Rumination disorder occurs when the affected individual mistakenly vomit up unprocessed or partially digested food from their stomach, re-chew it, and then either re-swallow or spit it up.
Rumination disorder, also known as rumination syndrome, is a chronic illness that affects a small number of people. Infants, children, and adults are all affected. Most meals are regurgitated by people with this disease. When recently ingested food rises into the esophagus, throat, and mouth, it isn’t evacuated from the mouth involuntarily or forcefully as it is with vomiting. Rumination disorder is a complex and time-consuming condition to diagnose. The prognosis is good after a diagnosis has been made. The majority of patients with rumination disorder respond well to treatment. Rumination disorder can even go away on its own in rare situations.
Symptoms of Rumination Disorder
This disorder causes people to regurgitate practically every day and after almost every meal.
Other signs and symptoms could include:
• bad breath
• Loss of weight
• indigestion or stomach discomfort
• rotting of the teeth
• chapped lips or dry mouth
Both children and adults experience the same signs and symptoms of rumination disorder. Regurgitated food is more likely to spit out by adults. Food is more likely to be re-chewed and swallowed by children.
Causes of Rumination Disorder
Rumination, according to experts, is an unconscious process. They do believe, however, that deliberate diaphragm muscle relaxation becomes a learned habit. It’s similar to the classic belching reaction. Instead of gas, the reflex causes actual food to return to the stomach.
Risk factors of Rumination Disorder
Factors that can increase the risk of rumination disorder in both children and adults involve:
• having an acute illness
• having a mental disorder
• going through a psychiatric disorder
• undergoing a major surgery
• going through a stressful experience
Complications of Rumination Disorder
Untreated, rumination disorder can damage the tube between the mouth and stomach i.e. esophagus.
Rumination disorder can also lead to
• Detrimental weight loss
• Dental decay
• Bad breath
• Social isolation
Prevention of Rumination Disorder
It might be possible to reduce your risk of rumination syndrome by learning more about the positive coping strategies for ongoing stressful situations.
Diagnosis of Rumination Disorder
To be diagnosed with rumination syndrome, a person must meet the following criteria, according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition:
• Food regurgitation on a regular basis for at least a month. Food that has been regurgitated can be eaten, swallowed, or vomited up.
• Regurgitation isn’t caused by a gastrointestinal or other medical problem (for example, gastroesophageal reflux, pyloric stenosis)
• There must be no anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, binge eating disorder, or avoidant/restrictive food intake disorder in addition to the eating disorder.
• If an eating disorder coexists with another mental disorder (for example, intellectual disability), the symptoms must be severe enough to warrant medical attention.
Treatment of Rumination Disorder
Diaphragmatic breathing exercise is the easiest and most effective treatment for rumination disorder in children and adults. It entails learning to breathe deeply while also relaxing the diaphragm. 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 the rumination problem include:
• Alterations in posture, both during and immediately following a meal
• Eliminating distractions at mealtimes
• Minimizing distractions and stress at mealtimes
For the time being, there is no treatment for rumination disorder.