Regurgitation And Rumination

Regurgitation is the bringing back of swallowed food into the mouth from the esophagus or the stomach.

Unlike vomiting, regurgitation does not involve forceful muscular contractions or a feeling of nausea.

The lower esophageal sphincter, which is a circular muscle situated between the esophagus and the stomach usually acts as a guard preventing food from the stomach re-entering the esophagus. But when the food regurgitated is bitter or sour, it indicates that the food has been in the stomach; the bitterness or sourness caused by the bile and the digestive acids respectively. If there is a blockage in the esophagus, due to narrowing or constriction of the tube, or due to the presence of tumors, regurgitation occurs, but the food particle may not have any taste and may be mixed with mucus.

 Abnormalities in the neuromuscular functioning of the esophagus may result in blockage in the esophagus. Lack of coordination between the opening of the lower sphincter and the movements of the esophagus, for emptying its contents into the stomach, also may cause regurgitation due to blockage.

Rumination is a type of regurgitation which has no identifiable physical cause. It is often observed fifteen minutes to half an hour after a meal. People who have this condition regurgitate small amounts of food from the stomach into the mouth without any difficulty or pain. They chew the particles brought up into the mouth and then swallow it again, much like the ruminants. This is commonly found in infants. People who are emotionally disturbed also show an increased tendency for rumination.

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Yasser Elnahas

MD, PHD, Professor Of CardioVascular Surgery
Dr. Yasser Elnahas, Is an associate Professor of Cardiovascular Surgery. Dr. Elnahas was trained as a fellow At Texas Heart Institute And Mayo Clinic Foundation.Dr. Elnahas is dedicated to educating the general public about different disease conditions and simplifying the medical knowledge in an easy to understand terminology.

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