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What is Rumination Disorder & Is it an Eating Disorder?

Learn what rumination disorder is from Allegra Broft, M.D. in this Howcast video.


So, Rumination Disorder, or Rumination Syndrome, is an unusual type of eating problem that's somewhat related to bulimic-type eating problems where a person spontaneously regurgitates part of what they've eaten in the course of a meal or a snack. The food spontaneously regurgitates into the mouth and the person with Rumination Syndrome then, either spits it out or re-swallows the food.

Rumination can be a part of Bulimia Nervosa, and patients with Bulimia Nervosa may be at increased risk of developing this type of syndrome, but can happen in other settings as well. We don't know everything about how to treat Rumination Syndrome. When it emerges, there are some strategies that can be employed, psychotherapy strategies, so, that perhaps, habit reversal training can be one strategy where there are certain behavioral strategies that, in the moment in which spontaneous regurgitation is occurring, some relaxation techniques can be employed to try to limit the extent of that behavior.

Rumination disorder is definitely treatable, so don't hesitate to bring it up to your treatment team or treatment providers so that that piece of the disorder, which can be a hard one to talk about, doesn't get neglected or overlooked.

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