NOTE: I strongly encourage anyone who is experiencing any symptoms of malnutrition or any health concerns to immediately see a doctor. My posts are never meant to gloss over any issues of nutrition. I am not a doctor.
Anyone who eats a classic ARFID diet has been told on numerous occasions, (sometimes in the same day) A. You’ll get sick eating that way!! B. That’s so unhealthy C. You can’t survive eating like that D. You’ll be dead by 30 (ok I’ve never been told that but I know they’re thinking it!)
For severe cases, like those who eat literally one or two foods, there almost certainly will be significant health issues. But when you get that food choice number up a few digits the story can change. This still blows me away. There are literally thousands of ARFID sufferers who are surviving and in some cases living quite healthy on a classic ARFID diet. We’re going on anecdotal evidence here but the dire predictions are a little too dire. We know many over 50 ARFIDers who are as healthy as Standard American Diet eaters.
Wait! How it That Possible?
It is a bit of a head scratcher, but in a good way. Of course the same medical community that swears we need to change are the same people who told us margarine was healthier than butter and saccharine was really, really awesome. The point is we humans still know such a small percentage of the exact workings of our body. The medical community does it’s best making recommendations on limited data. We simply don’t know why so many ARFIDers are healthy. Nobody has studied it.
Again, if you believe in any way you are malnourished or unhealthy please see a doctor. Because we don’t understand what’s going on here and you need to be vigilant.
My own experience as a full blown ARFIDer for 25 years and pretty “poor” dieter for another 10 is that I was almost never sick. Sure I had bronchitis as a kid but that’s not an ARFID thing.
The human body tends to seek out what it needs. It’s why we get hungry and thirsty. It’s why pregnant women get weird cravings. It’s probably why toddlers put everything in their mouths (it has to do with populating their microbiome). Somehow the human body seems to be telling some ARFIDers “Hey, we’re good”. We don’t know what’s going on here, but news of our demise is greatly exaggerated.
DRINKING TO YOUR HEALTH
It seems many with ARFID have fewer issues with drinking than eating. This provides an opportunity to get more nutrients through milk, juices, powdered mixes, supplements etc. Pediasure, Soylent, Carnation Instant Breakfast are brands I’ve seen people mention.