Rumination syndrome is a condition in which people repeatedly and unintentionally spit up (regurgitate) undigested or partially digested food from the stomach, re chew it and then either re swallow the food or spit it out. Rumination typically occurs every day, and at every meal, usually within 30 minutes of eating. The precise cause of rumination syndrome is unknown, but it's clear that rumination is a subconscious behaviour, not a conscious decision.
Symptoms are repeated regurgitation of food, repeated re-chewing of food, weight loss, bad breath and tooth decay, repeated stomach aches and indigestion, raw and chapped lips. In addition, infants with rumination may make unusual movements like straining and arching the back, holding the head back, tightening the abdominal muscles, and making sucking movements with the mouth. These movements may be done as the infant is trying to bring back up the partially digested food.
Medications for rumination disease includes nonaversive behavioral therapy is the cornerstone to treatment. It involves habit reversal by using several strategies, like strong encouragement not to vomit, biofeedback relaxation, and diaphragmatic breathing. Patients should be encouraged to practice diaphragmatic breathing midway through the meal if regurgitation occurs during the meal or after meals for three different 5-minute periods of inactivity, with 10 minutes in between periods.