If you haven’t heard the term cibophobia before, it means the fear of food. People that suffer from this phobia tend to avoid a particular food or drink, because they are scared of the food itself. It can dangerously lead to malnutrition because people dramatically reduce many different types of aliment that they eat. As a consequence, their diet becomes very poor, just a few options, resulting in the lack of nutrients. Furthermore, it may cause other health problems such as lack of concentration, depression, pale and cold skin, mental retardation, reduced fertility and muscle and subcutaneous fat wasting.
Do you suffer from cibophobia? But, what is the cipophobia suffering profile? Age? Gender?… Generally speaking, anyone can experience fear of some type of food. However, cipophobia sufferers respond fearfully to the following aliments:
- Short dated food. People avoid any type of food close to their expiry date. Of course, they won’t eat anything that has passed its shelf-life by 1 or 2 days, even if it looks fine. They also believe that food expiries quicker once it has been opened.
- Take away and restaurants. Those who can’t control or prepare their food avoid take away food, restaurants or meeting family and friends in their houses. Cibophobia sufferers need to have control of their food at all times.
- Perishable foods. Food that can easily rot adds extra pressure to these people. Yogurt, milk, fresh fruit, vegetables, meat and fish or any type of sauces are critical. Cibophobia individuals constantly think that this food is not in a good state.
- Undercooked and overcooked food. Undercooked food may lead to foodborne diseases. So, people may avoid any type of aliment if it hasn’t been cooked properly. They avoid sushi, raw meet… Similar situation for overcooked food. They think it causes intestinal fungus, risk of cancer, chronic inflammation…
- People with cibophobia won’t ever eat any food from the day before, also a few hours after being cooked or served.
- Organic vs non-organic. Extreme obsession for buying just organic products because people perceive them as a healthier option than non-organic food.
Most common symptoms for those who suffer cibophobia are chest pain, difficulty to breath, nausea, vomiting, elevated blood pressure, upset stomach, dry mouth, headache or racing heartbeat.
Other phobias and solution
On the other hand, people expire some other phobias such as neophobia, carnophobia, alliumphobia, alektorophobia or emetophobia, among the others.
- Neophobia. Fear to new foods.
- Carnophobia. Fear of meat.
- Alliumphobia. Fear of garlic.
- Alektorophobia. Fear of chicken.
- Emetophobia. Fear of vomiting due to a particular food.
Health systems have professionals who work with people that suffer phobias related with food. An easy option: medication, better don’t go in that route. Alternatives and healthier options: hypnosis and cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT).