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Pudendal Nerve Entrapment Can Lead to Eating Disorder

Case report describes avoidant/restrictive food intake disorder after pudendal nerve entrapment

TUESDAY, Aug. 23, 2016 (HealthDay News) — Pudendal nerve entrapment (PNE) leading to avoidant/restrictive food intake disorder (ARFID) has been described in a case report published online Aug. 19 in the International Journal of Eating Disorders.

Karen Tsai, from the Stony Brook University School of Medicine in New York, and colleagues present a case of ARFID in an adult male with PNE resulting from testicular cancer surgery. The patient was a 56-year-old Caucasian male, admitted for management of elevated liver and pancreatic enzymes in the context of severe cachexia and generalized weakness. He reported significant weight loss over the previous five years, and had several hospitalizations, including management for severe malnourishment.

The researchers found that the PNE-related gastrointestinal symptoms caused significant food avoidance and restriction, which led to severe malnourishment. The patient developed severe scarring after surgery, causing PNE, which initially developed as pain and numbness in the groin region. As the scarring worsened, it caused severe anorectal pain during defecation; in order to reduce frequency of bowel movements the patient restricted food intake. The patient was diagnosed with ARFID with fear of aversive consequences subtype.

“Our case demonstrates the value of timely diagnosis and treatment of ARFID in patients with chronic medical conditions,” the authors write. “The much-needed expansion of and investment in education on ARFID will ultimately facilitate early recognition and treatment and improve prognosis in diagnosed children, adolescents, and adults alike.”

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