Rumination Disorder

what is rumination disorder?

Rumination disorder involves the regular regurgitation of food that occurs for at least one month. Regurgitated food may be re-chewed, re-swallowed, or spit out. Typically, when someone regurgitates their food, they do not appear to be making an effort to regurgitate, nor do they appear to be stressed, upset, or disgusted, though they might recognize it is not socially appropriate behavior.

signs of rumination disorder

  • Repeated regurgitation of food for a period of at least one month. Regurgitated food may be re-chewed, re-swallowed, or spit out.
  • The repeated regurgitation is not due to a medication condition (e.g., gastrointestinal condition).
  • The behavior does not occur exclusively in the course of anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, binge eating disorder, or avoidant/restrictive food intake disorder (ARFID).
  • If occurring in the presence of another mental disorder (e.g., intellectual developmental disorder), it is severe enough to warrant independent clinical attention.

health consequences of rumination disorder

  • Dehydration
  • Malnutrition
  • Esophageal damage
  • Dental complications
  • Bad breath
  • In infants and young children, weight loss or failure to gain weight is common

treatment for rumination disorder

Once a physical cause for rumination disorder has been ruled out, the most common way rumination disorder is treated involves a combination of teaching breathing exercises, habit reversal, and anxiety coping skills. An individual with rumination disorder is taught to recognize the signs and situations when rumination is likely, as well as techniques to prevent regurgitation. Diaphragmatic breathing is the most effective treatment method to-date.

Reach out for help and support

If you think you are or someone you care about is struggling with rumination disorder, contact us here or click below to schedule an appointment online.