Avoidant-restrictive food intake disorder (ARFID) is an eating disorder characterized by a refusal to eat certain foods and/or an inability to consume enough calories to meet nutritional needs. There is no known cause for ARFID, but it is thought to be caused by a combination of psychological, environmental, and physiological factors.
ARFID is diagnosed by a mental health professional based on a comprehensive evaluation, including a physical examination and psychological assessment. The diagnosis is made if a person meets the criteria for ARFID as outlined in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5).
ARFID is often misdiagnosed as anorexia nervosa or other eating disorders. It is important to distinguish ARFID from other eating disorders, as the treatment for ARFID is different from the treatment for other eating disorders.
Treatment for ARFID typically involves a combination of psychotherapy, nutrition counseling, and medical care. Psychotherapy can help a person identify and address any underlying psychological issues that may be contributing to the disorder. Nutrition counseling can help a person learn how to eat properly and create a healthy relationship with food. Medical care, such as vitamin and mineral supplements, may be necessary to prevent nutritional deficiencies.
The prognosis for ARFID is generally good, with most people making a full recovery with proper treatment. However, it is important to note that treatment for ARFID can be long and challenging, and it is important to create a treatment plan that is tailored to the individual.