Rumination disorder is a condition characterized by the repeated regurgitation and re-chewing of food for a period of at least one month. These episodes are not attributable to an associated gastrointestinal or other medical condition.
This condition can occur in infants, children, and adults. People with this disorder might appear to be "spitting up" or regurgitating food after a meal. Unlike medical conditions such as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), individuals with rumination disorder don't appear to be making an effort, nor do they seem distressed.
According to the DSM-5, rumination disorder is one of the five recognized feeding and eating disorders.
• If you or a loved one regularly regurgitates and re-chews food over a period of at least one month.
• When this behavior is not due to a medical condition or another mental health disorder.
• If the behavior is severe enough to cause significant distress or interfere with daily functioning.
Given the potential for serious medical complications (including malnutrition and weight loss), it's important to seek help as soon as possible if you suspect rumination disorder.
Treatment for rumination disorder often involves a multi-disciplinary team approach, including medical evaluation to rule out any physical conditions that may be causing the behavior. As psychologists, we provide behavioral treatments and help individuals develop coping mechanisms.
If you or a loved one is struggling with symptoms of rumination disorder, don't hesitate to reach out. Our team of psychologists is ready to support you. Contact us today, and take that first step towards recovery.