ARFID (Avoidant or Restrictive Food Intake Disorder) is not good. Sure, it doesn’t come with the body issues but … it’s quite difficult to deal with because nothing’s wrong.
In short, this is someone who restricts the foods they allow themselves to consume. A clear example is Peter Nickolls character on Numb3rs, who ate only white foods. White bread, mashed potatoes, white meat, and so on.
In my case, I don’t know what to eat. At all. I simply don’t feel like eating at all. I take a few bites of whatever I’m having, and then I’m done. Really. Imagine needing three feedings to finish one granola bar. I mean it. That’s what it takes!
Somehow my body feels both hungry and full at the same time, which is rather confusing. What does one do with that? Just. Weird.
How does one get this?
In my case, it’s pretty much been always, so I can’t answer that question. However, I can say that it became pretty severe and simply will not go away after using Saxenda for a few months.
Before that, significant food allergies restricted my food intake for me, so it was never really considered a problem, per se, ya know? But then after getting my wisdom teeth removed and having two dry sockets for almost a year, foods were further restricted because my body simply rejected them. In very nasty ways we won’t get into here.
But then I took Saxenda to lose weight to see if that helped my arthritis symptoms. Well, the answer is no, being skinnier doesn’t really seem to be helping much.
In fact, the lack of nutrients is making things worse! Now, because of how little I can and am willing to eat, suddenly high cholesterol is a problem. Probably because the main things consumed are extra yummy … high-fat, high-sugar, and as nutrient dense as possible.
This is probably also hurting many other things that I can’t yet see or feel, such as weakening my bones, which just might make arthritis symptoms worse. I’m weak and tired all the freakin’ time. Like taking a shower is an aerobic workout. So is feeding the dogs. Getting the mail from across the street. In a typical “the houses are too close!” suburban subdivision. Meaning it’s truly not that far.
What makes this situation difficult? Many things! I’m exhausted. Constantly. I’m weak. All the time. I hurt. A lot. Always. Period. I’m hungry, take two bites (sometimes up to four!), and I’m done because my brain says we’re done, but the body says, “uh, hey, keep shoveling that in!”
Basically I’m gaslighting myself all day everyday when it comes to food. And that is never good.
For more information, check out this HealthLine article. It’s a good introduction to the most common eating disorders, and ARFID is number 6 on their list.