What is ARFID?

Avoidant/Restrictive Food Intake Disorder (ARFID) is an eating or feeding disturbance defined by a pattern of eating that Is limited in variety and/or volume and associated with important medical and psychosocial consequences including:

  • Significant weight loss or growth fall off (falling off of a natural growth curve)
  • Nutritional deficiencies
  • Dependence on tube feeding or reliance on energy dense supplements
  • Psychosocial impairment such as increased anxiety or OCD bxs
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How is ARFID different from other eating disorders?

ARFID is different from other eating disorders, like anorexia nervosa, because people with ARFID aren’t worried much about how they look or how much they weigh. Instead people with ARFID may have one, two, or all three of these significant concerns:

  • Some people with ARFID find that novel foods have strange textures or smells and they feel safer eating foods that they know well
  • Others have had scary experiences with food like throwing up, choking or allergic reactions so they may avoid the foods that made them sick or stop eating altogether
  • Still others don’t feel hungry very often, think eating is a chore or gets full very quickly

Treatment at Evolve

At Evolve, we take an individualized approach to ARFID that begins with an assessment completed by a Registered Dietitian and/or a Licensed Counselor. We take a CBT (Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy) approach with our main treatment goals being: achieve or maintain a healthy weight, correct any nutritional deficiencies, eat foods from each of the five basic food groups, and feel more comfortable eating in social situations. It is important to remember that treatment is not force feeding, making you eat very unusual things or trying to change your personality.

Our goal is to empower the client and the support system to make changes to improve their medical and psychosocial impairments. Treatment for ARFID at an Outpatient level is active and requires weekly or biweekly appointments, with at home practice tasks along the way. We work with you to create individualized goals and help you achieve them.

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