Diagnosis at Mayo Clinic

By Mayo Clinic Staff


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Mayo Clinic doctors start by obtaining an accurate medical history and asking about symptoms. This initial exam, and sometimes observation of a person's behavior, may be enough to diagnose rumination syndrome.

While the diagnosis can be made in the vast majority of cases with a careful history, high-resolution esophageal manometry and impedance measurement can be used to confirm the diagnosis. This testing also provides an image of the disordered function for use in biofeedback. Biofeedback is part behavioral therapy for rumination syndrome. During biofeedback, the imaging can help the patient diaphragmatic breathing skills to counteract regurgitation.

Mayo doctors may sometimes use other tests to rule out other causes of symptoms of rumination syndrome:

  • Esophagogastroduodenoscopy. This test allows your doctor to inspect your esophagus, stomach and the upper part of your small intestine (duodenum) to rule out any obstruction. The doctor may remove a small tissue sample (biopsy) for further study.
  • Gastric emptying. This procedure lets your doctor know how long it takes food containing a marker to empty from your stomach. Another version of this test also can measure how long it takes food to travel through your small intestine and colon.

Another test — called single-photon emission computerized tomography (SPECT) of the stomach — lets your doctor see how your stomach functions, and is helpful in deciding whether or not to use medications to relax the stomach. A SPECT scan is a type of nuclear imaging test, which means it uses a radioactive substance and a special camera to create 3-D pictures.

Oct. 15, 2015