers will read).

To be sure, she probably shares some blame, but the circumstances were more complicated than the headlines and opening paragraphs would lead you to believe.



Now, some might question this "eating disorder". Is it just a fancy way of saying that the child was a picky eater? Can't kids be trained to be less picky? Perhaps the mother needed to be stricter, and not give in to the child's preferences. Hell, if I was allowed to only eat what I preferred when I was a young child, I would have chosen cake and candy and ice cream, not vegetables and other proper food. Parents are supposed to make their kids eat a healthy diet, and that may require putting your foot down and not allowing the child to rule you.
And yet people starve themselves to death from eating disorders. This is well into the territory of mental illness and that is something that should be medically managed, if this was the US fine we don't give to craps about mental illness and it would be entirely the parents fault, but after being diagnosed with this he should have been monitored and treated by doctors for exactly these kinds of issues.
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Old 19th September 2019, 06:08 AM   #28
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Originally Posted by Tolls View Post
Our doctor at the time told us that was the answer (just force him by not giving in)...
Just force feed him. Tie him down and ram the tube up his nose and use that to feed him. Simple really.
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Old 19th September 2019, 06:12 AM   #29
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Originally Posted by Checkmite View Post
It's possible the actual doctors weren't aware that the shake supplements were being refused. If they prescribed/suggested the supplements, and he and his mother agreed to take them, and they didn't come back until three years later when he was going blind after they had privately decided not to keep up with the supplements and went back to business as usual all that time, how would the health provider know they needed to try giving him something else?
Which would be medically neglectful, such conditions need to be monitored and have corrections when needed. He should have been seeing doctors on a regular schedule with regular blood-work. You know if they doctors wanted to be responsible.

Yes it is possible the mother was not compliant but this is not a condition that is a see the doctor once and again if it becomes an issue again, it is monitoring and maintenance like many mental disorders. If the doctor said do this and come back if there is a problem instead of do this and I want to see you again in x months they were failing to do what they should be doing.
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Old 19th September 2019, 06:46 AM   #30
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Originally Posted by Armitage72 View Post
This topic came up on another forum a few years ago, and several posters described how they or their children would uncontrollably vomit if they tried to eat something with particular textures.
A lot of innocuous food will still literally make me vomit - peas, boiled potatoes or carrots, cauliflower, liver, kidney, etc.
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Old 19th September 2019, 07:04 AM   #31
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Ah! Thanks for the link, Arth. I get this with a few foods, mostly veggies, and would love to solve it. Like broccoli or string beans, which I remember loving as a kid (I think Mom loaded them up with salt and butter). Nowadays, unless I disguise them with a lot of sauce, I get a very visceral ‘yuck’ response, just shy of actually retching. Which is very annoying because I WANT to eat them! I just cooked them and everything!
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Old 19th September 2019, 12:27 PM   #32
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Originally Posted by ponderingturtle View Post
Which would be medically neglectful, such conditions need to be monitored and have corrections when needed. He should have been seeing doctors on a regular schedule with regular blood-work. You know if they doctors wanted to be responsible.

Yes it is possible the mother was not compliant but this is not a condition that is a see the doctor once and again if it becomes an issue again, it is monitoring and maintenance like many mental disorders. If the doctor said do this and come back if there is a problem instead of do this and I want to see you again in x months they were failing to do what they should be doing.
I don't think you understand the timeline.

In his original visit when he was 14, he had simply reported some fatigue, and doctors found a B12 deficiency but no other problems or symptoms at that time. They suggested the supplements and dietary counseling then; but he and his mother did not tell them about how poor and restricted his diet actually was, or the reasons behind it, until years later when he was already going blind.

During that first visit, he didn't have a serious condition. Maybe doctors would have decided it was one, had they gotten a proper history (in this case, a description of his diet) from the patient.
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Old 19th September 2019, 12:30 PM   #33
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Unless it's not the patient's job to tell the doctor they eat a single meal of french fries every day, and ask if that might be a problem.
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Old 19th September 2019, 12:41 PM   #34
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Originally Posted by Giordano View Post
I know several people who are struggling with anorexia and I know that it and related eating disorders are among the most malignant and difficult to treat of all mental disorders.
I don't personally know anyone with anorexia. It seems so strange and alien to me, I really can't understand it. But my lack of understanding doesn't make it any less real. I can see the effects, and it's just horrific. A friend of a friend's daughter struggled with it. I met her once, briefly, and at the time she looked physically normal. She had been in and out of treatment facilities. About a year after, she threw herself off a cliff. Didn't survive. I don't know if anyone could have done anything for her.
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Old 19th September 2019, 01:22 PM   #35
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Originally Posted by Checkmite View Post
I don't think you understand the timeline.

In his original visit when he was 14, he had simply reported some fatigue, and doctors found a B12 deficiency but no other problems or symptoms at that time. They suggested the supplements and dietary counseling then; but he and his mother did not tell them about how poor and restricted his diet actually was, or the reasons behind it, until years later when he was already going blind.

During that first visit, he didn't have a serious condition. Maybe doctors would have decided it was one, had they gotten a proper history (in this case, a description of his diet) from the patient.
When was he diagnosed with the food avoidant disorder? From then on not keeping up with him is a serious medical error. It is hard to say exactly what was known by who when from such a crappy article, but the disorder certainly looks like is was present and identifiable long before these consequences. So did doctors fail to ask enough questions and schedule proper followups?

That also sounds pretty damn likely as well.
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Old 19th September 2019, 02:17 PM   #36
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Originally Posted by ponderingturtle View Post
When was he diagnosed with the food avoidant disorder?
Yeah, that happened when he was 17. After his mother finally fully explained his diet and all of that to them. My understanding is, doctors have been keeping up with him since that diagnosis; unfortunately by then the permanent damage had already been done to his eyesight.
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Old 19th September 2019, 02:32 PM   #37
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Originally Posted by Checkmite View Post
Yeah, that happened when he was 17. After his mother finally fully explained his diet and all of that to them.

It kind of reminds me of when people have harmful interactions between prescription drugs and herbal supplements.

Doctor: I asked if you were taking any other medications.
Patient: They're not medication. They're just herbs.

Doctors aren't mind readers.
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Old 19th September 2019, 03:29 PM   #38
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Originally Posted by Puppycow View Post
To put it another way, could this eating disorder have been "nipped in the bud" at a young age before it developed into a serious problem?
I ate what was put in front of me or got spanked. None of that "go to bed without your supper". Up until I developed strong cough-it-up muscles at 12, and blew oyster stew all over everybody else's dinners.
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Old 19th September 2019, 06:31 PM   #39
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For those who listen to podcasts, the latest Skeptics With A K (which dropped this morning, my time) includes an extensive discussion about ARFID with a person with a diagnosis and lived experience of the disorder. Apart from the fact that it's a great podcast anyway, this particular discussion is very informative.
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Old 21st September 2019, 03:34 AM   #40
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
"Stop being anorexic!"
"Gosh, Mom, I never thought of it that way. Thanks!"
*heartwarming music*
Stop it!

YouTube Video This video is not hosted by the ISF. The ISF can not be held responsible for the suitability or legality of this material. By clicking the link below you agree to view content from an external website.
I AGREE
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