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Quick Facts

Rumination Disorder


The Manual's Editorial Staff

Last full review/revision Apr 2020| Content last modified Apr 2020
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What is rumination disorder?

Rumination disorder is an eating disorder that causes people to spit up (regurgitate) swallowed food.

  • People usually spit up a small amount of food about 15 to 30 minutes after eating

  • Sometimes people re-chew the food and then either swallow it again or spit it out

Spitting up food isn't the same as throwing up (vomiting). Throwing up is forceful and uncomfortable. Material from your stomach shoots out of your mouth.

People with rumination disorder may:

  • Try to hide what they're doing by putting their hand over their mouth or coughing

  • Avoid eating with others so people don't see them spitting up food

What are the symptoms of rumination disorder ?

Often, the only symptom is spitting up food. You don't have belly pain or feel sick (nausea). Rarely, you spit up so much food that it makes you lose weight.

How can doctors tell if I have rumination disorder ?

Rumination disorder is diagnosed based on your actions of spitting up food. Doctors may do tests to rule out physical problems with your digestive tract.

How do doctors treat rumination disorder?

Doctors may suggest therapy to change your behavior. Medicines don't usually help.

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