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Rumination disorder can be diagnosed when a person knowingly brings the food back into the mouth and re chews or swallows it or even spit it out.  This disorder is also known as merycism. In fact this disorder is most commonly seen in infants and has its links with mental retardation. The child actually brings the food back to its mouth and re-chews the same or even spits it out during the process of rumination. It is also seen in many cases where the child suffered from an illness or goes through irritable mood that was associated to vomiting and this occurred just before the rumination disorder was diagnosed. Rumination disorder is also observed in some cases where we can see eating disorders among adults as well as teenagers.

Causes Of Rumination

There is no common consensus on what could be the causes of rumination disorder. The reason why it is seen in infants and adults may not be the same. In infants the causes of rumination can be due to the lack of physical contact or good nurturing. If you take efforts to soothe or stimulate the child, we can see the child get rid of this disorder.  Of course there are some biological factors that are also considered today as possible causes for triggering this disorder.

Rumination Signs And Symptoms

Rumination signs include the effort made to regurgitate the food. In the case of infants we can see the child attempts to get the food back by putting its fingers in the mouth and then sucking on the tongue and taking it back. When the food is brought up, the cheeks will expand and will appear puffed. Sometimes we can notice the person re-chewing and the person who does this takes a lot of pleasure in this act. If we go near the person we can smell the foul odor.  Sometimes Rumination signs are misunderstood as infant vomiting that happens in most of the cases. Rumination may be hard to diagnose like a test for dysthymia is. It is seen that as an infant continues to do this rumination, they will learn how to keep more of the regurgitated food in the mouth. Rumination signs are easy to understand and rectified.

Treatment For Rumination

It is seen that the rumination disorder occurs mainly in infants. This generally happens just before the infant’s first birthday approaches. Those people who suffer from mental retardation suffer more from this disorder. Treatment for rumination would depend on the root cause of this behavior. In Infants the main cause of rumination is because of a lack of physical touch and affection by the mother and father. In these cases, treatment is very easy. The mother can give more time to the infant and the problem will be sorted. Other methods for treatment for rumination involve parenting education and some effective therapies that can create a strong bond between the child and the parent.

Treatment for rumination for adult patients is done by offering them chewing gum when rumination is expected to happen. Another way for treatment is by giving the mentally retarded adults meals that are filling. Modifications of behavior techniques can also help a patient to understand the ruminating behavior and get away with that.