Home care

An anorexic child should be under a doctor’s care. The doctor will tell you how to take care of the child at home.


If the condition is not controlled, the anorexic may starve herself to death.

Medical treatment

The doctor will first attempt to rule out any physical cause of the child’s extreme weight loss, such as cancer, infectious disease, disorders in the digestive organs, or problems in absorbing the nutrients from food. If the patient has lost more than 25 percent of her original body weight, if she displays the classic behavior, and if the onset of symptoms occurs before the age of 25, a diagnosis of anorexia is usually warranted.

An anorexic may require hospitalization and forced feeding if her disease has led to severe malnutrition. However, most anorexics can be treated on an outpatient basis by a family physician, a psychiatrist, or a specialist in eating disorders.

The psychological problems that underlie the anorexic behavior should be exposed and resolved. In the meantime, however, the youngster must be convinced that she must gain weight and reassured that her doctor and parents will not allow her to become overweight. Healthy attitudes toward body weight and normal eating patterns must be restored.


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