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What is ARFID?

Avoidant/Restrictive Food Intake Disorder is when a person has the need to avoid and to restrict certain or all foods to the extent where it is harmful to their health.

It often starts in childhood but affects adolescents and adults as well.

A person suffering from ARFID doesn’t get enough nutrition from their food intake to meet the minimal requirements needed to sustain a healthy body.
Some sufferers of ARFID avoid food because of textures, colors, and/or the food group itself. The person may have experienced a traumatic event with food (choking, vomiting).

Signs and Symptoms

The main factor is that the individual isn’t getting enough nutrition in their diet to sustain them. This could lead to weight loss, or in the case of children not gaining the weight needed for their developmental level.

They might also rely on supplements for their nutritional needs. It’s different from Anorexia Nervosa since the patient isn’t focused on losing weight and their body image, but rather has an aversion to food.

Someone might be suffering from ARFID if they are having problems at work or in school so they avoid eating. They are less productive, avoid seeing family and friends or going to social events because certain foods might be present.

It’s possible that someone with ARFID may go on to develop another eating disorder such as Anorexia Nervosa because of the debilitating effects of restriction and avoidance.

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