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Rumination Disorder

Repeated regurgitation and rechewing of food for a period of at least 1 month following a period of normal eating habits characterizes's Rumination Disorder. The behavior is not due to an associated gastrointestinal or other general medical condition and the behavior does not occur exclusively during the course of Anorexia Nervosa or Bulimia Nervosa.

Associated Features:

The infant is generally irritable and hungry between episodes of regurgitation.
Hiatal Hernia.

Differential Diagnosis

Some disorders have similar or even the same symptoms. The clinician, therefore, in his/her diagnostic attempt, has to differentiate against the following disorders which need to be ruled out to establish a precise diagnosis.

Congenital anomalies, such as pyloric stenosis, or infections of the gastrointestinal system, can cause regurgitation of food, and need to be ruled out by appropriate physical examinations and tests.


Onset of rumination disorder usually occurs after three months of age however, the cause if often unknown. It is associated with medical conditions such as hiatal hernia.


Rumination disorder is treated with behavioral techniques such as mild aversive training. combined with other techniques to improvement in the child's psychosocial environment. In some cases rumination disorder will have a spontaneous remission, and the child returns to eating normally without treatment.

Counseling and Psychotherapy [ See Therapy Section ]:

Cognitive behavioral therapy which includes the parents of the child.

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Page Updated
22nd July 2003