WHAT IS ARFID?
ARFID – standing for Avoidant Restrictive Food Intake Disorder – is an eating disorder characterised by an extreme avoidance of food due to disliking the sensory experiences of eating. This can result in significant weight loss and other health conditions.
ARFID was only recently designated its own status as an eating disorder diagnosis. As a result there is less understanding around what causes ARFID, however it often develops due to an extreme sensitivity to the taste and texture of food, or because of negative experiences around eating (for example, choking or vomiting).
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF ARFID
The main distinguishing factor of ARFID is an avoidance of food and eating, which may range from an apparent lack of interest to an extreme fear and total avoidance of eating. This is due to disliking the sensory characteristics of food.
This ongoing avoidance results in weight loss and nutritional deficiencies, as well as other physiological symptoms such as:
- Lack of appetite
- Trouble concentrating
- Stomach cramps
- Digestive issues
- Unbalanced thyroid function
- Dizziness or fainting
- Low blood pressure
- Feeling cold – especially in the hands and feet
- Dry hair, skin and nails
- Hair loss
- Weakened immune system
- Swollen feet
People with ARFID may also have behavioural symptoms, such as:
- Dressing in many layers to conceal weight loss or keep warm
- Drastic restriction in the types or amount of food they’ll eat
- Avoidance of social occasions involving food and eating
- Fear of vomiting (Emetophobia) or choking
People with ARFID often suffer from anxiety around eating, or general anxiety.
BOOK A CALL WITH OUR FRIENDLY ASSESSMENT TEAM
Choose a day and time that works for you.
Tell us what is going for you.
Let us explain how we can help.
We can support you in recovery from ARFID using a range of psychological, physiological and nutritional approaches.
PSYCHIATRY ARFID TREATMENT
- Conduct a thorough psychological assessment to determine your best treatment plan
- Assess if you have any other mental health conditions, such as anxiety or OCD that may be influencing your condition
- Prescribe medication to help your build your appetite or manage your anxiety around eating
DIETITIAN ARFID TREATMENT
- Conduct a thorough health and nutritional assessment to locate any deficiencies or imbalances that may be undermining your health
- Create a personalized meal plan to help gradually increase the variety and quantity of food in your diet
- Prescribe nutritional supplements if necessary
PSYCHOTHERAPY ARFID TREATMENT
- Resolve unhelpful habits and beliefs around food and eating
- Understanding the emotions you may associate with food
- Exploring the origins of unhelpful thinking patterns, feelings and behaviours around your relationship with food
- Processing experiences or events from your past that have influenced your relationship with eating
Please book a call with our friendly and experienced assessment team, and we explore the best treatment options for your experience of ARFID.