Eating disorders

Rare diseases that affect the diet of children


Do you know that there are more than 7 thousand rare diseases that affect both adults and children. They are considered rare because they affect fewer than 5 in 10,000 people. Due to their low incidence, there is often no research for them or an effective treatment. Anonymous families and non-profit associations are often the ones who fight, sometimes alone, to make these diseases known.

February 28 is World Rare Disease Day. These diseases, in most cases, have a genetic component and appear in the early stages of a child's life. And also some to the ability and way of feeding in children.

One of the biggest concerns parenting followers of GuiaInfantil it is the feeding of their children. Every day we receive dozens of inquiries and questions from parents regarding infant nutrition. That is why we want to focus on those rare diseases that have to do with children's nutrition.

- Achalasia
It is a disease that affects the gastroesophageal sphincter that prevents the child from relaxing to swallow food. That is, once the food is swallowed, it gets stuck in the child's esophagus. All those affected can do is chew well, drink plenty of water with meals, and avoid eating before bedtime.

Due to its symptoms of food regurgitation, there are cases that can be confused with gastroesophageal reflux. In general, those who suffer from this disease usually have chest pain, heartburn, cough and difficulty swallowing. It must be treated to prevent the child from developing anorexia or malnutrition.

- Phenylketonuria or PKU
It is an extreme food allergy that affects 1 in 10,000 newborn babies. Children who suffer from it cannot eat dairy, eggs, nuts, meat, legumes, fish or cereals. It seems incredible, but their diet is one of the most restrictive known.

  • Some of the symptoms of this disease are:
  • Mild psychomotor retardation of the baby
  • Convulsions
  • Facial eczema
  • Tremors in situations that do not justify them
  • Low interest in interacting

- Disorders in the metabolism of fatty acids
Contrary to the previous one, those affected cannot stay for a long time without eating as they run the risk of suffering hypoglycemic shock. They are not able to use accumulated fat when it comes to burning energy.

- Pica Disorder or craving to eat strange things
It is a rare food disease whose cause can be physical or mental. Those who suffer from it feel the desire to eat objects that are not foods that we all usually eat, such as nails, paper, earth, stones or glass. In some cases, it may be just a stage of experimentation that children have, but when the child is anxious to eat objects, it is better to consult with your doctor.

- Galactosemia or inability to process galactose
Galactosemia is a disease characterized by the inability of children to process the sugar present in milk and its derivatives. It can be confused with an allergy or intolerance to milk, thanks to the symptoms that children present:

  • Yellowing of the skin
  • Denial of dairy consumption.
  • Little weight gain
  • Vomiting, lethargy, and seizures
  • A consumption of galactose by those who suffer from this ailment can cause problems in the kidneys, eyes, brain or liver.

- Trimethylaminuria or fish smell syndrome
The enzyme with this name has a very strong odor and when it is not destroyed in the liver, it passes into sweat, breath or urine, causing an unpleasant odor in those who suffer from it, similar to that of fish.

Self-distillation syndrome, eosinophilic colitis, phenylketonuria ... are other rare diseases related to diet that occur in a few people in the world, including children, and that for them, food represents a real problem more than a pleasure.

You can read more articles similar to Rare diseases that affect the diet of children, in the Eating Disorders category on site.


Video: Saving a Child With a Rare Disease. Hemoshear Therapeutics. TEDxCharlottesville (October 2021).