The primary function of bile is emulsification of fats and elimination of cholesterol from the body. Bile pigments and other constituents of bile like heavy metals (copper and iron), some toxins, bacteria (typhoid bacteria), cholesterol, lecithin and alkaline phosphatase are cleared by bile from the digestive tract. The bile salts increase the gastrointestinal motility and act as a laxative.
Obstruction of the flow of the bile through liver cells can cause a person to vomit bile as he develops jaundice. Common causes of vomiting bile include intestinal obstruction; poisoning; drugs; alcohol; gastric surgery; infections; or problems in the liver, gallbladder, and intestine.1
Vomiting bile is a sign of dehydration and ensuring proper hydration is a cure. Refraining from alcohol, eating sufficient quantities of food at the right time, and intake of herbs and natural supplements to soothe the stomach acids are some methods to cure this condition.2
What Is Bile Reflux?
Vomiting bile is indicative of certain disorders in the body. When damp heat invades the gallbladder, jaundice results. It is a primary malfunction in the liver or caused due to long-term overindulgence in alcohol or rich food. Because dampness causes stagnation, the flow of energy is impaired in the system and the resulting blockage prevents bile from being excreted freely.
Thus, the person develops jaundice and may vomit bile. Bile reflux is usually caused by irritants like drugs and alcohol. It is also found to be associated with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).3
Bile reflux also causes inflammation in the pancreas causing pancreatitis. The cause of chronic pancreatitis is most often alcohol abuse. Over time, the accumulated tissue loss leads to loss of exocrine and endocrine function. Repeated episodes of inflammation can cause frequent throwing up of bile.4 5
Safety Measures To Prevent Bile Reflux
1. Always Stay Hydrated
One straightforward remedy for ulcers and gastritis, which trigger bile reflux, is to drink huge amounts of water. Drinking enough water can clear the digestive tract of toxins and soothe the stomach in episodes of food poisoning. It can control the raging stomach acids and prevent inflammation of the digestive organs. It can also help in maintaining the balance of the bile salts that are essential for the elimination of cholesterol and unhealthy fats.
Green tea extract mixed with drinking water suppress gastritis. Clean drinking water helps with the reduction of diarrhea and stomach poisoning. Drinking small draughts of water is very useful in arresting the symptoms early on. In short, using water, all sickness of the stomach may be cured.6
2. Avoid Smoking And Alcohol Consumption
As little as one-third ounce per day of alcohol is thought to reduce the level of bile salts, which are beneficial in the digestion process. Alcohol abuse interferes with ulcer healing and can aggravate the condition. Cigarette smoking is linked to the occurrence of peptic ulcer disease, too.7 A reduction in the use of alcohol and quitting the habit of smoking can improve the condition and reduce bile reflux significantly.
3. Have Your Meals At Regular Intervals
Eating habits that comprise of small and frequent meals at regular time intervals are beneficial in controlling bile reflux. Dry foods with a low carbohydrate content and moderate protein and fat content are better tolerated in this condition.8
When you experience bile reflux, you might go through burning epigastric pain, nausea, and bilious vomiting. Eating can exacerbate symptoms and therefore, you may reduce the food intake with consequent weight loss. For this condition, switching from 3 meals to frequent small meals daily is essential as the stomach can tolerate digesting small meals and the feeling of nausea is reduced.9
4. Include Herbs And Supplements In Your Diet
Some herbs are found to be extremely beneficial in treating this condition. Natural supplements like some algae species reduce inflammation and stimulate bile flow. It can protect against allergic reactions and cell mutations. Licorice is an effect antiulcer agent with no known side effects.
It prevents ulceration and gastric bleeding. Oxidative injury resulting from the reflux of bile acids is thought to play a role in the development of esophageal adenocarcinoma, a kind of cancer.10
Curcumin is a naturally occurring antioxidant derived from the turmeric that might potentially counteract the effects of bile acids on esophageal cells. Ginger extract is also found to be beneficial in the treatment of bile reflux gastritis.11 12
Bile reflux is a common gastrointestinal disorder with unmet medical needs. Factors that contribute to this condition include alcohol and smoking, irregular eating patterns, food poisoning, intake of certain drugs and infections in the digestive organs. Eating small meals at regular intervals, ensuring adequate hydration and a balanced diet with inclusion of herbs can help improve the condition and enhance the digestion process.
|↑1||Srivatsa, Kadiyali M. “MAYA: Fighting Infections Saving Lives.” Notion Press, 2016.|
|↑2||Khurana, Indu. Textbook of human physiology for dental students. Elsevier Health Sciences, 2014.|
|↑3||Giuli, Robert, and Carmelo Scarpignato. Duodenogastroesophageal Reflux-From the Duodenum to the Trachea: 125 Questions, 125 Answers. John Libbey Eurotext, 2006.|
|↑4||Mostafa, Gamal, Cathey Lamont, and Frederick L. Greene, eds. Review of Surgery: Basic Science and Clinical Topics for ABSITE. Springer Science & Business Media, 2006.|
|↑5||Cheifetz, Adam S., Alphonso Brown, Michael Curry, and Alan C. Moss. Oxford American handbook of gastroenterology and hepatology. Oxford University Press, 2011.|
|↑6||Shew, Joel. “Hydrotherapy, or, The water-cure.” Fowlers and Wells, 1851.|
|↑7||Lubin, Michael F., Thomas F. Dodson, and Neil H. Winawer, eds. Medical management of the surgical patient: a textbook of perioperative medicine. Cambridge University Press, 2013.|
|↑8||Lewis, Sharon L. and Dirksen, Shannon Ruff and Heitkemper, Margaret M. and Bucher, Linda. “Medical-Surgical Nursing: Assessment and Management of Clinical Problems, Single Volume, Volume 2.” Elsevier Health Sciences, 2013.|
|↑9||Yeung, Sai-Ching Jim, Carmen P. Escalante, and Robert F. Gagel. Medical care of cancer patients. Pmph-USA, 2009.|
|↑10||Pizzorno, Joseph E., Michael T. Murray, and Herb Joiner-Bey. The Clinician’s Handbook of Natural Medicine E-Book. Elsevier Health Sciences, 2016.|
|↑11||Ling, Wei, Yi Huang, Jia-Hua Xu, Yang Li, Yan-Mei Huang, Hai-Bing Ling, Yi Sui, and Hai-Lu Zhao. “Consistent efficacy of Wendan decoction for the treatment of digestive reflux disorders.” The American journal of Chinese medicine 43, no. 05 (2015): 893-913.|
|↑12||Bower, Matthew R., Harini S. Aiyer, Yan Li, and Robert CG Martin. “Chemoprotective effects of curcumin in esophageal epithelial cells exposed to bile acids.” World Journal of Gastroenterology: WJG 16, no. 33 (2010): 4152.|