Explaining Sudden Food Aversions in Adults

Explaining Sudden Food Aversions in Adults

Woman looking at her plate of food in disgust.

We all have different food cravings that sometimes last days and even weeks. One week it might be chicken, and the next, it’s steak. September might be taco month, and October might consist of salads. Either way, having a craving is very different from a lack of interest in eating food in general. Many people operate with the belief that these issues usually involve children or adolescents as they grow and socialize with the outside world.

But sudden food aversions can also plague adults and leave many friends and family members wondering how something can so quickly appear. Knowing some of the signs, you can get yourself or a loved one help when the ability to eat certain foods seems to vanish into thin air.

What Can Cause Sudden Food Aversions?

A food aversion is a strong dislike for a particular food. Food aversions are fairly common, and as long as you replace those nutrients with other types of food, things will be alright. When food aversions encompass large food groups and leave one searching for scraps, things become difficult to endure. Food aversions occur for a variety of reasons, whether due to hormonal changes or the presence of eating disorders. Here are just a few of those reasons:

  • ARFID – Avoidant/Restrictive Food Intake Disorder (ARFID) is characterized by a lack of interest in eating due to traumas, societal primers, or trivial characteristics such as taste and texture.
  • Food Neophobia – Food neophobia is a reluctance to try new foods, resulting in picky eating or other food-avoidant behaviors.
  • Pregnancy – Food aversions can occur during the first trimester due to an increase in the human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) hormone.

How to Know Someone Is Experiencing Sudden Food Aversions

There are a few common behavioral characteristics that food-avoidant individuals display. These characteristics are related to an individual’s desire to consume food that leads to weight gain and weight loss and how the body responds to these changes. Keep an eye out for the following changes:

  • Refusal to eat foods
  • Fear of vomiting or choking
  • Feat or difficulty eating around family or friends
  • Loss of weight
  • Delayed or no growth
  • Extremely slow eating

Many of these symptoms are common across the board, but there are several other telltale signs. ARFID is an eating disorder that usually leads to a nutrient deficiency. Many people with ARFID also need oral supplements to maintain their health, and people close to them may also notice a change in their psychological function.

How Do You Treat the Cause of Sudden Food Aversions?

As we discussed, avoiding certain foods is okay as long as other foods can replace the valuable nutrients you need. When that isn’t possible, there are a few other methods to enact. Hiding the food in some other food you enjoy can make it more palatable, and changing the texture might make it more appealing. You can also work with a treatment center like Shoreline or a mental health professional to determine how to treat ARFID in adults and what solutions work for you.

Treat Disordered Eating With Shoreline Center for Eating Disorder Treatment

Sudden food aversion isn’t normal, nor should you treat it as such. Adults reducing their food intake and having an extreme lack of interest in food should raise alarm bells for family members and friends. If you need ARFID treatment, don’t hesitate to reach out to the Shoreline Center for Eating Disorder Treatment. Our high-quality eating disorder PHP programs are part of our combination of programs designed specifically for individuals dealing with eating disorders. Contact us today or call us at 562-434-6007 to learn more about how to treat sudden food aversions and get your loved ones the help they need.