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 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:
Acid reflux causes regurgitation of stomach acid or food.
This is a rare condition that causes frequent regurgitation of undigested food. Regurgitation happens frequently right after eating.
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, 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:
The symptoms of regurgitation largely depend on the conditions that cause regurgitation.
Symptoms of regurgitation caused by acid reflux include:
Symptoms of regurgitation caused by rumination syndrome include:
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:
Regurgitation can lead to serious complications if left untreated.
Treatment options include:
Lifestyle changes that can help reduce or stop regurgitations include:
Losing excess weight can help reduce abdominal pressure and prevent gastric juices from traveling upwards.
Eat healthy diets and avoid certain types of foods, including fatty, spicy, or acidic foods. Avoid caffeine and carbonated beverages.
Excess intake of alcohol can cause regurgitation. Avoid or reduce your intake of alcohol. Drink more water instead of alcohol.
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.
Smoking can also lead to regurgitation; hence it should be avoided completely.
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.
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:
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.