Rumination Disorder is uncommon, and seems to occur more often in males than in females.
Diagnosis of Rumination Disorder
Children suspected of having Rumination Disorder should first be seen by a pediatrician to determine whether there are any physical causes of regurgitation. A medical exam can also determine whether children are suffering from malnutrition, dehydration, and/or nutrient deficiencies. Next, an environmental assessment will typically be conducted in order to determine whether family relationship problems, a lack of stimulation, and/or specific consequences (obtaining attention from caregivers) are linked to the behavior.
Treatment of Rumination Disorder
Strategies for the treatment of Rumination Disorder are similar in concept to treatments for Pica. The centerpiece of treatment is a comprehensive behavioral modification plan (based on learning principles) which is designed to promote normal eating behavior and to discourage ruminative behavior. Parents may be taught parenting techniques which aim to provide increased attention, interaction, and stimulation for affected children in support of these behavior modification goals. They may also be encouraged to consult with a nutritionist. Behavior modification plans designed to reduce and ultimately eliminate Rumination Disorder symptoms need to be applied consistently across all environments that children encounter in order for best results to occur. Children who are in serious-life threatening danger due to their condition will, of course, need to be hospitalized until their condition stabilizes.