Rumination syndrome is a rare disorder in which a child regurgitates partially digested food.
If your child has rumination, they may eat meals normally, and then regurgitate (bring swallowed food back up from the mouth) the food from the esophagus before it is digested. In most cases, a child with rumination will then re-chew and re-swallow the food. In some cases, the child may spit it out.
Rumination is involuntary — like a reflex— but it is not a form of vomiting. The child does not feel nauseous before or during the incidence, and the food that is regurgitated tastes the same to the child as when it was first swallowed. Rumination has been compared to the sensation of burping, however in this case, instead of gas coming up the esophagus, the initially swallowed food comes back up.
For the condition to be considered rumination, it must occur at every meal for weeks or months.
The symptom of rumination is regurgitation of undigested food one to two hours after eating.
There is no known cause of rumination.
American Board of Pediatrics/Gastroenterology