There are three treatment programs depending on level of care. All programs start with an initial clinic visit with the physician and psychologist.
- The Intensive Outpatient Program involves three to five days of treatment that includes two to three meals per day.
- The General Outpatient Program includes single-treatment meals scheduled every two to four weeks based on patient need. This is typically reserved for local patients related to length of time for treatment.
- For the Inpatient Program, patients have two to three treatment meals per day for up to two weeks and remain in the hospital during this time. This is reserved for patients with the most severe form of rumination and includes additional therapies outside of meals.
Several studies of the treatment of rumination syndrome have produced some very positive and exciting findings. Research has highlighted many important parts of treatment.
- Education. Families who take an active role in learning, understanding, and treating rumination have the best outcomes.
- Treating the related symptoms. Treating symptoms such as nausea or bloating that occur after eating can reduce the frequency of the rumination behavior.
- Resetting the brain-gut connection. Treatment includes focusing on increasing awareness of what your abdominal muscles are doing, learning new behaviors for the abdominal muscles instead of tightening, and keeping the body relaxed during mealtimes.
- Retraining the stomach to hold food again. Patients benefit from starting very slowly with small amounts and then gradually increasing their stomach’s ability to tolerate greater amounts of food and fluid.