BILE REFLUX - WatsonsHealth


Bile Reflux is a condition wherein bile (an important agent that helps in digestion) backs up to into the stomach and the esophagus. Bile is a substance produce by the liver and is normally released after eating a meal that contains fat. From the gallbladder, the bile will travel to ducts that will lead to the intestine. The pyloric sphincter is responsible for the flow of the partially digested food from the stomach to the intestine. However, there are instances that the sphincter doesn’t close properly and results to bile reflux.

It is oftenly mistaken as acid reflux however the two conditions are different but may both happen at the same time.

Symptoms of Bile Reflux may include:

  • Pain in the upper abdomen
  • A Burning Sensation in the Chest that Sometimes Spreads to the Throat, Accompanied by a Sour Taste in the Mouth (Heartburn)
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting a Greenish-Yellow Fluid (bile)
  • Cough or Hoarseness in the Voice
  • Unintended Weight Loss


Symptoms of bile reflux and acid reflux are almost the same. To diagnose Bile reflux, your doctor might perform the following:

  • Endoscopy – This specific test aims to detect ulcers and inflammation in the stomach. A tissue sample from the stomach may undergo laboratory test to know if the patient has Barrett’s esophagus or esophageal cancer.
  • Ambulatory Acid Tests – This would help to know if the symptoms are brought by acid reflux. However, it does not specifically diagnose bile reflux.
  • Esophageal Impedance- This method measures gas and acid reflux of stomach content into the esophagus. It will determine if the reflux is acid or bile.



The treatment depends on the cause of the reflux. They may include:

  • Medication – A drug called Ursodeoxycholic acid may help the bile to flow more easily through your body. However, this drug may cause some side effects like diarrhea.  On the other hand, Bile acid sequestrants are drugs that disrupt the circulation of the bile.
  • Natural Remedy – Maintaining a healthy diet and lifestyle may help avoid bile reflux. Apples and apple cider vinegar may also help in bile reflux.
  • Surgery – This option is for severe cases of bile reflux. Surgical options may include:
    • Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass – This method creates a new connection to the small intestine. This would keep the bile from draining into the stomach.
    • Surgery that Adhere or remove blockage in the Bowel – This process may also include removing a damaged part of the intestine.
  • Chemotherapy or Radiotherapy – This treatment would be an option if the bile reflux is caused by colorectal cancer.



Having a healthy lifestyle would be the best way to avoid bile reflux. Aside from eating the right food and having exercise, you can consider the following:

  • Avoid drinking too much alcohol
  • Refrain from lifting heavy objects (to avoid hernia)

Visit the doctor for a regular check-up. Get Colonoscopy or other test especially if you are already 50 years old and above. This may help see any abnormal changes in the colon that may result to bigger health problems.

Related Articles


Overview and FactsTypes and SymptomsDiagnosis & MedicationsOverview and Facts Tetralogy of Fallot is a congenital heart defect that affects the [...]


Overview and FactsTypes and SymptomsDiagnosis & MedicationsOverview and Facts Trichinosis, also known as trichinellosis, is a parasitic infection caused by [...]


Overview and FactsTypes and SymptomsDiagnosis & MedicationsOverview and Facts Trigeminal neuralgia is a neurological condition characterized by severe facial pain. [...]