Rumination syndrome: what is it and how is it diagnosed and treated?

It’s an unusual behavioural issue called “rumination syndrome.” Children and some adults are affected. Automatic regurgitation of previously consumed food is a symptom of rumination syndrome. If your child has this issue, meals are often eaten normally by him or her. However, after an hour or so, the oesophagus sends undigested food back up into the person’s mouth. Your youngster will either eat the meal again and swallow it or spit it out. This often occurs every meal, every day. Rumination is a reflex rather than an intentional action.

Rumination syndrome is an uncommon issue. It could, however, go undiagnosed because it’s mistaken for something else.


Rumination is now more frequently identified in both children and adults, while it is still uncommon. According to experts, this may be taking place because medical professionals can now identify the issue. Then, a diagnosis can be made. Actually, ruminating is not occurring more frequently.

What signs indicate rumination syndrome?

Throwing up is not the same as ruminating. Rumination causes the meal to remain undigested and frequently retains its original flavour.

Rumination syndrome symptoms might resemble those of other illnesses or health issues. For a diagnosis, always consult your healthcare provider.

How is rumination disorder identified?

Rumination syndrome is sometimes mistaken as a vomiting problem, such as delayed digestion (gastroparesis), GERD, or heartburn, because vomiting is far more prevalent (gastroesophageal reflex disease).

Healthcare professionals need to ask the proper questions to identify rumination. For instance, it’s crucial to inquire about the food’s flavour when it’s mentioned. If the food still tastes delicious, it was not digested. This suggests that rumination syndrome is likely. Food that has been vomited has been digested and is usually not retained in the mouth.

What is the cause of rumination syndrome?

Rumination is considered unconscious by experts. However, they also think that the diaphragm’s voluntary muscular relaxation develops into a learned habit. It resembles the standard belching reflex. However, the reflex causes actual food to come back up rather than just gas.

Rumination Symptoms

The typical therapy for reflux does not improve the symptoms of rumination syndrome.

What is the remedy for rumination syndrome?

Your healthcare professional will choose a specific course of treatment for rumination syndrome depending on the following criteria:

– How old are you?
– Your current and previous health
– How ill are you?
– Your capacity to handle a certain medication, operation, or therapy
– Expected duration of the condition
– Your preference or opinion

Rumination syndrome cannot be adequately treated with any currently known medications. Learning how to eat and digest food properly again is the greatest method to stop it. Training in diaphragmatic breathing is necessary for this.

This is often taught by a behavioural psychologist, and it is simple to learn. To prevent regurgitation, the procedure must be followed at the beginning of every meal. Most people can eventually become proficient in the breathing method. The negative effects of rumination syndrome will end as a result.

Can rumination disorder be avoided?

Experts are unsure of the root cause of the rumination syndrome. Therefore, it’s not apparent what can be done to stop it.

Rumination syndrome sufferer

Rumination syndrome appears to not cause much bodily harm, which is excellent news. Occasionally, the acid and reflux might create issues with the oesophagus. It has led to a minor amount of weight reduction in some adults and teenagers.

Work with your doctor or the doctor who treats your kid to get familiar with the symptoms. the pattern, then work with a behavioural psychologist to stop it.


When should I make a call to my doctor?

Inform your healthcare practitioner if your symptoms worsen or if you develop any new ones.

Important information about rumination syndrome

Food is brought back up from the stomach in the unusual behavioural disease known as ruminative syndrome. Rechewed, reswallowed, or spewed out are the only options.

The meal will be characterised as tasting normal rather than acidic and vomit-like. It is still undigested, according to this.

It is a psychiatric illness that this issue is. It could be misdiagnosed as vomiting or another digestive issue.

You may identify the pattern and take steps to change it with the aid of behavioural therapy.

Anyone who loses weight, regurgitates food after eating, or vomits after eating should be evaluated for rumination syndrome.

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