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Avoidant/Restrictive Food Intake Disorder (ARFID)

Contact us about in-person and virtual treatment options for ARFID.

ARFID is more than just picky eating. Avoidant/restrictive food intake disorder (ARFID), which was previously referred to as “selective eating disorder” (SED) is a disturbance in feeding or eating that results in substantial weight loss (or, in children, a failure to put on weight), nutritional deficiency, dependence on tube feeding or oral nutritional supplements, or difficulty engaging in daily life.

If you or someone you know needs help with ARFID, reach out today.

ARFID is not anorexia

ARFID is commonly confused with anorexia nervosa due to the shared symptoms of drastic weight loss and nutritional deficiency. However, while some symptoms are similar, the two eating disorders are not the same. The most notable difference is that those with ARFID lack a desire for thinness and obsessive thoughts about body image.

The ARFID eating disorder can affect all populations, regardless of gender, age, race, and socioeconomic status. An ARFID eating disorder is commonly connected to another psychiatric diagnosis, typically to an anxiety disorder or to obsessive-compulsive disorder. ARFID is not the result of a lack of food or the symptom of another medical disorder.


ARFID risk factors

  • Those on the autism spectrum are more likely to develop the ARFID eating disorder
  • Those with ADHD are more likely to develop ARFID
  • Children with severe picky eating are more likely to develop an ARFID eating disorder
  • Children with anxiety disorders are at a higher risk of developing ARFID

ARFID warning signs and symptoms

This eating disorder can have severe health consequences due to the lack of meeting nutritional needs. Some indications include:

  • Dramatic weight loss
  • Stunted weight gain and height growth
  • Gastrointestinal issues that seemingly have no known cause
  • Restriction in amount or type of food eaten
  • Fear of illness, choking, or vomiting
  • Lack of appetite or interest in food
  • No body image concerns
  • Menstrual irregularities
  • Anemia, low hormone levels, low potassium, slow heart rate
  • Dizziness or falling
  • Muscle weakness
  • Fine or brittle nails

Read more about ARFID here.


ARFID Eating Disorder Treatment at The Emily Program

The Emily Program stands at the forefront of addressing the complexities of the ARFID eating disorder. We understand that ARFID extends beyond mere picky eating, representing a profound eating disorder that demands specialized attention and care.

Key Aspects of Our ARFID Treatment Approach:

  • Multidisciplinary Care: Our holistic, integrative methodology serves individuals of all ages and genders, focusing on a spectrum of eating disorders, including the ARFID disorder, anorexia, bulimia, and binge eating.
  • Personalized ARFID Treatment Plans: Recognizing the distinct nature of each individual’s journey with the ARFID disorder, we tailor our programs to resonate with the client’s age, current health considerations, and specific treatment needs.
  • Root Cause Analysis: Our approach delves deep into understanding the origins of food-related challenges, which often arise from personal experiences, upbringing, and lifestyle choices. This depth of understanding ensures that our ARFID treatment is both empathetic and effective.
  • Holistic Health Focus: The Emily Program identifies that eating disorders, including ARFID, frequently coexist with other health challenges, whether they are physical conditions like diabetes or mental health issues such as anxiety or depression. Our comprehensive expertise allows us to address these interconnected challenges, paving the way for a holistic recovery journey.

For those grappling with the ARFID eating disorder, The Emily Program offers a beacon of hope, providing the support and guidance needed for a brighter, healthier future.

Learn more about the specialized ARFID treatment at The Emily Program.


Diverse Treatment Modalities at The Emily Program

At The Emily Program, we recognize that the journey to recovery from the ARFID eating disorder is deeply personal and varies for each individual. To cater to the diverse needs and preferences of our clients, we offer a range of treatment settings:

  • Residential Treatment: For those who require round-the-clock care and a structured environment, our residential treatment program provides intensive support. This immersive setting ensures clients receive constant supervision, group therapies, and individualized care plans tailored to their specific needs.
  • Day Treatment: Our day treatment program is designed for individuals who benefit from structured daily support but do not require overnight stay. This program combines group sessions, individual therapy, and meal support, allowing clients to return home in the evenings.
  • Outpatient Treatment: For those who have progressed in their recovery journey or have work, school, or family commitments, our outpatient treatment offers flexibility. Clients attend therapy sessions, nutrition counseling, and group therapies based on a schedule that fits their lifestyle.
  • Virtual Treatment: Understanding the evolving needs of the modern world and the importance of accessibility, The Emily Program offers virtual treatment options. This modality ensures that clients can access support, counseling, and therapy sessions from the comfort of their homes, making treatment more accessible and convenient.

Each of these treatment modalities is designed with the utmost care, ensuring that individuals battling the ARFID disorder receive the support, guidance, and care they need, irrespective of their circumstances or stage in the recovery journey.


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