People in South Carolina may struggle with medical symptoms that are difficult or challenging to diagnose. One of these perplexing symptoms is when a person repeatedly spits up undigested food, needing to re-chew it or spit it out. In some cases, this can be a sign of a medical condition called rumination syndrome. However, it is often confused with other diseases affecting the stomach and digestive system. As a result, patients may be misdiagnosed and receive improper or ineffective treatment, while not receiving treatment for the condition that they have.
The danger of misdiagnoses
Delayed or missed diagnoses can lead to serious medical issues. Uncommon illnesses are, of course, more likely to face a misdiagnosis or doctor error, simply because they are far rarer. However, in some cases, doctors fail to make the correct diagnosis because they are negligent and do not provide the proper standard of care to their patients, causing them to suffer from harm. In these cases, a medical error can amount to malpractice, and this can be true for some people with rumination syndrome.
Misdiagnosis for people with rumination syndrome
These patients are often diagnosed with different gastrointestinal disorders. They may receive treatment for illnesses they do not have, including medications and procedures that may have significant side effects. In addition, these treatments are ineffective for rumination syndrome, which has unclear causes and responds best to behavioral therapy instead. People with rumination syndrome may refrain from eating with others, curtailing their social lives, and the unpleasant experience may lead to significant, unintentional weight loss.
In many cases, people with rumination syndrome may have challenges advocating for themselves, as the condition is particularly common among children and people with intellectual or developmental disabilities. However, treatment with cognitive behavioral therapy and deep breathing that affects the diaphragm can help people with rumination syndrome to improve and recover.