ARFID is a mental health disorder which causes avoidance of foods and food intake, but is not related to pursuit of thinness of fear of being fat. ARFID (previously known as and sometimes still referred to as selective eating disorder) is an anxiety related eating disorder which tends to be more common in children, however, can occur in adults too.



It is characterised by a persistent failure to meet adequate nutritional and calorie requirements due to the avoidance or restriction of foods, food groups or particular textures, colours and shapes. To be diagnosed as ARFID, the restriction of food and and food groups must not be due to body image, pursuit of thinness or fear of gaining weight. It also can not be due to temporary picky eating, food famine, lack of available food or explained by cultural reasons or another medical or mental disorder or eating disorder such as anorexia nervosa , bulimia nervosa or binge eating disorder. Here at The Bridge, we offer a multidisciplinary team of professionals who are experts in dealing with ARFID in both adults and children, and can help an individual recover to lead a healthy life, full of a variety of food.



What causes ARFID?

There is little known regarding ARFID and what causes it, even the prevalence is quite unknown due to the difficulty in diagnosis. ARFID is typically associated with other mental health illnesses such as anxiety, depression and obsessive compulsive disorder. ARFID is also common in individuals with other types of disorders such as autism, developmental disability, obsessive compulsive disorder and anxiety disorders. Sometimes ARFID can be triggered by a food-related negative experience, trauma or memory that they had as a child or young adult such as choking on food, being sick after consumption or an intolerance which caused them pain or discomfort.

Our team can help introduce more foods into the life of someone with ARFID and encourage positive eating behaviours.

If you would like to find out how we can help, please contact us.

How do I know if myself or a loved one has ARFID?

There are many signs and symptoms that an individual may demonstrate which suggests they could have ARFID:

  • Has had a persistent problem with feeding (if very young child) or eating but is not related to weight gain, fear of being fat or the pursuit of thinness
  • Avoids foods according to colour, texture or fear of certain food
  • Unwillingness to try new foods
  • Difficulty in digesting certain foods
  • Dependence on food or supplements
  • Exclusion of whole foods or food groups
  • Weight loss or unable to gain weight
  • Nutritional deficiency(s)
  • Failure to thrive, no growth or delayed growth
  • Fear of choking or vomiting
  • Lack of appetite
  • Very slow at eating
  • Sudden refusal to eat foods
  • Being very rigid with what foods they will eat or digest
  • May refer to some foods as ‘safe’
  • Lack of tolerance of particular foods being in proximity to them
  • Certain foods associated with choking or fear

If an individual is showing any signs of ARFID, it's important to get help before it can escalate into complete restriction of important foods and food groups, increasing risk of malnutrition. The sooner these behaviours are picked up and addressed through psychological and dietetic treatment, the more likely it is for the person to make a full recovery and the detrimental effects can be reduced.

If you would like to make an appointment please contact us.

What are the long term effects of ARFID?

The long term effects of ARFID can be detrimental, due to the frequency of the illness in children. They can restrict their nutritional intake to the extent that it affects their growth and development into adulthood. Some long term effects of ARFID are as follows:

  • Tube fed due to inadequate nutrition through oral intake
  • Nutritional deficiencies
  • Dental problems
  • Social isolation
  • Malnutrition
  • Failure to enter puberty due to malnutrition
  • Loss of periods (if already entered puberty)
  • Brain damage

The sooner these behaviours are picked up and addressed through psychological and dietetic treatment, the more likely it is for the person to make a full recovery from ARFID.

If you would like to make an appointment please contact us.

How is ARFID treated?

Assessment




Mental health nurse reviews




Clinical Psychology Therapy Sessions




Dietetic reviews




Group therapy




Family therapy

ARFID can be treated in both adults and children through mental health nurse assessment, psychological intervention and dietetic therapy. ARFID can be quite complicated and requires an holistic approach.

If you’d like to know more about our treatment programmes, please contact us.

How can The Bridge help with ARFID?

We can help anybody who has, or is showing signs of having, ARFID. If an individual is showing signs of ARFID, either as a child or the disorder has not been treated from childhood and has progressed, we can provide an holistic mental health nurse led assessment and treatment. A full recovery is possible with ARFID, and the sooner it is diagnosed the more likely it is for the individual to lead a normal, happy life. Our health professionals at St John Street House are fully trained in managing individuals with ARFID and the nutritional deficiencies associated with it.

To find out more about how we can help please contact us.



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We make the following six promises to all our patients.

Our values

Holistic and patient centred

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We believe in continuously providing holistic, patient-centred treatments which promote physical and mental wellbeing to increase resilience. The needs and wellbeing of patients is at the centre of everything we do. We are passionate about helping people and their families achieve their goals by providing them with patient-centred therapy that is passionate, caring and knowledgeable. We are passionate about sharing our knowledge to help educate patients, families and the wider public about eating disorders.

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We believe in providing patients with evidence-based treatments to enable recovery of their eating disorder. We are committed to providing results-focused practice to ensure we deliver patients with the goals they want to achieve. Importantly, we believe results are best achieved with an educative approach and we work with our patients to achieve their goals together. We also believe that follow up after treatment is essential to ensure patients’ needs are being met and that their results are maximised.

Promoting physical and mental wellbeing

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We believe in helping patients develop a healthy relationship to food, and their body. Our service enables patients to set their own feeding goals in order to achieve a healthy weight and independently manage meals. We are passionate about helping patients’ understanding of disordered eating, and promoting mental wellness in order to tackle the behaviour.

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We believe our services should be approachable and accessible. We give people the best chances of recovery by providing them with early access to assessments and interventions that are provided by approachable staff in an outpatient setting.

Immediate access to a specialist team

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We believe to maximise people’s recovery we should provide them with immediate access and to our specialist multidisciplinary team of professionals that will work with them holistically to achieve the best possible results for patients and families.

Affordable service

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We believe that anyone should be able to access immediate treatment for an eating disorder, regardless of their financial situation. Our treatment is priced as a total care package that is agreed with each client, tailored to the individual with a flexible pricing policy. We believe in offering finance to people who may benefit from this.



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We achieve the best possible results for eating disorder sufferers with a range of problems and conditions by providing patients with early access to assessment and intervention.

To find our more about how we can help, please contact us.

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