What is ARFID?
Avoidant/restrictive food intake disorder is an eating disorder in which the body is denied the nutrients that it needs to function properly. As a result, all bodily functions slow down in order to conserve energy which can lead to serious medical problems. Although adults may experience avoidant/restrictive food intake disorder (ARFID), the condition is most prevalent in teens. For this reason, early intervention is critically important. If you or a loved one is struggling, contact us at 855-808-4213 for a confidential conversation about options for ARFID treatment near Dallas, Texas.
Previously referred to as selective eating disorder, ARFID has been recognized as an eating disorder by the American Psychiatric Association. It lists the condition in the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. The DSM includes classifications, diagnostic criteria and treatment guidance for various mental and behavioral health disorders.
Compared to other eating disorders like anorexia, bulimia and binge eating, avoidant/restrictive food intake disorder (ARFID) doesn’t involve a desire to improve body image or lose weight. Individuals with this condition don’t follow eating rituals for any reason. Instead, they feel the need to avoid or restrict specific foods or all foods to the point that it damages their health. Some individuals don’t eat foods of certain colors, textures or types because they relate them to traumatic incidents. For others, ARFID involves the eating process in general. ARFID can include extremely selective eating, disrupted appetite cues, sensory processing difficulties, or anxiety regarding the consequences of eating (e.g. vomiting, choking, swallowing or other phobias).
As a result, individuals living with ARFID don’t get enough nutrition to meet their body’s needs. Along with nutrient deficiencies, they could lose weight and develop a fatal electrolyte imbalance or other serious health issues. Therefore, it’s essential that they get ARFID treatment as soon as possible.
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ARFID Signs & Symptoms
Most of the time, it’s up to family members to notice the signs and help loved ones get ARFID treatment. In general, the condition is characterized by disordered eating and a failure to meet the appropriate nutritional requirements and weight.
- Refusing to eat certain foods out of fear of getting sick or choking or because of their smell, color or texture.
- Some individuals simply have no interest in eating.
- Might start as picky eating or having a limited list of preferred foods.
- Rigid and selective with food choices.
- Can become distressed by eating with others, which interferes with school, work and social life.
The Impact of ARFID if Left Untreated
The tragic realities of ARFID statistics provide insight into just how serious this disorder can be if left untreated. Without prompt intervention and support, those with ARFID are much more likely to develop health complications later in life.
- With an onset usually in adolescence, ARFID often leads to nutritional deficiencies in children, affecting their growth and development.
- Without the necessary nutrients to fuel the body, many individuals with ARFID are malnourished and severely underweight. This malnourishment can lead to a multitude of serious health effects later on, including heart problems and heart failure, electrolyte imbalances, asthma, kidney failure, osteoporosis, diabetes, and more.
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ARFID Treatment in Texas
Residential and Outpatient Treatment for ARFID
At Eating Disorder Solutions, our team of compassionate and knowledgeable professionals includes nurses, physicians, dietitians, therapists, and psychiatrists. We provide the tools, support, and motivation to reclaim life and start a new journey.
Whether individuals are in residential treatment, PHP or IOP, our team provides a range of evidence-based therapies to support long-term recovery from ARFID. We make sure to provide individualized treatment to all of our clients, taking into consideration their specific needs, wants, and comfort levels.
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At Eating Disorder Solutions in Texas, we perform thorough medical and mental health assessments to diagnose or confirm cases of ARFID. Then, we develop tailored ARFID treatment plans that restore the nutrients that individuals need and address the underlying causes of the disorder. We’re fully prepared to support the healing process and a successful recovery.
Seeking treatment for avoidant/restrictive food intake disorder takes a lot of courage, and we understand this can be a scary step to take. We are here to help the entire way, from the initial diagnosis, insurance coverage, intake and treatment. Contact us today to get all your questions answered about the road to ARFID recovery with Eating Disorder Solutions.