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Can OCD have anything to do with my child's eating issues?


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I have returned from a visit with the dr. with him yesterday and I am completely frustrated. My 4yo son has had food allergies since 1 year old and been afraid to try new foods. What I have a hard time making people understand is that it's not just a picky eater thing. And it's not just because I have allowed him to eat what he wants. The kid won't even eat candy if offered to him. He tells me he is afraid of throwing up any time I ask him to eat something not on his "menu". He has cut his diet back to less and less... only eating crunchy textures at this point. Between his obsessive fears with food and (what I feel like is) sensory issues, eating is almost impossible these days. I have watched it get worse over the past few weeks. And yesterday the dr tells me that his allergy testing shows that 3 things he WILL eat, he is allergic to! I cannot take this child off of milk, wheat and orange juice as these are the 3 things keeping this kid alive right now! I feel like the dr. has made a judgement on me that I am just allowing him to eat like this and will not give me the referral I need for my insurance to pay for therapy for him!

 

So a couple of questions here.... I deal with TS/OCD with my older so I am a bit familiar with OCD. I feel like OCD could be an issue with my 4YO...and that the eating thing could be part of it (obsessive fear). Do any of you think that is possible? And if so, what kind of dr./therapist would be best to help him? I have read about OT and Speech Therapy dealing with such issues. I do think there are sensory issues as well. And I have done just a little reading on Cognitive Behavior Therapy,but I don't really understand it. Any help would be appreciated!

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Of course it's hard to get to the bottom of why a 4 year old does something, but if it's literally true that he's avoiding foods because he's afraid of throwing up, that sounds very much like OCD. I've actually met a few people on OCD forums who were afraid of that very thing, and did various things to avoid it, including restricting what they ate. It's quite likely that he has some sensory issues as well, they're often found together with OCD. I have both myself.

 

I'm not really sure about what professional you should try. I live in England, and I think some areas come under different job titles in the USA. Over here, I think the usual route would be to visit your GP (ordinary MD) and get them to refer you to a child psychologist. If the psychologist wasn't trained in CBT themselves, they could then refer you on to someone who was (while staying in touch themselves).

 

As for CBT, the best brief description I know of is available here. The same site has a list of books about OCD and CBT. I can recommend "Touch and Go Joe", written by a boy who had severe OCD. Very informative, and very funny in places. I'd recommend getting professional CBT treatment for your son, though, especially as he's so young and the situation is complicated by the sensory stuff. If possible, find or ask for a CBT therapist who has some specific knowledge both of OCD and of treating young children - they don't all.

 

Finally, do persevere. CBT often has impressive results, and there are other "alternative" treatments to try as well. There is hope, lots of it.

All the best,

Wombat140

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Hi laster

 

yes, eating issues can be associated with OCD as well as with sensory disorders etc

 

if it is OCD related then yes, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy can greatly help, tho with a very young child it is a bit harder

 

if sensory (eg sensory integrative disorder) then an occupational therapist may be helpful

 

sounds like your current doctor is not very clued up on eating issues in neuropsychiatric disorders

 

can you go to another doctor for the referral?

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Thanks for the reply, Cheri.

I am just considering the possibility of the OCD with him because I have seen some

obsessive tendencies. He went through a short phase where handwashing/cleaning

was a problem. Then he seems to get stuck on certain thoughts. I don't know a

lot about it, but with my oldest having the TS/OCD combo, I know HE has had a lot

of "fears". My youngest deals with fears too.. and the day I realized his food thing

was more like a fear than anything, a lightbulb went on. It's interesting to know

that sensory issues go along with it too.

 

I was trying to get a referral from her to an OT or Speech Therapist as I learned

that was a route to take. She supposedly is specialized (in that office) on the neuro

side, but who knows? She may have been irritated at me that I opted out of the

neurofeedback for my oldest with TS. And she may have wanted to go that route with

DS4, but I was asking for help and she literally ran out of the room telling me she'd

schedule a Nutritionist and didn't come back. Not sure how a nutritionist could help....

they can plan a menu for him all they want, but he won't eat it. I think somehow she

missed (or didn't want to accept) the real problem! So strange. I am definitely going

to try and find SOMEONE who can give me a referral.

 

 

-Melissa

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I have returned from a visit with the dr. with him yesterday and I am completely frustrated. My 4yo son has had food allergies since 1 year old and been afraid to try new foods. What I have a hard time making people understand is that it's not just a picky eater thing. And it's not just because I have allowed him to eat what he wants. The kid won't even eat candy if offered to him. He tells me he is afraid of throwing up any time I ask him to eat something not on his "menu". He has cut his diet back to less and less... only eating crunchy textures at this point. Between his obsessive fears with food and (what I feel like is) sensory issues, eating is almost impossible these days. I have watched it get worse over the past few weeks. And yesterday the dr tells me that his allergy testing shows that 3 things he WILL eat, he is allergic to! I cannot take this child off of milk, wheat and orange juice as these are the 3 things keeping this kid alive right now! I feel like the dr. has made a judgement on me that I am just allowing him to eat like this and will not give me the referral I need for my insurance to pay for therapy for him!

 

So a couple of questions here.... I deal with TS/OCD with my older so I am a bit familiar with OCD. I feel like OCD could be an issue with my 4YO...and that the eating thing could be part of it (obsessive fear). Do any of you think that is possible? And if so, what kind of dr./therapist would be best to help him? I have read about OT and Speech Therapy dealing with such issues. I do think there are sensory issues as well. And I have done just a little reading on Cognitive Behavior Therapy,but I don't really understand it. Any help would be appreciated!

Eating disorders in such a young child can be caused by strep infection or post infectious autoimmunity. You might want to have your son checked for strep.

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Eating disorders in such a young child can be caused by strep infection or post infectious autoimmunity. You might want to have your son checked for strep.

 

 

 

It can also be caused by other infections, and certainly sounds like it might be PANDAS/PITANDS/Lyme. I would suggest that you check out the PANDAS/PITANDS forum as well as the Lyme forum. On the PANDAS/PITANDs forum, there is a list of doctors and suggested blood work (I don't know if Lyme testing is on that list, but I would do it anyway.)

 

Good luck.

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