Rumination Syndrome in Ethiopia: A Case Study

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Eating disorders are commonly believed to be rare or nonexistent in Africa. However, due to exposure to Western culture, a rise in eating disorders among African women is reported in the literature. This case study describes a 17-year-old Ethiopian girl who meets the DSM-IV-TR and DSM-5 diagnostic criteria for bulimia nervosa and the Rome III Diagnostic Criteria for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders criteria for rumination syndrome. The article discusses the diagnostic delays, the difficulties in terms of therapy, and the context determinants that—combined with individual psychopathological features—are thought to contribute to the disorders. Health professionals should be informed about the prevalence of eating disorders in Africa and, more specifically, of rumination syndrome in young women with normal intelligence. In light of this case study, it seems necessary to raise awareness with regard to the insufficient evidence on effective therapies for rumination syndrome in individuals without intellectual impairment.

Prim Care Companion CNS Disord 2014;16(5):doi:10.4088/PCC.14br01651