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Viewing blog posts categorized under "Diagnosis"

Five Things Every Parent Should Know About Childhood Eating Disorders

posted by Julie O'Toole on February 28, 2017 at 3:00pm

1) Weight loss in children isn’t normal

Imagine you’re a parent of a bright, active 12 year old boy. He gets good grades and has lots of friends. He excels at sports. Then something changes; he begins to lose weight. At his last checkup his pediatrician registers a heart rate in the low 50s. He starts to withdraw, not doing many things he used to enjoy, with the exception of exercise. He now exercises with a new intensity.

His doctor tells you not to worry. “It’s just a stage”, she…

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Can I Tell You About Eating Disorders?

posted by Julie O'Toole on July 25, 2014 at 1:27am

Have you ever wondered what to tell your other children and family members about your child’s eating disorder?  Have you ever wished you had a child friendly, succinct and upbeat resource to share?

Along comes a small book to be published shortly from from Jessica Kingsley Publishers, written by Bryan Lask and Lucy Watson called Can I tell You About Eating Disorders?   This little book is apparently one of a series of books written about what the authors refer to as “limiting…

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How to diagnose the child who “won’t eat”

posted by Julie O'Toole on January 29, 2014 at 10:57pm

This blog will be short as I am preparing to attend and speak at the F.E.A.S.T. conference in Texas this week.  Very exciting!

Recently I was asked to consult on a child who “won’t eat” and who hasn’t eaten for several weeks. Her situation is complicated by English not being the family’s first language and by her entrance into the medical “system” being through the emergency room, but it did remind me how complicated making the correct diagnosis can be in a child who won’t eat. This…

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Vegetables and Kartini’s Meal Plan

posted by Julie O'Toole on January 22, 2014 at 11:33pm

Despite the fact that we occasionally receive criticism of our Meal Plan for its supposed “rigidity”, what has struck me after years of reading people’s food journals is the degree to which people self-limit their food choices.  This is especially true of vegetables.  I have also noticed that our families’ food journals fall roughly into two categories: those who seem to relish a more Mediterranean style of eating (the original intent of the Meal Plan, by the way) and those who eat a…

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Thank you for this patient

posted by Julie O'Toole on January 1, 2014 at 3:23am

In my life as a pediatrician I have twice now had the astonishing, humbling and even joyous experience I am about to relate.  Only twice.

The first time was many years ago when I was a younger doctor.  I had recently moved to Portland and joined a busy general pediatrics office as the first (and only) female.  It was a busy practice, with each of us seeing about 30 patients a day.  One Friday, after an exhausting week, the nurse handed me the afternoon’s schedule and said “the last…

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Selective Eating revisited

posted by Julie O'Toole on November 7, 2013 at 1:30am

I recently blogged on one of the childhood eating disorders (incidentally not yet recognized as such in the DSM system) called selective eating.  I got a deluge of parental comment and interest, which I would like to try and address here.

What exactly is selective eating?

Selective eating (SE) is a condition present since earliest childhood where a child eats only a very narrow range of foods and refuses all others and yet where his or her linear growth is normal. Such children are…

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Selective Eating in Children

posted by Julie O'Toole on March 15, 2013 at 2:48am

[Ed. Note: a more recent blog on this subject can be found here).

There is a little talked-about pediatric eating disorder that I have not covered extensively in my blogs, nor is it covered well in most discussions elsewhere, including the various iterations of the DSM.  As a general pediatrician, like all other pediatricians, I ran into it, but it wasn’t until I read Dr. Rachel Bryant-Waugh and Dr. Bryan Lask’s  Eating Disorders: A Parents' Guide  years ago, that I was introduced…

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