What is Rumination Syndrome?

I supposed that you are well aware that I regularly share information about eating disorders in this site, which of course is part of my weight loss commitment to you. Today, I will talk about another rare disorder that affects some people on how they eat food, with regurgitation as the primary symptom.

Have you heard the condition called Rumination Syndrome? Well, it is a rare disease that is often classified as an eating disorder. Rumination syndrome or also known as Merycism, is a less diagnosed chronic condition that is described as the process of regurgitating foods following consumption. If this sounds like you, then you need to read this article to learn more about this condition.

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Rumination Syndrome – A Rare Disease

Image credit: www.lifecoachinglls.com

Image credit: www.lifecoachinglls.com

MayoClinic classifies this condition as a disorder that affects the functions of the stomach and esophagus, a disease known as functional gastroduodenal disorder. Rumination syndrome is linked together with other eating disorders such as bulimia nervosa and pica, which are considered to be non-psychotic mental disorders.

With Rumination, the regurgitation is not similar with vomiting because it show less signs of retching, nausea, heartburn or abdominal odors or pain. It is just a simple casting out of food of incompletely digested food. From medical records in the US alone, this disorder mostly affects infants, children and people with cognitive disabilities. However, there are an increasing numbers of adolescents and healthy adults that are diagnosed with rumination syndrome.

This disorder is also being considered as a probably cause of depression for adults without mental impairment. Though the symptoms are similar between infants and adults, showing signs of rumination syndrome on adults are much more alarming because they tend to hide it from others or they often in self-denial mood. Additionally, rumination syndrome is difficult to diagnose as it is similar to other types of conditions especially with regards to digestive system or similar to binging and purging of bulimia nervosa.

Causes of Rumination Syndrome

The causes of this syndrome is still unknown up to this day. However, family history is highly regarded as one of the probably cause. For infants, the causes of rumination is due to over and under-stimulation from parents or caregivers, which leads to self-gratification and self-stimulus because of over or lack of external stimuli.

For adults, some theories suggests that rumination is caused by habits or trauma. When you say habit, it is induced by past or present disorders, such as bulimia nervosa or just an intentional casting of foods after consumption. Trauma meanwhile is caused by physical, mental or physical injuries that triggers rumination syndrome. Some of the trauma-induced cases includes surgeries, psychological distress, depression, concussions and many others.

Signs and Symptoms of Rumination Syndrome

The most common sign of this disorder is the regurgitation of undigested food, right after the start of a meal. The amounts of the regurgitated food varies from person to person, and the food can be re-chewed and swallowed.

Some patients have shown some evidence that the food itself can trigger rumination. Patients have their own types of foods that do not lead to regurgitation . This means that food is also a big part of this syndrome especially to those who have endure this disorder for years.

Some common symptoms includes abdominal pain, constipation, nausea, diarrhea, bloating, dental decay and unintentional weight loss. Other effects of rumination to health are still not conclusive up until today.

Possible Treatments for Rumination Syndrome

As the diagnosis for rumination syndrome is critical, there are no exact treatment possible. Treatment varies on person to person basis differentiated between infants, mentally impaired individuals and to those with normal intelligence. Most medications and treatment solutions, such as proton pump inhibitors, have shown no positive results.

Some of the widely used trainings or therapies for rumination syndrome are behavioral therapy and aversive training regime. Some anti-vomiting techniques are also recommended on rumination diagnosed patients because of its significant improvement rate. This includes breathing techniques and supportive therapy.

With correct diagnosis by your physician, the success of treatment is as high as 85% according to a published editorial in WikiPedia.

Conclusion on Rumination Syndrome

Even though having no solid treatment procedure, rumination syndrome is highly treatable through therapies and training. Remember that regurgitating your food can either be intentional or unintentional in nature depending on the person involved. If you think you have this syndrome or you know someone who regurgitates foods during or following a meal, then you need to seek medical help immediately.

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Noah Mark

Hi, this is Noah and thank you for reading this post. I hope you learned something here. Rest assured that I will continue to bring you the best weight loss information in this site to help you overcome all your weight gain endeavors. Please follow me on Google+ and Twitter to learn more.

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