RUMINATION SYNDROME: Risk factors, Diagnosis, Treatment

RUMINATION SYNDROME: Risk factors, Diagnosis, Treatment

Rumination syndrome, also known as "Rumination disease," is an uncommon or chronic illness in which patients unconsciously spit out food on a regular basis. This regurgitation is frequently caused by recently consumed undigested or partly digested meals. This meal then rises into the esophagus, throat, and mouth, where it is spit out, chewed, or swallowed again. This is most common after every meal, right after eating, among those who have been diagnosed with this condition. The meal apparently tastes normal and isn't acidic in nature like vomit because it is still half digested. This uncommon condition is frequently connected to developmental difficulties, and it is more common in people who suffer from anxiety, depression, or other psychiatric disorders.


The following are some of the causal variables that enhance the incidence of rumination syndrome:

  • Although anybody can be affected by this disorder, it is more common in newborns and children with intellectual difficulties.
  • Surgical Procedure: People undergoing surgery may commonly suffer from this syndrome.
  • Other health conditions: People who are suffering from an acute sickness or a mental problem may be more aware of this chronic disease. Rumination syndrome is more common in people with mental disorders or those who have had a traumatic event than in healthy people.


Rumination syndrome is characterized by the regurgitation of undigested food within half an hour to two hours after eating. The following are some more frequent indications and symptoms:

  • Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
  • Indigestion of food
  • Breathing difficulties
  • Nausea
  • Dryness in the mouth and chapped lips
  • Dental problems (i.e., tooth decay)
  • Sudden weight loss


Although scientists and researchers aren't sure what causes rumination syndrome, some studies suggest that it might be caused by a rise in abdominal pressure. With the basic symptoms being comparable to various G.I illnesses, rumination syndrome is sometimes mistaken for bulimia nervosa, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), and gastroparesis. It's frequently associated with rectal evacuation disorder, a disease characterized by poor pelvic floor muscle coordination and recurrent constipation.


If the illness is not addressed promptly, it might damage the esophagus to some extent (i.e., the tube between your mouth and stomach). However, it can also result in:

  • Malnutrition
  • Erosion of the teeth
  • Embarrassment
  • Isolation from others


If you suspect your kid or someone close to you is suffering from this uncommon syndrome unknowingly, seek medical help as soon as possible to avoid consequences. The doctor normally takes into account the patient's previous medical history, does a thorough physical examination, and monitors the patient's behavior. The doctor may also perform the following tests:

  • To rule out gastrointestinal problems, blood testing and imaging methods are used.
  • To rule out any blockage, an esophagogastroduodenoscopy is performed to examine the esophagus, stomach, and duodenum.
  • The gastric emptying process is used to determine how long it takes for food to leave your stomach.
  • Rumination syndrome is confirmed using high-resolution esophageal manometry and impedance testing.


  • Rumination disorder is treated the same way in children and adults. The goal of treatment is to alter the learned habit that causes regurgitation. Your doctor will provide a treatment plan for you based on your age and ability.
  • Diaphragmatic breathing exercise is the easiest and most effective treatment for rumination problems in children and adults. Learning to breathe deeply while relaxing the diaphragm is part of it. When the diaphragm is relaxed, regurgitation is impossible.
  • During and after meals, use diaphragmatic breathing exercises. Rumination disorder should eventually go away.

Other options for treating rumination problems include:

  • Reducing distractions during meal times changing posture both during and after a meal
  • Decreasing distractions and stress at mealtimes
  • Psychotherapy

There is no medicine available right now for rumination disorder. However, medications are provided to prevent esophageal damage caused by frequent ruminating.