Avoidant/restrictive food intake disorder (ARFID) is a potentially lethal eating disorder. This case example of a male, G, aged 17 years with ARFID illustrates the multiplicity of health problems related to nutritional deficiencies which may develop in an adolescent of normal weight. Of particular concern was the diagnosis of subacute combined degeneration (SCD) of the spinal cord and the real possibility that G may have irreversible damage to his spinal cord. To our knowledge, this is the first reported case of a patient with SCD of the spinal cord due to ARFID.
The adolescent was found to be deficient in Vitamin A, E, K, D, B12, and folate. Management required vitamin replacement, initial nasogastric feeding and the slow introduction of a varied diet. This patient will require long term rehabilitation. Medical practitioners need to be attuned to abnormal eating patterns in children and adolescents and refer for specialist care early. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. (Int J Eat Disord 2015; 48:1176–1179).