Causes of food regurgitation

Ask The Doctor > Questions & Answers > Causes of food regurgitation

Patient: Hi, I’m wondering about regurgitation – I’ve deliberately regurgitated my food for as long as i can remember. When it comes back into my mouth – it doesn’t taste bitter or acidic (like vomit would), but rather it actually tastes good – like i’m re-chewing nice food. I think its kind of a gross habit – and kind of embarrassing – so i try to stop but don’t have the discipline i guess. i’ve learned that when i eat a big meal – regurgitation is more likely to follow than if i eat a small meal. also – if i cause myself to regurgitate once, repetition is likely to follow. Question – is this condition (non-acidic regurgitation) common? Question – is regurgitated food unhealthy for my teeth/mouth, even if its not acidic? Question – is this habit physically unhealthy in any other way? (if it is – it might give me more motivation [besides embarrassment] to stop) thanks for reading my question.



Doctor: Regurgitation can be a symptom of several disorders such as: achalasia, gastro-oesophageal reflux disease, hiatus hernia , oesophageal malignant growth and even some types of psychosomatic disorders. I would advise attending your family doctor for a detailed history and clinical examination. He may refer you to a gastroenterologist for further investigations including endoscopy; barium swallow; chest x-ray or oesophageal pH monitoring to help reach a diagnosis in your case.

Comments / Follow Ups

Guest: The answer posted did not answer a single query made. It is not a symptom of anything on the answer list. It is nothing more than the ability to consciously bring food back up the esophagus into the mouth. I also have these questions as I can do the same thing. After eating, especially as a kid, if it was good, I would do this so I could taste it again. I thought everybody could do this until I was in my mid 20s.
So, to try to answer your questions since the original answer didn’t try:
Question – is this condition (non-acidic regurgitation) common?
Honestly – I don’t think so. In my experience, I have met only one other person that could do this.
Question – is regurgitated food unhealthy for my teeth/mouth, even if its not acidic?
Yes. Even though you cannot taste it, the acids are still there and over years, will cause additional wear and tear on your teeth / gums.
Question – is this habit physically unhealthy in any other way?
In my experience – no. Other than the teeth issue. I am now in my mid-forties and have no other lasting effects – yet. The problem is my sample size is one. So keep that in mind.
Should you be seen by a doctor? Of course. Just to make sure it is a conscious voluntary thing.


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Dr. Jimmy Obaji M.D.

Dr. Jimmy Obaji completed his residency in Family Medicine at the University of Manitoba. He currently operates a walk-in-clinic in downtown Toronto.

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