First, I want you to familiarize yourself with the ARFID diagnostic criteria in my About ARFID page. Then, you might be ready to take part in my ARFID quiz!
I’m going to present you with a list of scenarios, and I want you to pick out which ones qualify for a diagnosis of ARFID. Sounds easy, right?
- A child* chokes on a hotdog and is now scared of eating any solid food. They rely on nutritional supplements, which keep them at a healthy weight and counter any deficiencies they may have.
- A child suffers from intense pain due to GERD. The GERD symptoms are now managed but the child is still terrified of eating and has lost weight.
- A child is a very picky eater, eating only ten or so ‘safe’ foods. They are not underweight, they don’t need nutritional supplements and don’t have any deficiencies. They refuse, however, to go to restaurants or birthday parties or visit relatives for holidays, because they are terrified of being presented with unfamiliar food.
- A child claims they simply have no appetite. Neither they, nor their doctor, can figure out why. They have failed to gain appropriate weight for their age and height. They know they are underweight and actually want to gain weight.
- A child suffers from an anxiety disorder. When anxious, they lose their appetite. Which happens quite often as they are anxious quite often. And the level of appetite loss is more than is usually seen in anxious children. The child has anaemia as a result.
* I’ve used child in these examples, more for simplicity’s sake. Obviously, you can be diagnosed with ARFID at any age, and there are many adults with the condition.
Ok, this quiz was just one big trick question. ALL of the above examples would be diagnosed with ARFID. There may be many more ways in which ARFID may present. Which is why ARFID is so much more than just ‘picky eating’.
[ image is of an empty place setting, consisting of a white bowl on a small black plate, on a larger white plate, and appropriate cutlery, but no food. ]