Rumination disorder is another newly recognized eating disorder. It describes a condition in which a person regurgitates food they have previously chewed and swallowed, re-chews it, and then either re-swallows it or spits it out.This rumination typically occurs within the first 30 minutes after a meal. Unlike medical conditions like reflux, it’s voluntary.
This disorder can develop during infancy, childhood, or adulthood. In infants, it tends to develop between 3–12 months of age and often disappears on its own. Children and adults with the condition usually require therapy to resolve it. If not resolved in infants, rumination disorder can result in weight loss and severe malnutrition that can be fatal.
Adults with this disorder may restrict the amount of food they eat, especially in public. This may lead them to lose weight and become underweight.
Rumination disorder can affect people at all stages of life. People with the condition generally regurgitate the food they’ve recently swallowed. Then, they chew it again and either swallow it or spit it out.