A Natural Approach To Health
Living With ARFID
I had a question the other day about ARFID.
Avoidant/Restrictive Food Intake Disorder (ARFID) is an eating disorder preventing the eating of certain foods.
It’s often seen as a phase of childhood generally overcome with age.
Some people may not grow out of the disorder, however, and may continue with ARFID throughout their adult lives.
Sufferers of ARFID have an inability to eat certain foods based on texture or aroma.
“Safe” foods may be limited to certain food types and even specific brands.
In some cases, afflicted individuals will exclude whole food groups, like fruits or vegetables.
Sometimes excluded foods can be refused based on color.
Some may only like very hot or very cold foods, very crunchy or hard-to-chew foods, or very soft foods, or avoid sauces.
Most sufferers of ARFID will maintain a healthy or normal body weight.
There are no specific outward appearances associated with ARFID.
Sufferers can experience physical gastrointestinal reactions to adverse foods like retching, vomiting or gagging.
With time the symptoms of ARFID can lessen and can eventually disappear without treatment.
However, in some cases treatment will be needed if symptoms last into adulthood.
The most common type of treatment for ARFID is some form of cognitive-behavioral therapy.
Working with a clinician can help to change behaviors more quickly than symptoms may typically disappear without treatment.
Children can benefit from a 4 stage in-home treatment program based on the principles of systematic desensitization.
The 4 stages of treatment are record, reward, relax and review.
>In the record stage, children keep a log of their typical eating behaviors.
>The reward stage involves systematic desensitization.
Children create a list of foods they might like to try eating some day.
These foods may not be drastically different from their normal diet, but maybe a familiar food prepared in differently.
Children are rewarded when they sample new foods.
>The relaxation stage is most important for those children suffering severe anxiety when presented with unfavorable foods.
Children learn to relax to reduce the anxiety they feel.
They work through a list of anxiety-producing stimuli and create a story line with relaxing imagery and scenarios.
>The final stage, review, is important to keep track of the child’s progress.
To deal with ARFID it’s beneficial to:
*Drink 6-8 cups of purified water daily.
*Ginkgo biloba is a powerful free radical destroyer that protects your brain. It also improves brain function by increasing circulation to your brain. Take it in capsule or extract form as directed on the product label, 3 times daily. (Don’t take if you have a bleeding disorder, or are scheduled for surgery or a dental procedure.)
*Aim for a high-fiber diet consisting of 50-75% raw organic foods, including large amount of fruits and vegetables plus brown rice, lentils, and potatoes. For protein, eat beans and legumes, fish, raw nuts and seeds, skinless white turkey or white chicken breast, tofu, and low-fat yogurt.
*Eliminate alcohol, caffeine, canned and packaged foods, carbonated beverages, chocolate, all junk foods, refined and processed foods, salt, sugar, sweets, saturated fats, soft drinks, and white flour from the diet. Avoid foods containing artificial colors or preservatives. Avoid fried and fatty foods like bacon, cold cuts, gravies, ham, luncheon meats, sausage, and all dairy products except for low-fat soured products.
*Omit wheat and wheat products from your diet.
*Get regular moderate exercise.
*Have a hair analysis test to rule out heavy metal poisoning.
*Eliminate toxic exposures of all kinds through environment, fragrances, personal care, laundry or cleaning products.
*Don’t go without food. Eating frequent small meals daily is better than eating 2 or 3 large meals.
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