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Avoidant Restrictive Food Intake Disorder, Treatment, ARFID Nutrition Therapy in the St. Louis Area, Missouri, and Illinois

Access Medical Nutrition Therapy for ARFID with Dietitians from Missouri and Illinois and Experience Recovery

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Do you have a loss of interest in food?

Has it led to troublesome weight loss that's negatively affecting your life?

Are there unappealing aspects about food that make it difficult to eat?

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What is Avoidant Restrictive Food Intake Disorder?

Also known as ARFID, it is a relatively new diagnosis in the field of eating disorders. Characterized by persistent avoidance or restriction of food intake which may lead to weight loss, nutritional deficiencies, that tend to affect daily life. 

What are the five types of ARFID?

​The five types of Avoidant/Restrictive Food Intake Disorder (ARFID), as outlined by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), are:
 

  • Avoidant: Those with Avoidant ARFID avoid certain foods or food groups due to sensory sensitivities, such as textures, tastes, or smells, which can lead to significant restrictions in their diet.

  • Aversive: This involves avoidance of foods due to negative associations or fears of adverse consequences, such as choking, vomiting, or allergic reactions, leading to limited food intake and nutritional deficiencies.

  • Restrictive: This is characterized by limited food intake or selective eating based on factors such as texture, color, or brand, resulting in inadequate caloric intake and nutritional deficiencies.

  • ARFID “Plus": This refers to the co-occurrence of ARFID with other medical or psychological conditions, such as autism spectrum disorder, intellectual disabilities, or gastrointestinal disorders, which may complicate the presentation and management of ARFID symptoms.

  • Adult ARFID: This refers to ARFID symptoms that persist into adulthood, often presenting as longstanding patterns of disordered eating behavior that may impact physical health, psychological well-being, and overall quality of life.

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Is ARFID recognized in the DSM-5?

ARFID is recognized in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Health Disorders. The inclusion of ARFID has helped to raise awareness and understanding of this disorder among clinicians. As dietitian nutritionists, expert ED nutrition therapists, we provide online and in-person outpatient treatment, so our patients can achieve lasting recovery.

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What is the difference between ARFID and picky eating?

ARFID is a diagnosable eating disorder characterized by persistent avoidance or restriction of food intake leading to significant weight loss, whereas picky eating refers to selective eating habits or preferences for certain foods while avoiding others. Getting support from expert eating disorder healthcare professionals can make a significant difference in someone's life, healing their relationship with food and body.

 

Awareness is key to getting timely treatment. Some signs and symptoms of ARFID include:

  • Gagging when eating  

  • Losing weight

  • Menstrual irregularities

  • Fainting and dizziness

  • Malnutrition

  • Fatigue 

  • Brittle Nails

  • Avoiding eating with others

  • Irrational fears about eating

  • Slow eating

If you suspect you or someone you love is struggling with either picky eating or ARFID, it's important to reach out for help. We want to work with you.

What age is ARFID most common?

ARFID can occur at any age, but it is most common in childhood and early adolescence. It can however persist into adulthood if left untreated. As a reminder, eating disorders can affect anyone, age does not discriminate. 

What is the treatment for ARFID?

Treatment for ARFID includes a multidisciplinary team consisting of a dietitian, therapist, pediatrician or PCP, and at times a psychiatrist for medication management.

What can a dietitian nutritionist do for Avoidant Restrictive Food Intake Disorder?

A dietitian nutritionist can play a crucial role in supporting individuals with Avoidant/Restrictive Food Intake Disorder (ARFID) by providing specialized dietary guidance and support.


Each patient's treatment modalities are different, however the primary goal with ARFID patients is to continue to work on increasing the amount of foods that feel safe to the patient to increase their overall intake, improve nutritional deficiency and ensure proper growth/maintenance of an appropriate weight.

Medical nutrition therapy for ARFID can include:

 

  • A comprehensive nutritional assessment

  • Personalized nutrition support.  

  • Meal planning and nutrition education.

  • Exposure therapy to gradually introduce new or feared foods in a controlled, safe environment.

  • Supplementation support when needed.

  • Family couseling.

  • Coordination with the healthcare team to ensure a comprehensive, holistic approach.

How much does medical nutrition therapy cost for ARFID?

We believe everyone has the right to accessible, affordable nutrition care. We accept most major insurance companies and the majority of our clients pay little to nothing outside of copays or deductibles to meet with a dietitian from our team. We also offer military discounts as we are not in network with Tricare. We always recommend checking your insurance benefits regarding nutrition coverage as coverage depends on the patient's individual insurance plan.

Our Team of Dietitian Nutritionists and  Eating Disorder Specialists in the Greater St. Louis Area

Branz Nutrition Counseling is a team of certified eating disorder dietitians who provide compassionate care to those struggling with their relationship to food. Our approach is weight-inclusive, LGBTQIA+, and social justice-oriented, which means that we believe that everyone deserves access to quality care. 

 

We can't wait to meet you!

With locations in Illinois and Missouri, we offer both virtual and in-person counseling sessions. And, we are licensed to provide Telehealth nutrition therapy to  patients around the country.

Alaska | Arizona | California | Colorado | Connecticut | Florida | Hawaii | Idaho | Illinois | Indiana | Michigan | Missouri | New York | New Hampshire | Massachusetts  | Oklahoma | Oregon  Pennsylvania | Texas  |  Utah | Vermont | Washington | West Virginia |Wisconsin | Wyoming

 

We see clients in person in the St. Louis area, Missouri, Illinois, and from around the country via Telehealth. Learn more here.

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How It Works - An Easy Three-Step Process to Get You on the Road to Recovery

Make An Appointment

What service do you need? Schedule a 15-minute discovery call, free of charge. It is a great way for a dietitian on our team to get to know you and your unique needs.

Meet with your Personal Dietitian

Be paired with the dietitian nutritionist on our team and get continued support with one of our online groups. One-on-one counseling, in-person, or virtual. WE TAKE INSURANCE!

Take Control of Your Life

Heal your relationship with food and your body. Choose the best foods for your unique needs. Get the tools you need to live a healthy life. Receive continued support.

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