Advertisement

What is regurgitation?

Dr. Darria Gillespie, MD
Emergency Medicine Specialist

The definition of regurgitation is simply fluid or material moving backwards; in the body, there are several examples of this. In the heart, regurgitation (known as "aortic regurgitation" or "mitral regurgitation") means that a defect in the heart valves allows some blood to flow in reverse from the normal flow. In the intestines and gastrointestinal tract, regurgitation means that undigested food and fluid from the stomach flows retrograde from the stomach back into the esophagus and even into the mouth.

Regurgitation refers to food or liquid that is coming up through the chest and expelled from the mouth.

Regurgitation means backwards flow of a fluid. In the case of the GI tract, regurgitation is the forceful expulsion of stomach contents backwards through the esophagus and out the mouth. Regurgitation is an important body defense against noxious substances, but can be complicated by aspiration of stomach contents into the lungs, causing inflammation of the lungs. Repeated regurgitation is damaging to the tooth enamel, and can lead to disturbances of fluid, electrolyte and acid-base status.

Regurgitation is when food in the stomach comes back up in the esophagus.

Continue Learning about GERD

Get Smarter About Heartburn Drugs
Get Smarter About Heartburn Drugs
Proton pump inhibitors, or PPIs – taken by an estimated 20 million Americans to douse heartburn pain – are associated with a 44 percent increased risk...
Read More
What foods can cause acid reflux?
Dr. Roshini C. Rajapaksa, MDDr. Roshini C. Rajapaksa, MD
Some foods that can cause or make acid reflux worse include caffeine, chocolate, tomatoes, citrus fr...
More Answers
Why does sitting up improve GERD?
Dr. Mehmet Oz, MDDr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Sitting up can reduce the amount of acid pressing against the valve that separates the stomach and e...
More Answers
GERD: A Doctor's Perspective
GERD: A Doctor's Perspective

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.