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Bile Reflux; Gallbladder?
Was diagnosed with Bile reflux after having an endoscopy that showed bile in my stomach.  I understand it is not supposed to be there, and that the bile should stay in my small intestine.  I also know it can be caused by a malfunction with my pyloric sphincter.  What I don't understand is why there is bile is my system at all because I thought bile is only released from the gallbladder when you eat food, (and you fast for 12 hours for the endoscopy).

Anyone else out there have bile reflux?  If so, I was wondering if you knew anymore about it than I do.  What causes it? Gallbladder problems?  Gastroparesis?
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i had an endoscopy and results say that there is evidence of bile reflux and that i have gastritis.
but like youself i dont really know much about it.
the wosrt thing is even after loosing weight which i was told would help, my gastritis seems to be worsening and my g.p is no help at all.

let me know if you find anything. the same here.

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Thanks, yea I'll definitely let you know if I find something out, I should be seeing my doctor for a follow up pretty soon.
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I, too, was told (following a colonoscopy) that I had backup bile reflux into the stomach.  I've read that the bile should empty from the gall bladder into the small intestine (not the stomach) to begin the digestive process through the bowels.

I learned from an internet search that there are several possible causes of bile backup into the stomach, and I assume that if your problems are significant and not helped by medication (Carafate), there is a surgery called diversion surgery.  This would be a last resort.  I believe this is the surgery done for weight loss.  

With my gastritis, I have lost significant weight because of the loss of appetite.  In addition to Carafate, I am changing my diet to exclude sugar, fat, acid and alcohol as much as possible and am having good results.

I will see my doctor in a couple weeks to inquire about the future of the bile backing up into my stomach.



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Has anyone had the diversion surgery due to gastritis caused by bile reflux backing up into the stomach?  If so, I would appreciate any information you could provide about the surgery.
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Any updates on your Bile Reflux issue? I have it too and all of my DR's are saying that I have to live with it. It makes me so angry cause it's taken my whole life away from me.
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I too had a scope done about a month ago that showed old bile. I'm waiting to see the GI Dr July 2nd.
Can I ask if you have your gallbladder? The reason I'm asking is because I've heard of so many people that have no gallbladder having this problem. The Dr put me on a PPI in the hospital but it's not helping. I'm wondering if digestive enzymes may help? Have you tried them yet?
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Yes I still have my Gall Bladder. They did an Ultrasound on it in the ER and said that it was fine. My stomach pain is getting worse. I have been on Prilosec for about 15 years now and it has knocked out my heartburn issue that whole time up until about 10 months ago. It just started all of a sudden one day. I have been prescribed EVERY medication known to man for this issue and NONE of them seem to help at all. I've had a Bravo PH test, a Manometry test, 24 hour PH probe and they all come back negative for excessive acid. I was on the Prilosec for all of those tests. So it's NOT acid causing my issues which isn't a big surprise because NONE of the acid meds give me any relief. Ever over the counter Tums and Rolaids don't seem to help. So I started researching what else could be in my stomach that is burning it up. I found that Bile could backwash into the stomach and burn like acid. Over the past 15 years that I've had heartburn issues my stomach never burned like it does now. My esophagus and throat would get burnt but NEVER my stomach. Anyways, my stomach Dr's are not very much help at all. I finally decided that it must be Bile in my stomach because it's the only other thing that could be in my stomach causing the burning. I mentioned it to my GI Dr and he said "maybe" and then proceeded to look it up online in the exam room. OMG he didn't even know about it and had to look online for info on it. At that point I knew that I was doomed. He then referred me out to another GI Dr at the best hospital in my area. Well my medical group said NO and denied my Dr's request to send me there. That made me so mad. I guess it must have been too expensive or something. Anyways, one night while I felt like I was going to die, I started going through my medical papers and I found a copy of the last endoscopy that was done when they placed my Bravo PH probe in my esoghagus. It had a note at the bottom of the report saying "some bile was found in the stomach". I said "BINGO that's gotta be my problem". Well when I went to my Primary Care Dr, I told him that I had figured it out. I was so excited to FINALLY have an answer to this Hell that I was stuck in. My Doc listened to me and told me "well, your stomach produces bile so it's normal to be found in there". I was so shocked by that statement. This MD didn't even know basic workings of the Human body. The stomach does NOT make bile. It's made by your liver and stored in your gall bladder and then excreted into your small intestine below the stomach. He decided to send me out for an HIDA scan to check my gall bladder. While i was waiting for approval for that test, my burning got so bad that I went to the ER. They refused to scope me and did an Ultrasound on my gall bladder instead. Results were normal as I mentioned above. I now have a new GI Dr who is going to do an endoscopy on me at the end of July. OMG that's so far away. So I decided to see another GI Dr in the meantime and pay cash to see him. He listened to my whole story and refused to do an endoscopy on me even though I was going to pay him cash to do it. He instead gave me an RX for an anti-depressant. I told him that my burning was WAY worse than the last time they scoped me but he still said no and told me to try the anti-depressants instead. I told him that it's NOT "in my head" and that I needed him to get in there and see how bad it's become. He politely refused. I swear none of these so-called specialists know what the heck they are doing. If things keeps up like this, I might just need an anti-depressant. I am depressed now because NOBODY is helping me. It's become so bad now at night that I can't sleep. So I'm taking sleeping pills EVERY night just to be able to go to sleep. WHY WON'T ANYONE HELP ME!!!!!! Sorry I just had to vent a little. My experience in the past 10 months is that nobody really knows about Bile in the stomach issues. I tried to get back to the Dr that found the bile in my stomach but my insurance doesn't cover that Hospital anymore and they don't take cash patients. I have an HMO and it *****. When I get to switch, I'm going with a PPO for sure. I'm living a nightmare where nobody will help and they are just going to let it cause cancer or kill me before they do anything about it. It has stolen my whole life away from me. I'm ALWAYS sick and it's going on 11 months of Hell. I want my life back.
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I have also experienced same horrible symptoms after a course of Cipro and eventually had an endoscopy done after months of suffering with reflux drugs that didn't work,  They found bile in my stomach and my pyloric valve open.   Apparently I am spilling bile into my stomach because the valve should be closed on an empty stomach and only open sporadically during digestion - not letting bile into the stomach.  My GI prescribed a bile sequestrant, Questran or Cholestyramine,  It works like a charm - about 95% of symptoms alleviated although I am on a restricted diet with reduced fats and foods I have eliminated due to digestive distress.  Most doctors don't know about this.  Apparently the PPI industry is very well funded, and bile sequestrants are an old fashioned drug that is mainly used to lower cholesterol back in the day.  My internist believes that many people with "acid reflux" really have bile reflux and are needlessly suffering due to greediness of the PPI industry.
Hope you get this message!  It's hard to read about so many people with this problem being told there is nothing that can be done to alleviate their painful symptoms.  I am still struggling to find out why this has happened as I still have my gallbladder.  For now though the pain is mostly gone and I can begin to calmly pursue better health.
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I just ordered a supplement called Trifalfa. There is nothing that gives me any relief. I do take slippery elm daily. I bought the powder and mix it with water a few times a day. It doesn't give me any relief but I'm hoping that it is at least protecting my stomach and esophagus from the bile. The trifalfa is on it's way and should be here by Friday. I'm hoping it helps me. I'm so desperate right now for any relief.
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This post is almost two years ago but I wanted to ask you if you've found meantime a answer from the doctors about the bile reflux. I think I have also that after I had my gallbladder out almost 4 months ago. The symptoms are very similar and it's getting worse. I am in many different websites but there's no one I found with that problem. Most people are fine after this type of surgery. I need to know what you and other people that suffered with bile found out and if you're now better. Hope you see this. Thank u
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Hi. I had my gallbladder out October 14 and when I started having bad reflux went to see my surgeon after I saw a gastro, and he didn't wnen think that bile reflux had to do with not having gallbladder, which of course I don't believe. How can I gat help if even the specialists don't believe that there's a connection? If you see this and have some new suggestions his to deal with this health annoyance please let me know.
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I forgot to mention I 've tried since my GB surgery PPIs don't work, sucralfate which helps a little but not enough to contro my symptoms and denoltab which helps more but made me very constipated and therefore bleeding piles ( got them after giving birth two months earlier to GB surgery)
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I'm so happy that you are getting some relief. I'm still struggling with Bile Refulx. I've seen every specialist within 100 miles of my house. NONE of them will do anything for me. I specifically asked for a Bile Diversion surgery and they've all looked at me like I'm nuts. So now I'm having a Duodenal Switch surgery and that will make sure that I will NEVER have bile reflux again.
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I am suffering from bile reflux too, after gallbladder removal. Duodenal switch - did you have this surgery ? I have mentioned it to various drs and nobody of heard of it apart from one specialist and told me not to have it. The one thing I have found that helps is Welchol tablets. I dissolve them in a glass of water and drink 4 glasses throughout the day, taking a full one just before going to bed and it is helped a fair bit. Just taking them as tablets doesn't work for me. I think you can get Welchol powder sachets that you can dissolve in water. My throat/mouth is still a bit irritated but this helps a lot. I am also on sucralfate and PPI, neither of which help much. The other meds that supposedly may help are pro-kinetics (cisapride, reglan) to speed up contractions of stomach, but it seems most of them have been withdrawn because of heart side effects.
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Have you had the surgery yet? I would love to talk with you.  
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