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Old 03-18-18, 11:32 AM
LadyLeaAZ LadyLeaAZ is offline
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ADHD and Braces - not eating

Wow I had not posted since 2014. Lots has happened since then.

Anywho, 11 (almost 12 yo) DD got braces last week. I didn't think she needed them but like everything else her father decided she did.

She already barely eats on the medication (which after 4 years has changed from concerta to adderall) but the braces are making it worse.

I looked at her, really looked at her, and all her bones are sticking out. Elbows, shoulder, ribs etc. She looks so unhealthy.

I want her off medication but her dads answer is always just to find another medication or add more. I took her off zoloft but he wants her back on it. Her other medication is guanfacine in the evening.

Her school status is pretty much awful in all her classes, between either a failing grade or a really good grade and not turning in homework. SHe had a 100% in computer class, then in the final project got a 69 out of 100. I just don't understand this.

We try to help her with homework but besides always lying to us on whether she has any and procrastinating projects, always becomes a nightmare. Dad also decided seeing a therapist doesn't work. They can tell her she needs to be more organized, she can agree, but 2 minutes after leaving the office its like we weren't even there.

My fun, happy and healthy child has disappeared since taking meds and now the braces are making it worse. I can't get her to eat and I am so worried.
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Old 03-18-18, 12:32 PM
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Re: ADHD and Braces - not eating

When you say you took her off meds, did you have doctors' approval to do it?
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Old 03-18-18, 01:15 PM
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Re: ADHD and Braces - not eating

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Originally Posted by sarahsweets View Post
When you say you took her off meds, did you have doctors' approval to do it?
off the zoloft yes, we did the 1/2 a pill for 2 weeks then 1/2 a pill every other day for 2 weeks. I only suggested something like zoloft because i thought it would help with the anxiety from nail bitting (she almost has bitten the nail clean off her finger) but after several months it didn't change anything in that regard. I decided that the side effects of zoloft and being on another pill were not worth it.
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Old 03-18-18, 01:55 PM
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Re: ADHD and Braces - not eating

Don't worry too much about the braces, she will get used to them. ( although not so much that one day per month or whatever, they get tightened) , just really it feels strange at first. and you kind of get food in them as you eat, it's an unpleasant feeling. maybe you could get her some treats like milkshakes?
Looking back, plastic forks and spoons would have been nice.

also, people are telling her she needs to be organized; she probably knows this and fully agrees, and in the appointment , honestly thinks she will; but are the saying how?
she may have absolutely no idea how to actually go about it or implement anything they may have suggested.

I say this because diagnosed at 50, I was only able to craft a system of written lists and electronic reminders that works, about two months ago. and some days, I forget to LOOK AT the little notebook of lists...
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Old 03-18-18, 03:19 PM
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Re: ADHD and Braces - not eating

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Don't worry too much about the braces, she will get used to them. ( although not so much that one day per month or whatever, they get tightened) , just really it feels strange at first. and you kind of get food in them as you eat, it's an unpleasant feeling. maybe you could get her some treats like milkshakes?
Looking back, plastic forks and spoons would have been nice.

also, people are telling her she needs to be organized; she probably knows this and fully agrees, and in the appointment , honestly thinks she will; but are the saying how?
she may have absolutely no idea how to actually go about it or implement anything they may have suggested.

I say this because diagnosed at 50, I was only able to craft a system of written lists and electronic reminders that works, about two months ago. and some days, I forget to LOOK AT the little notebook of lists...
well yes we tried establishing colors for certain classes, or even rainbow order like 1st hour is always red, second hour orange, third hour yellow, etc.
Putting science papers in the science folder, things like that.
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Old 03-18-18, 07:02 PM
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Re: ADHD and Braces - not eating

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Originally Posted by LadyLeaAZ View Post
She already barely eats on the medication (which after 4 years has changed from concerta to adderall) but the braces are making it worse.

I looked at her, really looked at her, and all her bones are sticking out. Elbows, shoulder, ribs etc. She looks so unhealthy.
Um, what? How bad was her ADHD that the medication is worth having these horrible side effects? Does her doctor know? Honestly, this whole situation sounds like CPS should be involved.
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Old 03-19-18, 03:18 AM
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Re: ADHD and Braces - not eating

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Um, what? How bad was her ADHD that the medication is worth having these horrible side effects? Does her doctor know? Honestly, this whole situation sounds like CPS should be involved.
Calling in CPS seems extreme to me, given the information we have. It sounds like both of her parents are actively involved in trying to help by seeking competent medical care, even if they disagree about the best approach or the value of specific medications.

LadyLeaAZ, if the medications are suppressing your daughter's appetite to this extent, and also affecting her personality in a negative way, *and* not seeming to help much with the ADHD symptoms, I can see why you're concerned that they're causing more harm than good.

Is your daughter's medication prescribed by a general practitioner or a psychiatrist? And do you and your ex share medical decision-making for your daughter, or does he have the final say? What are your daughter's feelings about all of this?

Regarding braces and eating (and medication and eating), sometimes things like smoothies or yogurt are easier to eat than solid foods -- and they are often easier to brush out of braces, too. They can be a good way to get calories and nutrients in. Timing meals for when the meds wear off can also help. Given that your daughter has lost so much weight, have you had any concerns that she might be avoiding eating (to stay thin)? Or do you get the impression (and does she tell you) that it really is just a combination of appetite suppression and difficulty working around braces?
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Old 03-19-18, 05:05 AM
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Re: ADHD and Braces - not eating

Id be curious to know what meds she's on and what meds she's tried and doses. I am also curious to know who prescribes her meds.
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Old 03-19-18, 10:11 AM
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Re: ADHD and Braces - not eating

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Originally Posted by namazu View Post
Calling in CPS seems extreme to me, given the information we have. It sounds like both of her parents are actively involved in trying to help by seeking competent medical care, even if they disagree about the best approach or the value of specific medications.
I'm just taking the mom's word at face value. From age 7 to 11, the daughter "barely eats" due to her medication. "All her bones are sticking out. Elbows, shoulder, ribs etc. She looks so unhealthy".

If this accurately describes the situation, it seems like CPS should at least be consulted.
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Old 03-19-18, 08:03 PM
LadyLeaAZ LadyLeaAZ is offline
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Re: ADHD and Braces - not eating

CPS huh? I really don't know what to say to that. I probably over exaggerated but still she's my baby.
Like everyone else we do see doctors routinely so they monitor her height and weight.

So with that said, thanks, no thanks if that is the kind of advice I get. Seems like no matter what I'd post someone is gonna parent shame me.
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Old 03-20-18, 01:42 AM
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Re: ADHD and Braces - not eating

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Originally Posted by LadyLeaAZ View Post
CPS huh? I really don't know what to say to that. I probably over exaggerated but still she's my baby.
Like everyone else we do see doctors routinely so they monitor her height and weight.

So with that said, thanks, no thanks if that is the kind of advice I get. Seems like no matter what I'd post someone is gonna parent shame me.
I did not "parent shame" you. My post was about the wellbeing of a child. It wasn't about you.

I read your original post and took your words at face value. You described a situation in which your 11 year old is potentially dangerously underweight as a direct result of the dad's past and ongoing actions. You expressed a lack of ability to override the dad's decisions. Based on the situation that you described, I expressed my personal opinion of an action that could be taken as a precautionary measure to *protect the child*. That was the purpose of my response. It was not to "parent shame" you.

You now clarify that you "probably over exaggerated" and that your daughter sees "doctors routinely so they monitor her height and weight." I will take you at your word. That's what I always do on this internet forum. I take people's stories seriously and I offer my honest opinion.

Have you tried ice cream/milk shakes for your daughter? Just my 2 cents
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Old 03-20-18, 04:17 AM
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Re: ADHD and Braces - not eating

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CPS huh? I really don't know what to say to that. I probably over exaggerated but still she's my baby.
Like everyone else we do see doctors routinely so they monitor her height and weight.

So with that said, thanks, no thanks if that is the kind of advice I get. Seems like no matter what I'd post someone is gonna parent shame me.
Please do not leave. No one is trying to shame you or tell you you are a bad mom.
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Old 03-20-18, 10:30 AM
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Re: ADHD and Braces - not eating

I'm just exasperated. I can't go into every single detail here. It would take forever, so please don't be jumping to conclusions.

She won't do the carnation instant breakfasts. When all this started several years ago the dr said get to her eat protein when you can. So nuts and jerky and fully cooked bacon were my staples to always have in the house for her late night eating binge, or to pack in her lunchbox. With the braces on they are no longer an option.

I managed to get her to eat an egg sandwich this morning after cutting it into tiny bites. But with the pill side effects she barely eats (before someone else threatens CPS: I pack her lunch, she has a lunch account at school etc) many times she won't eat her lunch or pick at it at most or she won't even buy her lunch. I have been to school with her and brought Panda express etc and I have to tell her to eat constantly. Dinner time she pecks at her food.

She is on ADHD because she is really impulsive. The best example i can give is playing chase with her friends and she will run out into the street. She knows to look both ways and if you can get attention long enough to ask her, she will say so, but in the heat of the moment, safety runs out the window. She is the kid that walks off in the grocery store when you are trying to buy a bottle of ketchup.

We have tried focalin, concerta, straterra. daytrana etc. She is currently on 15mg of adderall and 1mg of guanfacine. The pediatrician decided that we needed to see a psychiatrist instead so we have been doing that almost a year now. She has been on medciation for 3-4 years. All of them give her the side effect of a decreased appetite. She went from 50th percentile in height/weight to something like 10-15th percentile. (That is what I mean by my healthy child at age 8 - she was perfectly average-50% doesn't get more healthy/average than that)

My problem is all the go to foods I fed her before, seem to be out of the picture with the braces on. It was hard to get her to eat previously now it feels impossible. Thankfully the braces are only for a year (which is why I don't think she REALLY medically needed them. By saying that I am thinking of severe cases, the kind where kids wear them for 3 years have severely crooked teeth. Since nobody has a perfect bite and perfectly straight teeth I am sure everyone could use them. Plus I took her to the ortho multiple times and for a second opinion. Braces are elective and my husband elected for her to get them. We just had different opinions on this like many things. He had braces and I didn't as a kid. I just didn't think they were necessary and they have made a difficult situation even harder. I didn't know what to expect so I am learning as I go.

I posted here hoping someone had some insight on what I could feed her. She can't be the only kid ever who has the decreased appetite side effect.
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Old 03-20-18, 10:33 PM
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Re: ADHD and Braces - not eating

I have a 9 year old son who previously struggled with low appetite and being underweight. I realise he is a bit younger, but we did succeed in fattening him up.

The first thing I would suggest is to consider the lack of appetite could have more causes than just the medication. For example, my son is very anxious and that massively affects his eating. He's also a fussy eater with sensory issues. I found his weight/appetite improved when we moved him to a new school that provided more support for his anxiety. Chat to her and see if there is anything she needs help with.

Like you, I became really worried when I saw how thin my son was looking. I decided to ignore all the healthy eating advice and just fed him fattening foods as I realised he was barely making it through the school day as he had so little energy. Full fat milk in milkshakes, butter on everything, cream etc - homemade baking with fatty ingredients. For dinners to get some goodness in him I would give him a bowl of "mince" which was literally green from all the veges I hid in it. A year later he was a healthy weight. He still barely eats at school, but the food he eats at home is enough to keep him at a good weight.

Goodluck!
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Old 03-21-18, 02:17 AM
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Re: ADHD and Braces - not eating

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Originally Posted by LadyLeaAZ View Post
I posted here hoping someone had some insight on what I could feed her. She can't be the only kid ever who has the decreased appetite side effect.
Liquids: broths, ensure/pediasure, milkshakes, apple sauce. Apple juice could be sipped throughout the class time.

You could also to encourage her to eat a large breakfast before she has to take the meds. Similarly, by bed time, hopefully the meds will be out of her system, and she can eat a filling bedtime snack.

Suggestion - ask doctor about mirtazpine. The drug has many properties, including appetite stimulation. Also, if the reduced appetite is caused by a different side effect (racing heart rate, high blood pressure, anxiety, etc), then maybe a beta/alpha blocker could help as that calms down the flight/fight stress response.

Quote:
Originally Posted by LadyLeaAZ View Post
She is on ADHD because she is really impulsive. The best example i can give is playing chase with her friends and she will run out into the street. She knows to look both ways and if you can get attention long enough to ask her, she will say so, but in the heat of the moment, safety runs out the window. She is the kid that walks off in the grocery store when you are trying to buy a bottle of ketchup.
Dr. Daniel Amen is a psychiatrist who has personal experience raising a daughter with ADHD. Her symptoms seem similar to your daughter's. Dr. Amen ended up having to use a leash on his daughter whenever they went out of the house. If that sounds interesting to you, you can find plenty of his clips on youtube.

A previous poster also mentioned that perhaps the schools can provide some accommodations to ensure her safety.

Quote:
Originally Posted by LadyLeaAZ View Post
She has been on medciation for 3-4 years. All of them give her the side effect of a decreased appetite. She went from 50th percentile in height/weight to something like 10-15th percentile. (That is what I mean by my healthy child at age 8 - she was perfectly average-50% doesn't get more healthy/average than that)
Generally speaking, children with decreased appetite and stunted growth are able to eventually catch up to their expected growth if they take enough breaks from the medicine. That could be a summer/winter break/weekends without meds. Or a daily med routine in which the meds wear off by evening, allowing the child to eat a large dinner/night snack. The psych would be a good source of advice.

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My problem is all the go to foods I fed her before, seem to be out of the picture with the braces on. It was hard to get her to eat previously now it feels impossible.
At least in my experience, the discomfort from braces mostly go away. The teeth get used to the applied pressure, and the gums get used to being prodded by wires and brackets. Every now and then, something will pop up that irks my mouth, but nothing too severe. I hope your daughter can quickly get accustomed to the braces.
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