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eating disorder

ARFID, Avoidant/Restrictive food intake disorder, is less known among people. But this eating disorder goes beyond the normal eating habits. Unlike other eating disorders, like bulimia or anorexia nervosa, ARFID is featured by the quantity of food intake or various kinds of food. It leads to deficiency in nutritional deficiencies and affects your growth. Here, the vital role of eating disorder therapy comes. In this article, we are going to tell you about ARFID, its causes, treatment, prevention, and many more.

What is ARFID

ARFID is called avoidant/ restrictive food intake disorder. It is an eating disorder featured by eating habits or disturbed feed orders. It results in energy deficiencies or significant nutrition problems, and children are not able to gain weight.

The common feeding and eating challenges for people with ARFID include avoidance of specific types of food colors, textures, and smells, difficulty digesting food, eating food in an abnormal way, or a lack of appetite.

ARFID symptoms

Here is the common list of ARFID symptoms that helps you to understand whether you need the doctor's assistance immediately or not

  • Extreme difficulty in choosing the right food
  • Difficulty in chewing
  • Social isolation
  • Not able to consume food without a feeding tube
  • For kids, it is a failure to gain weight, and for adults, they fail to lose weight.
  • Anxiety
  • Difficulty in digesting different kinds of foods
  • Lack of appetite
  • Consuming small portions of food, etc

There is a need to get professional help immediately if you suffer from these symptoms.

Is ARFID referred to as mental illness?

ARFID refers to an eating disorder, so technically, it is also called mental illness. It occurs frequently with other conditions, like attention deficit, autism spectrum disorder, and obsessive-compulsive disorders.

Cause of ARFID

According to researchers, the exact cause of ARFID is not determined. Some environmental, genetic, and social factors cause ARFID. These factors are

  • ARFID condition in the family
  • Have mental illness conditions, like anxiety, phobias, autism spectrum disorder, and disorder of development
  • ARFID also begins in childhood, typically between the ages of 5 and 13.

    As ARFID are diagnosed with eating disorders, researchers are currently studying what develops the ARFID condition in the human body.

Treatment of ARFID

You should seek treatment and make sure you recover on time after receiving an eating disorder counseling diagnosis of ARFID. Here are the following treatments of ARFID that improve this condition with time

  • Family Based Therapy

Family-based therapy is the best therapy that benefits teens. Family-based therapy involves parents who help their children establish healthy eating habits.

  • Nutritional guidance

It is suggested to consult a nutritionist because they help you to develop the right eating plan. Nutritional guidance helps you to get nutrients that you should eat and keep your health well.

  • Cognitive based therapy

Another psychotherapy treatment for ARFID is called cognitive-based therapy. It helps you to recognize and change harmful behavior and thoughts regarding your eating habits.

How to prevent ARFID

Prevention of ARFID involves the various aspects to be considered to promote healthy food habits and prevent sensitivities.

  • Positive mealtime environment

It is suggested to adopt a relaxed and positive atmosphere during your meal time. You must avoid forcing or pressuring your kids to eat specific foods because it causes anxiety. Rather than that, you should make your mealtime enjoyable and allow kids to learn healthy food habits at their own pace.

  • Model healthy eating behavior

Children often copy the eating habits of adults. But it is not good. The eating habits of kids and adults must be different. You should demonstrate their food choice and teach them the importance of trying new kinds of food.

  • Early exposure to diverse foods

It is suggested to encourage your children to explore a variety of foods in life. In this, it is good to introduce the various flavors, textures and smells to expand the palate and reduce the risk of developing ARFID

  • Address sensitivities and anxiety.

It is important to stay aware of signs of anxiety or sensitivities related to your food. If your child shows aversions, you should consult with a doctor early. You should ensure early intervention, including counseling, exposure therapy, etc. It helps you to address the anxiety early and prevent the growth of food disorders.


ARFID is referred to a complex eating disorder that affects the quality of your life. It is important to identify the early symptoms of ARFID and get professional help on time. With the prevention and the right eating disorder therapy, you can easily adopt healthy eating habits and improve the quality of your life. It leads to awareness among people and helps people to access better treatment plans and expand their food options.

Stress test

Before the stress test, there is a need to avoid drink, food, caffeine, and tobacco for some time. You also need to stop some medications. For this, you should consult to doctor and know what to avoid before a stress test. A doctor may ask you to give a stress test to determine whether you have cardiac disease or not or risk a heart attack. In this article, we are going to tell you the things you should not do before the stress test.

What is a stress test?

The stress test is referred to as a cardiac stress test or exercise stress test. The stress test is considered a monitored exam that calculates cardiovascular health. Earlier, This test set the aim to get the heart pumped at a fast rate; you need to run on the treadmill. Or, in a few cases, you need to ride a stationary bicycle. The main aim of a stress test is to determine the minute problems within cardiovascular health, if any.

Why you required a stress test

It may appear odd at first, but a stress test is important to do to identify heart diseases. You may not need to think that you have any problem, but internally, your heart may suffer from some condition. It could either be from birth or due to poor lifestyle choices.

Here the role of the stress test comes. A stress test helps you to reduce the chances of cardiovascular emergencies and get early treatment when required. Moreover, a stress test helps you to pick on the following things. 

  • How does your heart pump blood?
  • Whether your heart gets the right blood amount or not 
  • How does your heart react to physical activity 
  • If heart disease symptoms pop up when you perform the physical activity
  • How strong are your heart valves or muscles 
  • The method your heart changes between activity and rest

What not to do before the stress test

Here are the things you do not need to do before the stress test

Avoid drinking or eating

Usually, a doctor suggests you do not eat or drink before 3 hours of the stress test. It is suggested by doctors to avoid eating solid foods to ensure that you are not feeling ill during the stress tests. It helps you to exercise regularly to your capacity. If you suffer from diabetes, you should talk to your doctor and ensure that your blood sugar level is stable. You are required to adjust the insulin on the day of your test. It is also suggested to bring some snacks, so you can eat something after giving the stress test.

Avoid caffeine

Before giving a stress test, it is suggested to avoid caffeine. If you are going to take a chemical stress test, you should avoid caffeine for at least 12 to 24 hours before the stress test. Caffeine serves to block adenosine effectiveness, a medication that is given by doctors during the chemical stress test.

Avoiding caffeinated drinks helps you to ensure that your stress test is done accurately as possible. Moreover, you need to avoid foods that consist caffeine,  like

  • Cereals
  • chocolate
  • energy bars

Avoid headache medications because some headache medications also consist of caffeine.

Avoid tobacco

Avoid using tobacco products or smoking before taking a stress test. You need to avoid food that consists of nicotine like 

  • vapes
  • electronic cigarettes
  • patches

it is suggested to avoid taking recreational drugs consists cannabis

Avoid restrictive clothing

For treadmill testing, it is suggested to wear comfortable clothes and ensure to participate fully. When walking or running shoes, wear clothes that are best fit for exercise. You should wear a button shirt that helps your technician monitor place electrodes on your chest easily.

What to expect in the stress test

If you are confused about your cardiac stress test, then you do not need to worry. The stress test is like going to the gym with a trainer. Before beginning, the technician writes down the vital signs like heart rate, blood oxygen, blood pressure, etc.

Then they attach the tiny electrodes to your chest and arms and then connect them to the EKG machine. Then, it helps you to monitor your vitals when you are cycling or running. Once you are hooked up, the physical test will start. You were also asked to ride a bike or run a treadmill. Moreover, your body vitals will determine this activity.


Cardiac stress testing is considered a noninvasive method to help the doctor to assess cardiovascular health and death risk from a heart attack. You will get preparation instructions that consist of the considerations for the medications you should take. The instructions tell you what and when you need to do before the stress test. 

If you require clarification on any instructions, you should ask your doctor because they want you to take a reliable test.


Breath shortness is a common sign of anxiety. It is harmless and goes away when anxiety lifts. Shortness of breath makes the person feel more anxious.

They find that they have breathing or heart problems when they experience signs of anxiety. This article will tell you about the link between anxiety and breath shortness, which doctors call dyspnea.

What causes breath shortness from anxiety

Panic and anxiety are associated with fear. It leads to physiological and behavioral changes that enable the person to defend themselves again any threat.

The human brain reacts to feared situations with flight or flight responses. The heart rate is increased to pump blood to operate organs faster and make muscles ready for action.

It causes a person to breathe quickly to give more oxygen to muscles. It results in shortness of breath.

How to tell if anxiety is cause

When experiencing anxiety, it can be difficult to determine whether the symptoms are due to anxiety or another health issue. It becomes more challenging when the symptoms become severe.

Shortness of breath is one sign that people with anxiety experience, but not everyone with anxiety faces difficulty in breathing. Anxiety cause a range of psychological and physical symptoms, including

  • Dry mouth
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Chills
  • Diarrhea
  • Chest pain
  • Muscle tension
  • Confusion
  • Sweating, etc

Disorders of anxiety

If a person experiences the feeling of anxiety, their doctors diagnose them with an anxiety disorder as follows as

  • Social anxiety disorder
  • Panic disorder
  • Agoraphobia
  • Generalized anxiety disorder
  • Specific phobia


Doctors can provide various treatment options for anxiety, like psychotherapy, medication, or a combination.


To get short-term relief from anxiety, doctors prescribe medications like clonazepam, alprazolam, lorazepam, and diazepam. It provides you relief from anxiety symptoms only in 30 minutes. These medications lead to physical dependence, and withdrawal will be life-threatening.

Cognitive behavioral therapy

Cognitive behavioral therapy is also beneficial to people who experience anxiety. It helps people to modify how they behave and think in different situations. During CBT, a person learns the focus of anxiety on false alarms of fear. It is the therapy that helps people to deal with conditions that cause anxiety rather than avoiding it.

Psychodynamic psychotherapy

Psychodynamic psychotherapy is one of the effective treatment methods for anxiety. It focuses on the role of familial and interpersonal conflicts associated with anxiety symptoms. This therapy harnesses the relationships between the therapist and patient and encourages them to involve in new behaviors.

Methods that relax you from anxiety feelings

There are many relaxation methods that you can follow at home to reduce anxious feelings or improve breathing.

          Diaphragmatic breathing

People can try diaphragmatic breathing to get relief from shortness of breath or anxiety problems. To perform this relaxation method, you should try the following things.

  • Lay comfortably on a flat surface.
  • Place one hand on your diaphragm, above to stomach, or below to ribs
  • Place the other hand in the chest middle
  • Start breathing slowly by the nose, and allow your diaphragm to expand
  • You must raise your lower hand and keep the upper hand the same
  • Contract to abdominal muscles and exhale in a slow way

    Pursed lip breathing

Pursed lip breathing helps to slow down the person's breathing and get rid of shortness of breath. If you want to perform pursed-lip breathing, you should do the

  • Stand or sit comfortably
  • Breath for 2 seconds by the nose
  • Purse your lips tightly
  • Exhale slowly by purse lips till 4 seconds
  • And repeat


Mindfulness is a wide term that covers many practices. Usually, it consists of the method of focusing attention in the state of concentration. This practice helps people to reduce symptoms of stress, anxiety, depression, or other mental health conditions. Here is how you can easily start the mindfulness mediation

  • Stand, sit, and lie comfortably
  • Focus on the present condition, sensations, and emotions
  • Concentrate on breathing flow
  • If your breathing is shallow, breathe slowly by the nose and then exhale slowly by mouth.
  • Focus on how senses and emotions change with time

When should you contact the doctor

Anyone who experiences panic or anxiety disorders may get benefits from discussing symptoms and avail treatment from a doctor. If the problem of shortness of breath occurs frequently, then it becomes another medical condition.

  • Obesity
  • Asthma
  • Interstitial lung disease
  • Heart problems
  • Pulmonary disease

If the shortness of breathing problem becomes the above medical problem, then you should contact a doctor.


When people face shortness of breath due to panic or anxiety, then they feel more anxious, which worsens their breathing.


What do you mean by anxiety tics? Anxiety causes many problems in human life and even leads the situations of physical repercussions. If people are stressed or nervous with anxiety, then their bodies become tense and cause muscles to jerk in an uncontrollable way.

It is known as anxiety tics or anxiety twitches. If you want to know about anxiety tics, you should read this article on anxiety tics, types, causes, treatments, etc.

What is anxiety tic

Anxiety tic occurs when people face involuntary tension or twitching in stress or anxiety. It will appear like muscle spasms in the body, around the arms, eyes, legs, throat, neck, etc.

In simple words, anxiety tics are considered separate behavior that causes tics disorders. It happens with people who experience anxiety problems.

Types of tics

There are two different kinds of tics, motor and vocal. Motor tics are the type of tics that occur suddenly, whereas vocal tics are tics that are made by someone. Example of motor tics is shrugging, repeated blinking, making faces, and muscle spasms.

Examples of vocal tics are clicking sounds, clearing throat, and grunting. Moreover, tic is classified into two categories, complex and simple. Both of motor and vocal tics are different.

Simple tics are tics that only last for a single moment and involve some muscles like grunting, spasms, blinking, or grimacing.

On the other hand, complex tics use multiple muscles and have patterns of multiple actions in a row. These tics include hand gestures, jumping, smelling, or touching objects.

Are anxiety tics normal?

The eye twitching continuously, clearing the throat, or picking at the skin are normal responses to stress your body is trying to manage. It is a sign that you are experiencing stress or anxiety.

Such types of twitches are gone after some time, but still, it is suggested to reduce your stress level as much as possible.

Social anxiety tics

Social anxiety is a kind of anxiety disorder that is characterized by discomfort and fear in social situations and leads to avoidance. People with social anxiety experience tics ranging from facial twitches to blinking to coughing.

Keep in your mind that tic related to social anxiety affects self-esteem, so it is suggested to get help from a mental health professional, reduce tic symptoms, and keep your health functioning well.

Medication and therapy are two types of treatment you can adopt to get rid of social anxiety tics and give the best results for your health.

Cause of anxiety tics

Anxiety and stress causes physical tension and develops nervous twitches like picking at skin, clenching the jaw, or biting the nails. Anxiety causes muscle tension because the neurotransmitters are released in response to stress. It causes twitching or abnormal spasms.

There are no specific causes of tics; it occurs due to a disorder such as Tourette's. Lack of sleep, stress, and caffeine helps to increase prosperity to tic, but they are not considered the root cause.

How to get rid of the anxiety tics

Usually, the anxiety tics are gone in some time, but the best way is to find the stressor or manage the anxiety or stress it causes. There are many methods to get relief from stress, but it is suggested to find the source of anxiety.

Once you find the source, you should manage your stress by staying aware of triggers. You can also learn online how to get rid of stress rather than holding it in your body. These practices help you to get rid of anxiety tics.

Outlets that help to manage anxiety are meditation, exercise, journaling, mindfulness, and self-care activities. If the anxiety tics still occur, then you should get help from a mental health professional.

Treatment options for anxiety tics

People who experience anxiety tics learn to live with it because their efforts are reduced day to day. But if it becomes more worsen, then it makes you feel frustrated, embarrassed, helpless, and conscious.

When anxiety tics start to interfere with well-being, then there are many treatment options you can follow. The effective treatments for anxiety tics are

Habit reversal therapy:  This therapy involves substituting a deliberate movement that disrupts the nervous cycle for tics.

Exposure with prevention:  This approach focuses on getting you used to the anxious feelings that come before the tics without having you follow or participate in them.

Comprehensive behavioral intervention- It arms you with behavioral techniques that teach you to minimize the tics' effects.


There are two kinds of disorders anxiety tics, simple and complex. It first appears in child age or adolescence. Males more experience anxiety tics than females. If you also experience tics, it is suggested first to track the symptoms and then follow the right treatment plan.

About Insight Therapy

Insight Therapy is a professional mental health private practice located in Champaign - Urbana. Insight Therapy offers individual therapy, couples counseling, family counseling, and professional mediation services to clients of all ages and issues.

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Insight Therapy, LLC
3362 Big Pine Trail
Suite A
Champaign, Illinois 61822

Phone: (217) 383-0151
Fax: (217) 633-4555

Practice Areas

Depression, Anxiety, Trauma, Addiction, Couples Counseling, Eating Disorders, Sexual Abuse Survivor, School Anxiety, Women's Issues, Relationship Issues, BiPolar Disorder, Personality Disorders, Family Issues, Couples Counseling, Mediation, and more!