Bile reflux occurs when bile — a digestive liquid produced in your liver — backs up (refluxes) into your stomach and, in some cases, into the tube that connects your mouth and stomach (esophagus).
Bile reflux may accompany the reflux (backwash) of stomach acid (gastric acid) into your esophagus. Gastric reflux may lead to gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), a potentially serious problem that causes irritation and inflammation of esophageal tissue (esophagitis).
Bile reflux and gastric acid reflux are separate conditions. Whether bile is important in GERD is controversial. Bile is often a suspected of contributing to GERD when people respond incompletely or not at all to powerful acid-suppressant medications. But there is little evidence pinpointing the effects of bile reflux in people.
Unlike gastric acid reflux, bile reflux can''re losing weight without trying.
If you''t getting adequate relief from your medications, call your doctor. You may need additional treatment for bile reflux.
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Your stomach is a muscular sac about the size of a small melon that expands when you eat or drink to hold as much as a gallon of food or liquid. Once your stomach pulverizes the food, strong muscular contractions (peristaltic waves) push the food toward the pyloric valve, which leads to the upper portion of your small intestine (duodenum).
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Acid reflux occurs when the sphincter muscle at the lower end of your esophagus relaxes at the wrong time, allowing stomach acid to back up into your esophagus. This can cause heartburn and other signs and symptoms. Frequent or constant reflux can lead to gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).
Bile is a greenish-yellow fluid that is essential for digesting fats and for eliminating worn-out red blood cells and certain toxins from your body. Bile is produced in your liver and stored in your gallbladder.
Eating a meal that contains even a small amount of fat signals your gallbladder to release bile, which flows through two small tubes (cystic duct and common bile duct) into the upper part of your small intestine (duodenum).
Bile reflux into the stomach
Bile and food mix in the duodenum and enter your small intestine through the pyloric valve, a heavy ring of muscle located at the outlet of your stomach. The pyloric valve usually opens only slightly — enough to release about an eighth of an ounce (about 3.5 milliliters) of liquefied food at a time, but not enough to allow digestive juices to reflux into the stomach. In many cases of bile reflux, the valve doesn''t open enough to allow the stomach to empty as quickly as it should. Stagnant food in the stomach can lead to increased gastric pressure and allow bile and stomach acid to back up into the esophagus.
Gallbladder surgery (cholecystectomy). People who have had their gallbladders removed have significantly more bile reflux than do people who haven''s esophagus. This serious condition can occur when long-term exposure to stomach acid, or to acid and bile, damages tissue in the lower esophagus. The damaged esophageal cells have an increased risk of becoming cancerous. Animal studies have also linked bile reflux to the occurrence of Barrett''s quite advanced. The possible link between bile and acid reflux and esophageal cancer remains controversial, but many experts think a direct connection exists. In animal studies, bile reflux alone has been shown to cause cancer of the esophagus.
Oct. 30, 2018