A. Repeated regurgitation of food over a period of at least 1 month. Regurgitation food may be re-chewed, re-swallowed, or spit out
B. The repeated regurgitation in not attributable to an associated gastrointestinal or other medical condition
C. The eating disturbance does not occur exclusively during the course of anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, binge-eating disorder, or avoidant/restrictive food intake disorder.
D. If symptoms occur in the context of another mental disorder they are sufficiently severe to warrant additional clinical attention
In remission: after full criteria for rumination disorder were previously met, the criteria have not been met for a sustained period of time
Many times people with rumination disorder will eat by themselves because the regurgitation of their food is something they wish to hide from others. Observation of this individual would show a normal chewing and swallowing pattern, followed by a brief regurgitation of food back into the throat or mouth. From the throat or mouth some rumination suffers re-chew the food, simply re-swallow the food, and some choose to spit the food out.
Rumination disorder can have many emotional or mental causes but its origins are unknown. It is important to meet with a guide or a professional to determine the exact root cause of the symptoms.
Evidence shows that past bulimic episodes can cause rumination disorder – possibly due to a training of the muscles in the stomach and throat.
Rumination disorder has also been shown to be caused by stressful events and anxiety, especially in children. This evidence points towards rumination disorder being caused by psychosomatic symptoms; emotional distress playing itself out with physical symptoms. This gives stress a way to get out of the body rather than being held in, and in this way the body is relieving itself of stress.
Psychotherapy or talk therapy is the only cure for rumination disorder – specifically cognitive behavioral techniques.
Some medications can help with rumination disorder if they work to alleviate stress, anxiety or depression – the underlying causes of the symptoms.