Bile is a greenish yellow fluid that helps in the digestion of foods. The liver manufactures this digestive fluid, and it is stored in the gall bladder. From the gall bladder, the bile enters the small intestine or duodenum through the common bile and cystic ducts, to blend with the contents coming here from the stomach. If for some reason, the bile moves upward from the duodenum to the stomach and esophagus, it causes discomfort. This upward flow of bile is known as bile reflux. Bile reflux often occurs along with acid reflux. Although, bile reflux could be controlled to some extent through diet, but for complete cure, medications and even surgery might be required.
Bile reflux symptoms
The symptoms of bile reflux are often similar to that of acid reflux. Heartburn is a common symptom of both acid and bile refluxes. However, in case of bile reflux, heartburn is characterized by a burning sensation in the chest, throat and upper abdomen. The mouth may feel sour. Nausea and vomiting bile is a common symptom of this condition. Bile reflux can cause loss in weight. Occasionally bile reflux might cause cough and hoarseness in the throat.
Bile reflux causes
Bile reflux occurs when the pyloric valve, which is a muscular ring at the mouth of the stomach, fails to close completely, causing the bile to flow from the small intestine upwards into the stomach. Obesity can be responsible for this condition. Bile reflux sometimes occurs during pregnancy. Lifting heavy weights or too much bending might damage the pyloric valve. Peptic ulcer, gastric surgery and gall bladder surgery could also cause bile reflux.
Bile reflux home remedies
Unlike acid reflux, bile reflux is not caused by wrong lifestyle. This condition could not be reversed with diet or lifestyle changes. Nonetheless, the discomfort due to bile reflux could be reduced by adjusting diet and lifestyle. Fatty foods, caffeine, citrus fruits, onion, mints and vinegar could worsen the symptoms of bile reflux. Instead of having two or three large meals, have four or five small meals. You should not lie down after eating. Avoiding alcohol and cigarettes could alleviate your discomfort. Sometimes anxiety and stress can aggravate bile reflux. Practice meditation and breathing exercises to calm your mind.