Rumination Syndrome

What is Rumination Syndrome?

Rumination Syndrome is considered to be an eating disorder, where a person (usually an infant or young child) brings back up and re-chews partially digested food. In many instances, the re-chewed food is swallowed again; occasionally the child will spit it out.

For Rumination Syndrome to be diagnosed, These instances of food being brought back up must happen with children who were previously experiencing normal eating habits for at least a month.

What are the Symptoms of Rumination Syndrome?

The defining symptom with rumination syndrome is the regurgitation of recently eaten food. Some people with rumination can experience additional symptoms. Some of those other symptoms can include;

How is Rumination Syndrome Treated?

Behavioral modification is the only treatment available for Rumination syndrome because it is considered a learned disorder. The current behavioral treatment for rumination syndrome will consist of diaphragmatic breathings techniques to compete against the urge to regurgitate food. Habit reversal techniques are used to target rumination syndrome are eliminated through consistent use of a competing behavioral action. Over time, the rumination syndrome habits are eliminated.  This is a result of the rumination and the competing habit not being able to be performed at the same time.

Rumination syndrome must be treated at the earliest possible opportunities.  Parents of young children with this disorder must immediately contact their doctor in order to start the process.  The longer a child continues to live with Rumination syndrome, the more difficult it can be to be treated in a quick period of time.

Last Reviewed:
October 09, 2016
Last Updated:
August 23, 2017