Treatment at Mayo Clinic

By Mayo Clinic Staff


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Treatment depends on the exclusion of other disorders, as well as on the person's age and cognitive ability. At Mayo Clinic, digestive disease specialists (gastroenterologists) work closely with pediatricians and psychologists to treat people with rumination syndrome.

Behavior therapy

Mayo Clinic specialists typically use habit reversal behavior therapy to treat people without developmental disabilities who have rumination syndrome. People learn to recognize when rumination occurs, and to breathe in and out with the abdominal muscles (diaphragmatic breathing) during those times. Diaphragmatic breathing prevents abdominal contractions and regurgitation.

For people who have mental or developmental disabilities, such behavioral treatment may not be possible. Treatment may involve mild aversive training — associating rumination with negative consequences — or other behavioral techniques.

For infants, treatment usually focuses on working with parents or caregivers to change the infant's environment and behavior.


If frequent rumination is damaging the esophagus, proton pump inhibitors may be prescribed. These medications can protect the lining of the esophagus until behavior therapy reduces the frequency and severity of regurgitation.

Some people with rumination syndrome may benefit from treatment with medication that helps relax the stomach in the period after eating.

Untreated, rumination syndrome can damage the tube between your mouth and stomach (esophagus) and cause unhealthy weight loss.

Oct. 15, 2015