regurgitation VS reflux?

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drtinsac
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2012
Total Posts : 453
   Posted 5/16/2012 3:29 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi - I'm hoping someone can shed some light on this.

What is the difference between reflux and regurgitation? By regurgitation, I mean the acidic/sour taste in the mouth which is believed to be from gastric contents. By reflux, I mean the "reflux events" that are detected when using 24 hour monitoring.

Specifically, my 24 hour results indicated:
"Total Acid reflux 17 episodes (normal is less than 55); weakly acidic 11 episodes (normal less than 26); and non acid reflux 0 episodes (normal less than 1)."

However, I had a bitter/sour taste nearly all the time. Even if I would drink some water to temporarily mask the taste, it would return in no time.

So my question is, how do they know (other than by me explaining my symptoms) that I have constant sour/bitter taste, if they see only 28 (17 acidic + 11 weakly acidic) reflux episodes during the day? That equates to roughly 1 reflux episode per hour, which does not seem to explain constant bitter taste. Can regurgitation be constant even without a "reflux episode" occurring beforehand? I do have a small hiatal hernia which so far is the only explanation of my symptoms, however I do not know if this would explain constant regurgitation taste not necessarily correlated with a reflux episode.

The reason I'm concerned with this, is that I am seeing a surgeon for a consult in a couple weeks. By the looks of the summary of the 24 hr PH study, there is not much of a problem.. but in my experience, there is, and I don't know if they have the data to see it.

couchtater
Elite Member


Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 12079
   Posted 5/16/2012 4:50 PM (GMT -6)   
Rugurgitation is when the full stomach content comes into the mouth area and out partly or all.

Reflux is a little amount of food and acid is bubbling up towards the back of the throat.
Joy

drtinsac
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2012
Total Posts : 453
   Posted 5/16/2012 5:02 PM (GMT -6)   
Where is that definition of regurgitation from?

I have seen two definitions of regurgitation in the medical journals
1) Acid taste in mouth
2) Feeling of stomach contents rising into esophagus, regardless of taste.

I have also read that many people who take PPIs continue to have regurgitation, I am among them, but I doubt so many people are experiencing something as extreme as what you have described.

couchtater
Elite Member


Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 12079
   Posted 5/16/2012 6:00 PM (GMT -6)   
From the book of experience. :)
Joy

fireworks
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2012
Total Posts : 148
   Posted 5/16/2012 7:35 PM (GMT -6)   
Babies regurgitate. Adults reflux.

Lol.

couchtater
Elite Member


Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 12079
   Posted 5/16/2012 7:43 PM (GMT -6)   
re·gur·gi·tate

[ ri gúrji tàyt ]


1.bring food up from stomach: to bring undigested or partially digested food up from the stomach to the mouth, as some birds and animals do to feed their young
2.repeat information mechanically: to repeat or reproduce what has been heard, read, or taught, in a purely mechanical way, with no evidence of personal thought or understanding
3.flow out: to flow out or be ejected, especially from the mouth

Synonyms: bring up, vomit, throw up, spew up, sick up, spit up


re·flux

[ r flùks ]


1.backward flow: a returning flow of something
2.regurgitation of stomach fluid: a backflow of liquid in the opposite direction to its normal movement, e.g. the regurgitation of stomach and peptic juices associated with acid indigestion and hiatal hernia
3.heating while condensing vapor: a method of heating liquid so that escaping vapor is condensed and returned to the liquid


*Definition from Bing Search engine
Joy

aeshleyrose
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2011
Total Posts : 655
   Posted 5/17/2012 3:24 AM (GMT -6)   
I am super curious (as I think drtinsac is too) - what does this mean for those of us whose pH tests have it?

bcfromfl
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2011
Total Posts : 384
   Posted 5/17/2012 7:10 AM (GMT -6)   
I've had two Bravos and the pH impedence test, and I can tell you what the technicians told me about the "regurgitation button."  Regurgitation, as far as they are concerned, is when you actually feel fluid hitting/burning your throat.  (Not to be confused with a chronic throat scorching from constant exposure.)  Normally, each individual, separate occurrence of reflux is subtle, and not felt.  If there is enough to squeeze up that high, and can be felt, that indicates a greater issue than smaller "blips" that only reach the esophagus.
 
A sour taste in one's mouth can be symptomatic of a couple of things.  It could be the result of regurgitation, but it also could be a chronic response to minute quantities bathing the upper airway during sleep, and overstimulating the nerves even when one is upright.  Or, it may also be some sort of sympathetic nervous response to reflux impacting nerves somewhere else in the upper GI.  In spite of sleeping on an incline and Gaviscon before bed, I always wake up with this sour taste, and sometimes my tongue will be swollen as well.  First thing in the morning I wolf down a couple of bowls of cereal to rectify this, but even now, about an hour later, I can still feel a sourness and sensitivity on my tongue.  (Other issues, like dysphagia and hoarseness, etc., are always present.)
 
Now, there's probably a third category of reflux that Joy is alluding to, and that's "volume reflux."  Something like volume reflux may actually be a response to nausea, but if it repeats itself with no obvious dizziness or stomach upset, then it's GERD.
 
Most doctors use the presence of regurgitation to indicate the seriousness of the problem, and, in fact, I was told that the presence of heartburn and regurgitation are two of the deciding factors for the Linx implantation at the Mayo Clinic.
 
-Bruce

drtinsac
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2012
Total Posts : 453
   Posted 5/17/2012 7:29 AM (GMT -6)   
Thanks for that info Bruce.

aeshleyrose
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2011
Total Posts : 655
   Posted 5/18/2012 2:36 PM (GMT -6)   
Bruce, thanks for the great info. I'm eagerly awaiting my own test results which may not come until next Friday! Ugh, the waiting game.

drtinsac, if you feel comfortable posting about it, I would be very interested to hear what your doctor has to say about the results.

Take care all!
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