What is Bile Reflux?

By: Mel Joelle

Bile reflux is the name of a medical condition that is created when bile created from the liver gets trapped in the esophagus or the stomach. Unlike acid reflux, which occurs as the result of acid buildup in the stomach from the contents of various foods, bile reflux does not appear to be related to the foods that people eat. When bile from the liver goes into the stomach and esophagus, it results in pain and inflammation in the lining of the stomach and the esophagus itself.

Common Causes of Bile Reflux

People who have had previous surgery for unrelated conditions are more prone to developing bile reflux than the general population. Those who have had gastric bypass surgery to treat obesity and surgery to remove the gallbladder may sustain damage to the pyloric valve, the part of the stomach responsible for processing bile from the liver. When the pyloric valve is damaged, bile does not pass through it but instead collects in the stomach and esophagus. Stomach ulcers are another cause of bile reflux.

Symptoms of Bile Reflux

Both acid reflux and vile reflux cause similar symptoms in those who suffer from it, making it difficult initially for doctors to differentiate between the two. Patients may complain of hoarseness, a constant cough, abdominal pain, vomiting, unexplained weight loss and a sour taste in the mouth. To make the correct diagnosis, doctors usually order an endoscopy to view what is happening with the patient's stomach and esophagus. The tests are also performed to determine the degree of damage to the esophagus and whether esophageal cancer is present.

How Bile Reflux is Treated

Doctors usually prescribe anti-reflux medication as a first response to both bile reflux and acid reflux. The drugs used to treat acid conditions are known as proton pump inhibitors. The drugs are H2 receptor antagonists and are typically prescribed in 14-day cycles. They are used to treat multiple conditions of reflux, ulcers and gastritis. If the proton pump inhibitors do not appear to be bringing the patient any relief, his or her doctor will recommend surgery to change the path the bile takes and lead it away from the stomach. This is accomplished by creating an artificial drain for the bile within the lining of the stomach.

When Bile Reflux is Not Treated

When the patient ignores symptoms of bile reflux, his or her esophagus can sustain significant damage from prolonged exposure to bile from the liver and stomach acid. This can lead to scarring and narrowing of the esophagus, which can in turn lead to difficulty breathing. Untreated bile reflux also increases the likelihood of developing esophageal cancer. Finally, bile reflux that is left untreated can eventually leading to internal bleeding in the stomach and the development of stomach ulcers. Both of these conditions can become life-threatening.

Reflux Remedy offers information that is proven to reduce the symptoms of bile and acid reflux. People suffering from either condition can learn more about treating it at home by going to www.refluxremedy.com for complete details today.

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