What is regurgitation?

Regurgitation happens when liquids or food flow from your stomach in the wrong direction, going back up into your oesophagus (food pipe) or mouth.

This can be involuntary, or it can be voluntary; for example, if you make yourself sick.

What causes regurgitation?

There are several possible causes of regurgitation. Understanding yours can be the first step towards taking control of your symptoms and any underlying problems.

• Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GORD)
• Hiatus hernia, when part of your stomach moves up into your chest
• Bariatric (weight-loss) surgery
• Achalasia, a blockage of the valve at the end of the food pipe
• Certain foods and drinks, such as alcohol, coffee, chocolate, and fatty or spicy foods
• Being overweight
• Pregnancy
• Stress or anxiety
• Rumination syndrome, a behavioural disorder causing abdominal muscle contractions

How do we diagnose the causes of regurgitation?

It’s important to find out the causes of your regurgitation. These tests could give you the information you need:

• Oesophageal manometry – which measures the function of your oesophagus (food pipe)
• 24-hour pH impedance monitoring – which looks at whether you have any reflux
• Gastric emptying test – which measures how quickly food leaves your stomach