The purpose of this paper is to review a case of a man with intellectual disability, autism and challenging behaviour who presented with vomiting, regurgitations and significant weight loss.
The paper examines the case history and identifies challenges contributing to symptom classification and management of a patient with intractable vomiting, regurgitations and significant weight loss.
This case illustrates the importance of the multidisciplinary team working required to reduce morbidity and risk of mortality, as well as highlighting some of the challenges associated with coordinating different approaches from different agencies. Pharmacological management did not result in lasting symptom resolution in this case. Difficulties in establishing diagnostic certainty and consideration of whether symptoms could be consistent with rumination syndrome are also discussed. The value of consistent implementation of positive behavioural support is also demonstrated.
The rapid and dangerous weight loss described in this case is associated with adverse physical health outcomes and has generated significant anxiety resulting in extensive liaison between primary and secondary mental and physical health services. Additionally, it considers whether the symptoms could be attributed to the relatively rare diagnosis of rumination syndrome which is historically underdiagnosed.
The author would like to thank Dr Deirdre O’Brady for all her help with reading manuscripts and advising on changes.
Mufti, S. (2019), "A case to ruminate on: vomiting and weight loss in intellectual disability and autism", Advances in Mental Health and Intellectual Disabilities, Vol. 13 No. 6, pp. 284-290. https://doi.org/10.1108/AMHID-12-2018-0054Download as .RIS
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