Avoidant Restrictive Food Intake Disorder (ARFID)


a man sits on a couch talking to his therapist about his avoidant restrictive food intake disorder

Avoidant restrictive food intake disorder (ARFID) is an eating disorder that affects how food is consumed. People with ARFID can experience fear and anxiety around eating due to the feeling of being unable to control what they consume or even having extremely picky eating habits.

The good news is that treatment for ARFID is available and can be managed with the help of trained professionals. Our Sanford Behavioral Health team supports patients with ARFID to understand their condition better, learn management techniques, and develop a healthier relationship with food.

It's important to remember that recovery from ARFID is possible with the proper support and guidance. Don't hesitate to reach out to our team at 616.202.3326 for more information about ARFID and how our treatment for eating disorders. We're here to make sure you get the support and care that you need.

What Is Avoidant Restrictive Food Intake Disorder?

ARFID is a type of eating disorder that affects the way someone consumes food. It was previously referred to as a selective eating disorder. ARFID is a disorder that shares similarities with anorexia. Both conditions involve limitations in the amount or types of food consumed. However, unlike anorexia, ARFID does not cause distress about body shape or size or fears of gaining weight. An adult with ARFID is not bringing in sufficient calories to support basic bodily functions.

Symptoms of ARFID

Understanding the symptoms of this ARFID is a crucial first step in recovery. It's also necessary to seek professional help to receive an accurate diagnosis. Common symptoms of ARFID may include:

Behavioral and Psychological Symptoms

  • Dramatic restriction in types or amount of food eaten
  • Significant weight loss
  • Dresses in layers to hide weight loss or stay warm
  • Reports constipation, abdominal pain, cold intolerance, lethargy, or excess energy
  • Experiencing consistent gastrointestinal issues around mealtimes, but the causes are unknown
  • Will only eat certain textures of food
  • Fears of choking or vomiting
  • Lack of appetite or interest in food
  • The individual's list of preferred foods becomes more limited
  • No body image disturbance or fear of weight gain

Physical Symptoms

  • Cold, blotchy hands and feet or swelling of feet
  • Dry skin
  • Dry and brittle nails
  • Difficulties concentrating
  • Thinning of hair on the head, dry and brittle hair
  • Muscle weakness
  • Poor wound healing
  • Impaired immune functioning
  • Stomach cramps
  • Menstrual irregularities
  • Abnormal laboratory findings (anemia, low thyroid and hormone levels, low potassium, low blood cell counts, slow heart rate)
  • Dizziness
  • Fainting
  • Feeling cold all the time
  • Sleep problems

At Sanford Behavioral Health, we understand the challenges associated with ARFID and are here to support you or your loved one. We can assess, diagnose and provide evidence-based treatments for this condition. Our clinical and medical teams are dedicated to providing compassionate care and support so that you can feel empowered in your recovery.

How Can an Avoidant Restrictive Food Intake Disorder Program Help?

Treatment can typically involve cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and nutrition counseling to identify eating patterns, understand triggers for ARFID behaviors and create healthy eating habits. An ARFID program can provide patients with the skills and strategies to manage their disorder safely and effectively.

Other benefits that patients may start to experience while undergoing treatment can include the following:

  • Increased confidence in managing food consumption
  • Improvement in relationships with family and friends
  • Better nutrition and health outcomes
  • Enhanced quality of life

The ultimate goal of our ARFID program is to help patients better understand their condition, build healthier relationships with food, and learn techniques to manage their symptoms. Our team at Sanford Behavioral Health provides compassionate and highly specialized care for people with ARFID.

Get Help from Sanford Behavioral Health's ARFID Treatment Program

Our avoidant restrictive food intake disorder treatment in Marne, Michigan, at Sanford Behavioral Health, is designed to provide evidence-based and compassionate care. Our team consists of qualified clinical and medical professionals and registered dietitians who are committed to helping you or your loved one reach their recovery goals. Managing this condition can take time, but recovery is possible with the proper support and guidance.

Contact us at 616.202.3326 for more information about ARFID and how our treatment program can help you or your loved one. We're here to make sure you get the support and care that you need.

Get In Touch

For details on our locations call us at 616.202.3326 or fill out the form below