Rumination Syndrome Treatment Program

Providing Intensive Treatment of Rumination Syndrome in Adolescents

Rumination Syndrome Treatment Program

Rumination syndrome is an uncommon, often misunderstood and frequently misdiagnosed GI condition. Patients often undergo many tests and can go months or years without an accurate diagnosis. Even when the diagnosis is made, most families are not sure where to go for treatment.

Our Rumination Syndrome Treatment Program exists to provide treatment for patients with this condition, to increase awareness of rumination syndrome and to conduct clinical research to further its understanding and treatment. The program is designed for children with rumination syndrome but is not suited for those with eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa or bulimia, severe psychiatric disorders, or cognitive or developmental impairments.

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Why Choose Us

The Rumination Syndrome Treatment Program is leading the field of practice and research with patients with rumination syndrome. The syndrome falls on a spectrum from mild to severe symptoms. Our team has worked with patients with varying degrees of severity of rumination.

We have multiple levels of treatment, based on severity of symptoms, and patient age and needs. We have three levels of care, including: 

  • outpatient
  • intensive outpatient
  • inpatient treatment programs 

Level of care is determined by our team based on information from your referring GI physician and our clinic visit with you and your child. 

Our program is unique in that our approach is multidisciplinary, addressing various aspects of patient care and tailoring treatment to each individual’s needs. Our team consists of GI specialists, pediatric psychologists, massage therapists, registered dietitians, child life specialists, and therapeutic recreation specialists. You will interact with different members of the team depending on the treatment program that is right for you.

Learn About Rumination Syndrome

Program Outcomes 

During the first six years of our program, we treated over 80 patients with rumination syndrome from 30 states and Canada. The average age of our patients was 16 years, and on average, patients suffered from rumination syndrome for between 3 months and 13 years before admission to our program. Forty-eight percent were admitted on feeding tubes or TPN. The average length of admission was nine days. By the end of admission, 87% of patients were able to keep down at least 80% of their daily required calories and fluid. Of the patients who were admitted with feeding tubes or TPN, 83% of patients left the program no longer needing supplemental feedings. Our research group currently is conducting a study to examine the long-term outcomes of patients who were a part of our program.

Learn About Rumination Syndrome

Meet Our Patients

Allie G

Read Allie's Story

Name: Allie G.
Condition(s): Rumination Syndrome
Age Today: 23 Years

When Allie was 9-years-old, I started to throw up after almost every single meal. She was put on medicine to help her stomach digest food faster and it worked for a while, but not long.

Carrie W

Read Carrie's Story

Name: Carrie W.
Condition(s): Rumination Syndrome
Age Today: 31 Years

When Carrie was 9-years-old, she broke her ankle. This turned into Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy, a nerve condition that causes severe pain. After years of being told she was faking her pain, she found relief at Nationwide Children's.

Patient Referrals

Patients cannot be self-referred or referred by their family. Referrals must come directly from a gastroenterologist who has knowledge of the patient’s medical history and prior testing, and who is willing to follow the patient once he or she is discharged from our program. Referring physicians should have already conducted enough of an evaluation to rule out some other causes of vomiting. Because patient cooperation, investment, and ability to work independently is essential to the success of treatment in our program, the program is best suited for children and adolescents without substantial developmental delay or psychiatric challenges.

The referring gastroenterologist should fax a summary letter, applicable outpatient and clinic notes including psychological or psychiatric evaluation and/or treatment, any inpatient admission summaries, appropriate test results and images to the Motility Center at (614) 722-3454. They can also call the center at (614) 722-3456 for additional information and guidance on the referral process. All records must be received before the patient’s case is reviewed. Once thoroughly reviewed by the motility team, a decision is made for either an outpatient clinic visit with our pediatric motility physician and psychologist or the referral may be declined. It is also possible the team may ask for further testing to be done or to be seen by other specialists before the clinic visit.

Refer a Patient

Albert's Story
Patient Story

Albert's Story: "I Have Rumination Syndrome"

Albert ended his sophomore year of high school with a mystery illness that left him unable to attend classes, play sports or hang out with friends because he was vomiting more than 30 times a day. It would take years of hospital visits, specialist appointments and extensive medical tests before Albert finally got answers.