The term inappetence comes from the French word (inappétence) and designates lack of appetite, found in many diseases like feverish conditions, digestive disorders, chronic conditions, etc. The term inappetence is synonymous with anorexia, but differs from psychogenic/nervous/mental anorexia, referring to the reluctance shown towards foods, accompanied by the total loss of appetite which occurs most commonly in adolescents obsessed with body weight. In the brain, there exists a center of hunger and a satiety center, both together coordinate the eating behavior of the individual. Hunger is triggered when the stomach is empty (due to an increased level of gastric acid), which occurs when there occur low levels of blood glucose and essential fatty acids in the blood. Feeling of satiety occurs when those requirements are met (satisfy hunger).
If there is no disturbance in appetite then there can be seen a correlation between the need of food ingestion and energy requirements of the child and implicitly, the growth of child. Loss of appetite occurs when this balance is disturbed, and weight loss, subsequent stagnation of growth and harmonious development of the child are some of the immediate consequences occur due to this disturbance. In the initial years of child’s life, the child comes in contact with the environment to which he adapts and this adaptation also involves nutrition. For a mother, the gesture of feeding the child manifests soon after birth. Therefore a refusal of food by the child is quite hard to accept for a mother who wants to offer him food. During pregnancy, she did not have need to feed the child voluntarily, intentionally, because the child fed himself from whatever produced by body and psyche of the mother. But after giving birth, she feels this demand stronger, sometimes so strong that it may manifest fear, anxiety, suspicion and the need of control.
Inappetence in children may also be apparent, as parents feel that their child should eat more than he needs and more than his capacity. In this situation, inappetence occurs as a reaction to anxiety of parents regarding the lack of appetite of their child and then, the child is forced to eat, and in response he refuses food. If children show lack of appetite, then as a first step, parents can try serving them meals at scheduled times. The child should not be forced to eat because his loathing of food will manifest more strongly. During eating, the environment should be pleasant and calm. The child should not scolded again and again during the meal even if he drops the egg or food on white dress or if does not touch it either. If the health of the child is good, parents should not panic!
Apparently, for no reason, after the first year of life children totally or partially refuse to eat foods to which, they used to consume before with pleasure, and this usually a cause concern for parents. However, health experts say that the lack of appetite is a normal phenomenon as the child grows. Compared to its first year of life, when the baby can take up to 7.5 kg weight, the growth rate is much lower between 1 and 5 years and the average weight gain may decrease up to 2.5 kg per year.
Lack of appetite can be due to various reasons, from simply a temporary indisposition till the time when the child does not like the type of food served or between eating hours, child consumes various types of snacks or sweets that affect appetite. However, there are some situations when a loss of appetite in child and total or partial refusal to eat make parents to think seriously. Among the obvious signs include weight loss, stagnation of growth and development of child, repeated refusal to eat or vomiting immediately after meals, conditions of fever, diarrhea, etc.
Inappetence or lack of appetite should be taken into consideration if the child has acute infectious diseases (pharyngitis, acute diarrheal diseases, etc), eruptive infectious and contagious illness (scarlet fever, chicken pox, rubella, etc), severe chronic diseases (asthma, iron deficiency anemia, etc). Also, lack of appetite may constitute a problem when the baby has the manifestation of tooth emergence, when the child wants to be the center of attention or “protests” against a stressful situation, in case of conflicting family relationships, poor or inappropriate atmosphere, etc. Every body system is unique and it needs vary from individual to individual. There are children who physiologically eat more (calm kids who do not perform intense physical and/or mental activities) and children who eat less (active, lively children, who do intense physical and/or mental activity, due to increased metabolism, which leads to increased blood sugar levels).
Appetite undergoes daily as well as seasonal modifications. The frequency of inappetence increases, usually in winter, due to higher frequencies of acute respiratory and many other problems. In spring time, there is an increase in the number of people affected by anemia, which includes among clinical manifestations and lack of appetite. In the summer season, a decrease in appetite may also occur, but most of the times, it is associated with increased fluid intake, due to the significant loss of water in the body.
Herbs and natural remedies come in support of parents to get rid of above mentioned problem in children. Ayurmed brand natural remedy HAPPY KID Syrup is an excellent ayurvedic dietary supplement ensuring an optimum health of children. The active principles of medicinal herbs in the composition of HAPPY KID Syrup act gently but effectively in the whole body of the child. HAPPY KID Syrup helps improve appetite and determines an efficient assimilation of nutrients from food in the body. Combats colic and constipation, has preventive and curative effect against viral and bacterial infections, has strong anti-inflammatory and antipyretic, expectorant and antitussive benefits and also, is an effective immunostimulant. HAPPY KID syrup also combines herbs in its composition which provide regenerative and tonic properties, ensuring a harmonious physical and mental development of the child and combination of delicate honey in syrup makes it palatable and easily tolerated.
In cases of anemia, Ayurmed brand natural remedy GLOBY FORTE can be successfully administered which contains herbs rich in minerals and vitamins with antioxidant and detoxifying benefits, thereby maintaining optimal quality of blood and contributing in correcting anemia.