Regurgitation of food and liquid

Regurgitation of food and liquid is a situation whereby digestive fluids and undigested food rises back from the esophagus into the mouth.

Regurgitation is a symptom of conditions of the digestive tracts such as acid reflux, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), and a rare condition called rumination syndrome.


Regurgitation may occur as a result of different gastrointestinal conditions or disorders. These include:

Acid reflux

Acid reflux is a digestive disease whereby the stomach acid or bile flows into the food pipe and irritates its lining.

When Acid reflux happens more than twice or multiple times, it is known as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) Acid reflux is characterized by reflux, heartburn, and bad breath. Common triggers of acid reflux include:

  • Eating large meals
  • Eating certain foods
  • Lying down soon after eating
  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)

Acid reflux causes regurgitation of stomach acid or food.

Rumination syndrome

This is a rare condition that causes frequent regurgitation of undigested food. Regurgitation happens frequently right after eating.

Barrett’s esophagus

This is a condition whereby the tissue lining in the esophagus changes. The changes in the tissue lining occur after longstanding gastroesophageal reflux. People with Barrett’s esophagus may experience regurgitation.

Indigestion (dyspepsia)

Indigestion, also called an upset stomach, or dyspepsia is abdominal discomfort, described as burning sensation, bloating or gassiness, nausea or feeling full too quickly.

Eating too much or too rapidly, eating greasy or spicy foods, drinking too much caffeine, alcohol, or carbonated beverages can cause indigestion. Certain antibiotics, pain relievers, and supplements can also cause indigestion.


This is an inflammation of the lining of the stomach. Gastritis can also cause regurgitation.

Other causes of regurgitation include:

  • Blockages in the esophagus
  • Early pregnancy
  • Taking certain medications
  • Smoking
  • Eating disorders
  • Eating certain foods
  • Eating disorder (Bulimia)


The symptoms of regurgitation largely depend on the conditions that cause regurgitation.

Symptoms of regurgitation caused by acid reflux include:

  • Heartburn or chest pain
  • Bitter or sour taste
  • Difficulty in swallowing
  • Feeling of a lump in the throat
  • Regurgitation of stomach acid or undigested food

Symptoms of regurgitation caused by rumination syndrome include:

  • Regurgitation that happens frequently after eating
  • Fullness in the belly (Constipation)
  • Bad breath
  • Nausea
  • Bloating
  • Weight loss


Diagnostic tests for regurgitation help your doctor to know the extent of damage to your esophagus. It also allows your doctor to know if there are any complications.

Diagnostic tests that your doctor may order include:

  • X-ray
  • Upper endoscopy
  • Esophageal imaging
  • Esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD) test
  • Gastric emptying test.


Regurgitation can lead to serious complications if left untreated.

Treatment options include:

Lifestyle changes

Lifestyle changes that can help reduce or stop regurgitations include:

Weight loss

Losing excess weight can help reduce abdominal pressure and prevent gastric juices from traveling upwards.

Healthy diet

Eat healthy diets and avoid certain types of foods, including fatty, spicy, or acidic foods. Avoid caffeine and carbonated beverages.

Avoid alcohol

Excess intake of alcohol can cause regurgitation. Avoid or reduce your intake of alcohol. Drink more water instead of alcohol.

Wear loose clothing

Tight clothes, especially tight pants can cause regurgitation. Avoid wearing tight pants or belts to make your stomach as loose as possible for proper digestion.

Avoid smoking

Smoking can also lead to regurgitation; hence it should be avoided completely.

Eat small meals and chew thoroughly

When eating, do not eat large portions of food at a time. Eat small portions of food to give room to your stomach for proper digestion. Also, chew food thoroughly before swallowing to allow for easy digestion.

Avoid lying down immediately after eating

Do not lie down immediately after eating. Take about 2 to 3 hours before lying down after eating. Always prop up your head and neck with extra pillows when lying down.


Medications are recommended for people with acid reflux and GERD. Medications that can be used for the treatment of regurgitations include:

  • Antacids, such as Rolaids. Antacids can help relieve mild symptoms of GERD
  • H2 blockers, such as Pepcid. H2 blockers can help reduce stomach acid production
  • PPIs, such as Prilosec. PPIs can help reduce the production of stomach acid
  • Prokinetics and antibiotics. Your doctor may prescribe prokinetics and antibiotics to reduce the risk of regurgitation and increase the emptying of your stomach.

Is regurgitation and vomiting the same?

Regurgitation and vomiting may be similar but they are not the same thing. Regurgitation is the returning of food that hasn’t get to the stomach back to the mouth while vomiting is the returning of foods that are in the stomach and other stomach contents back to the mouth.

Regurgitation of food and liquid

Want to know about Regurgitation?

    Get in touch

    Contact us now

    Ready to schedule an appointment? Interested in more information about a particular treatment? Get in touch with Dr. Kedia today.


    Free call 24/7

    Follow us

    Our Activity

    Best Doctor


    Copyright by Prashant Kedia MD 2020. All rights reserved. | Sitemap

    This website is owned and managed by Prashant Kedia MD. Any information, offers or instruction as written, inferred or implied is the sole responsibility of Prashant Kedia MD and does not warrant claim or representation, inherent, or implied of DHAT, its subsidiaries or employees.