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Loss of appetite,stomach virus,weight loss

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My son is 12 years old. He is about 5ft tall and weighs 97lbs. He is very active in football. The problem is he hardly ever has an appetite to eat. When we question him he gets very upset and cries that his body is telling him not to eat. He denies feeling like he needs to lose weight or being pressured to lose weight by others. Last year at this time he weighed about 115lbs. In January he had a stomach virus but otherwise is a healthy boy.
Posted Thu, 19 Apr 2012 in Child Health
Answered by Dr. Rakhi Tayal 29 minutes later

Thanks for writing to us.

Loss of appetite at such a young age with active lifestyle is definitely distressing.

In children the causes are -
1. Depression- does he feel like remaining alone? Commonly seen during adolescence.
2. Addison's disease- A hormonal problem- Some simple blood tests will rule this out.
3. Chronic illness- A long standing viral illness also causes loss of interest in eating.
4. GERD- I hope he does not complain of pain abdomen, loose stools, burning sensation in upper abdomen, etc.
5. Viral gastroenteritis.
6. Stress and anxiety.

All these causes need to be ruled out with the help of your physician after a thorough examination and some blood tests.

Till then try to feed him the things he likes, be gentle with him, stay close to him, try to provide a good emotional support and explore about changes in his behavior from his friends.

I hope my answer and recommendations are adequate and helpful. Waiting for your further follow up queries if any.

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