Rumination Disorder In Children – Symptoms And Treatment

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As a parent you would often encounter a number of problems with your child in his or early childhood. These problems are more or less health oriented or some physical disorder or the other.

Out of these disorders that your infant or child may suffer from, rumination disorder is one.

Rumination disorder, or rumination syndrome as it is commonly called, is a very common eating disorder seen in children.

What is Rumination Disorder?

Rumination disorder is an eating disorder.

  • It is a particular situation where an infant or a child brings up food from the stomach and repeatedly chews on it.
  • Regurgitation of meal from the stomach and then chewing it is usually followed by swallowing it back.
  • In most of the cases, the food is spat out by the child.
  • Usually, children who have developed this habit have a normal eating pattern.
  • The habit of regurgitating food, needs to be a daily habit for about a month before it can be treated as a disorder.

[ Read: Pica In Children ]

The Reason Behind Rumination Syndrome In Children:

Medical research in the field has been unable to point out any proper reason behind this disorder. However, the most conclusive of reasons that have been found to trigger this disorder in a child is majorly psychological.

  • Studies have concluded that the rumination disorder is found in cases where a child feels lack of stimulation from the parents’ side.
  • Stress in the family can also cause a child to take to ruminating in order to cope with the tension he or she is surrounded by. Constant chewing is found to be comforting by most children.
  • Another reason that can trigger this disorder is a prolonged illness.

On the whole, the proper cause for the disorder is not known. It can affect any child over three months of age.

[ Read: Anorexia In Children ]

Symptoms Of Rumination Disorder In Children

How can you judge that your child has rumination disorder?

Apart from the fact that the habit of regurgitating food from the stomach needs to be frequent and a month long, there are other symptoms as well. Through which you may be able to figure out whether your child suffers from this disorder.

These symptoms are:

  1. Repeatedly chewing food by bringing it up after having chewed once and swallowed it. This process usually follows a period of time where your child had normal eating habits.
  2. Throwing up food.
  3. Your child starts to lose weight.
  4. Your child is observed to have bad breath and chapped lips.
  5. There is a series of digestion problems and stomach aches that your child suffers from.
  6. Infants are observed to make movements such as arching their back, tightening up the muscles in their abdomen and holding their head back.

Though these symptoms of rumination disorder may not be conclusive, they are enough to give you a hint that your child may be suffering from this disorder.

Treatment For Rumination Disorder In Children:

Proper diagnosis of the disorder and treating it effectively is what you would expect to have. However, the rumination syndrome is such that it lacks any proper diagnosis or treatment measures.

  1. Once you suspect your child to be suffering from this disorder, you need to seek medical help regarding the treatment process.
  2. Rumination disorder, in some children, is rectified on its own over a period of time where children goes back to a normal eating routine. It could be said that an affected child grows out of the habit.
  3. You need to consult a doctor and go in for treatments that are related to behavioral correction.

[ Read: Types Of Eating Disorders In Children ]

The best way to ensure that your child does not suffer from rumination syndrome is to make sure that the child gets enough of care and attention from you, as his or her parents.

Know more about this disorder? Share them with us here.

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