Rumination disorder

Definition of Rumination disorder

Rumination disorder is a condition in which a person keeps bringing up food from the stomach into the mouth (regurgitation) and rechewing the food.

Causes, incidence, and risk factors

Rumination disorder usually starts after age 3 months, following a period of normal digestion. It occurs in infants and is rare in children and teenagers. The cause is often unknown. Certain problems, such as lack of stimulation of the infant, neglect, and high-stress family situations, have been associated with the disorder.

Signs and tests

The health care provider must first rule out physical causes, such as and . These conditions can be mistaken for rumination disorder.

Treatment

Rumination disorder is treated with behavioral techniques. One treatment associates bad consequences with rumination and good consequences with more appropriate behavior (mild aversive training).

Expectations (prognosis)

In some cases rumination disorder will disappear on its own, and the child will go back to eating normally without treatment. In other cases, treatment is necessary.

Review

David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine; and George F. Longstreth, MD, Department of Gastroenterology, Kaiser Permanente Medical Care Program, San Diego, California. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc. – 1/20/2010

ADAM Medical Encyclopedia

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