What Happens to a Child That Stops Eating? Revolutionary Treatment Options for Anorexia Nervosa

"Give food a chance" - a new book by a pediatrician and founder of a treatment center for eating disorders - reveals the true impact of anorexia, and the elements of effective treatment.

Online PR News – 25-October-2010 – – Portland, OR - October 23, 2010 -- Dr. Julie O'Toole, in her new book Give food a chance, shares an alert for parents about the physical and emotional toll eating disorders have on their children. Clinical names for these disorders include anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa. More commonly, people may use labels such as food phobia and selective eating. While the names may differ, the health risks they create are very real, and often life-threatening.

Give food a chance reveals that children don't choose to have anorexia nervosa. Dr. O'Toole teaches parents where blame has been misguidedly placed, and the distractions this creates. She shares ways to build and enforce open communication, and create a united team effort with physicians. Give food a chance also offers an inside look at the paths to effective treatment which bring about positive change for the patient. By providing this information to parents, the book helps them to become more knowledgeable consumers of medical services.

Among the most disturbing chapters presented in Give food a chance ( http://PerfSciPress.com/give-food-a-chance/ ) is the detailed description of what happens to the human body when someone stops eating or makes drastically negative changes to their eating habits.

Dr. O'Toole uses a University Of Minnesota study from the World War II era as her starting point. This study set out to determine the effects of wartime famine and what would be needed to treat its victims. Test subjects were fed normal diets, and then reduced diets over specific time periods, followed by rehabilitation and re-feeding.

The study resulted in people losing twenty five percent of their body weight, with major physical and emotional consequences. Dr. O'Toole writes in Give food a chance that she often sees children with that degree of weight loss (and more), yet parents act surprised when she tells them their children are starved.

While not one doctor she's come in contact with has ever made mention of this study, one of the reasons Dr. O'Toole refers to it is because it involves weight loss while still eating, or semi-starvation. She has found that this is one way that those with eating disorders get parents to look the other way. Parents will assume that since their child is eating, the loss of "just a little weight" isn't a cause for concern.

Give food a chance ( http://PerfSciPress.com/give-food-a-chance/ ) explains how selective eating negatively impacts the heart, bones and skeletal muscle mass. Youths with eating disorders will toy with their food, their sense of humor disappears, and they become easily depressed. Reductions in food intake are often compensated with increased liquid intake, especially caffeine-based drinks such as coffee and colas.

"A youth's body and mind can withstand a five to ten percent weight loss," says Dr. O'Toole. "Many of the children I see have weight loss of twenty-five percent and even more. One of the things I wanted to teach parents, as well as physicians, with Give food a chance is that even though a child will eat, the significant loss of weight cannot be ignored. Eating disorders have a ten percent mortality rate. One reason so many doctors dismiss weight loss as a major warning sign, is because of the medical fact that survival of a thirty-five percent weight loss or more is nearly impossible. Yet we all see patients that have lost half of their body weight through self-starvation. If a doctor isn't able to determine and understand the actions this youth is taking, their parents will allow the danger to grow into a very unhappy conclusion."

Dr. O'Toole encourages this element of discovery in Give food a chance. It's a perfect example of an important philosophy she relies on, in her work with youths with eating disorders.

Our patients are our teachers.

Give food a chance is available from PSIpress ( http://PerfSciPress.com/give-food-a-chance/ ) as a paperback or downloadable e-book. The book can also be purchased at Amazon.com as an e-book for the Kindle, and for the iPad at the iBookstore.

About Dr. Julie O'Toole:
Dr. O'Toole is a graduate of Reed College in Portland, OR. She also attended the University of Washington and The Technical University in Aachen, Germany where she received her M.D. in public health. Dr. O'Toole's work involves the study of child behavior, especially in those children whose brains do not work properly regarding food and survival. Her main emphasis is on anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and food phobia, as well as eating disorders which lead to obesity or wasting conditions.

She founded the Kartini Clinic after providing care for children with eating disorders and discovering how challenging and confusing the medical communities were making matters for patients and their families. Learn more about the Kartini Clinic at http://www.kartiniclinic.com

About PSIpress:
PSIpress (Perfectly Scientific Press) is a new, wholly independent publisher. Our goal is to publish a wide range of science- and technology-oriented topics, including scientific papers, textbooks, medical and social research, and speculative fiction. Born out of an interest in providing an alternative to the usual publishing paradigm, PSIpress strives to help members of the science-minded community realize their full potential as published authors, and to help them enjoy the process. Contact PSIpress at 503-774-4738 or visit their web site at http://www.PerfSciPress.com/

Portland, OR