by JayFaith, Jan 18, 2009
Hello.  I have recently been diagnosed with bile reflux.  I have SEVERE, CONSTANT burning in my stomach, abdomen, and chest area.  The bile is refluxing not only into my stomach but my esophagus.  It is so out of control that is has caused my esophagus to not open properly from the burning not being controlled.  And most of all it has caused tachycardia with my heart to the point that when the burning is at it's worst I get heartrates in the 180's.  It has been narrowed down that the bile reflux is causing my problems.  I have a constant fire raging in my stomach/chest/abdomen.  I was prescribed Questran and Welchol, both of which gave me severe heartburn and gas, which did not help because it just went from one type of burning to another.  The only thing that seems to even help a little is Carafate, but not that much.  The docs have told me that they don't know what other meds to try.  Can anyone who has had experience dealing with bile reflux please offer some suggestions as to how I can control this.  It has not been determined what the cause of the bile reflux is.  I have had many tests done (hida scan, mri with mrcp, blood work, egd) the only thing I haven't had done is a small bowel follow-thru, gastric emptying study, and a colonoscopy.  I am not sure what happened to my body.  Prior to having bile reflux I had acid reflux for over 20 years and after seeing a post that said "activia" yogurt cured my acid reflux I decided to try it and after the 14th day my body exploded with excess gas, rapid heartrate(198), and uncontrollable belching(up to 20 min at a time), and severe burning that has not let up for the past 2 1/2 months.  I don't want to leave this out because also during the 14 days that I ate activia I also went on a yeast/candida free diet and and sugar free diet and got 2 IV iron infusions for iron deficienty anemia.  Not sure if these things had anything to do with it but I was pretty much healthy before I embarked on this 14 day diet change.  Based on the testing apparently "activia" did cure my acid reflux because I no longer have acid reflux I now have alkaline/bile reflux.  I am currently typing this from the hospital.  During the last 2 1/2 months I have been hospitalized 8 times.  All docs are puzzled and can't seem to help me.  When I take any type of PPI, H2 blocker, or acid med even something as simple as tums or rolaids, the burning gets worse.  When I tell the docs that they don't believe me but I have found many articles and posts that say that when you have bile reflux these meds make it come the docs haven't read this info?  If anyone has any suggestions on how I can control this bile reflux thing please let me know.  I am very desperate and in misery.

Also, not sure why the bile reflux developed.  I did have abdominal surgery but that was to remove fibroids and they used the same scar as a previous c-section about 3 months prior to this happening.  I do have adhesions from the surgery but bowels flowing normally.  When I ate the "activia" yogurt I am lactose intolerant, I think, and could I have possibly caused an ulcer in my colon.  I read that ulcers there could cause bile reflux, but haven't had a colonoscopy yet.  

Right now I just really need a suggestion of what I can take to get out of this constant burning and pain and then I will continue my search for the cause.  

Please help if you can.
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Member Comments (41)
by Heather712, Apr 07, 2009
I feel ya.  I have been dealing with (what I know now is) Bile Reflux for over 15 years.  It has hindered many aspects of my life greatly, to the point that I have missed out on so much because I am always too sick to my stomach to do anything.  People don't believe that it can be 'that' bad because they 'get heartburn too' until they see the pictures from my endoscopy showing the severe inflammation of my stomach.  Still, most couldn't even fathom what it feels like unless they are dealing with it.

I have had just about every test done for acid reflux, even though it is clearly bile relflux and given PPI's to no avail.  I have just now found so much evidence to show that what I am actually suffering from is bile reflux (including pictures from my endoscopy showing bile in my stomach) and I am taking this back to my GI doc to demand proper treatment.

Unfortunately, I am four months pregnant (and have been vomiting bile sometimes up to seven times a day) and I cannot take most medications.  I may have to suffer until the end of my pregnancy, but I am going to fight to finally find some relief.

I am so thankful for the internet and it's ability to make resources available for patients whose doctors don't listen to their complaints.

I wish you the best of luck and hope that you have found the help that you need!  
by iva_s, Apr 08, 2009
Hi, Heather

I think I also have bile reflux because of this constant bitter taste in my moutha and PPIs do not work for me either. As far as I know, Roux-en-y is the only option for bile reflux to be stopped. I have never read any posts by s.o who has gone through this surgery for bile reflux and I`m not sure how good the results are.
I just want to ask u if bile going up ur throat and mouth has caused u bad breath?
Thanks for ur reply.
by Sickboy1, Jul 14, 2009
I have a cure that worked for me, bile relux has been plaguing me for 5 years and i had been getting misdiagnosed with acid reflux, until i started getting the severe esophageal pains that you described, so i went to 100% acid neutralization and was still getting the esophageal spasms/cramping, thats how i knew it was never acid reflux, i also had the abdominal buring, hydrochloric acid can not cause this, only bile can cause this burning sensation in the stomach, i also had the other clear bile reflux symptoms but doctors did not pick up on any of them? What a joke!! I eventually got a 24 hr pH test which clearly showed non acidic liquids jumping up from my stomach, contrary to what people think, bile acid is actually alkaline.

What you need to do is realise that any acid blocking medication is making the problem worse, due to "Delayed gastric emptying", PPI are also known to aggrevate symptoms and cause attacks to be more frequent although not as severe. When i realised what i had to do to cure myself i panicked, i thought if i stop taking acid blockers i will be in agony within 12 hours, and i was right, i had intense esophageal pains that lasted 8 hours all through the night, i only ate dry toast and sipped water in between for 1 day, that night i slept with stomach pains and burning, the next morning, my condition was 10 times better, the burning had gone and my esophagus was breathing a sigh of relief.

Its so simple when you think of it, bile is getting into the stomach! solution is to stop it getting into the stomach and to stop bile production, you do not need meds to do this just some bravado.

How does this work? when we first went to the doctors are condition was not as bad as it is now, am i correct? We had bile in the stomach, our pyloric valve was weak, we had burning sensation, so we got put on acid blockers, they cause delayed gastric emptying which causes excess gas, and high pressure fat destruction dilates the stomach valves making the problem worse, allowing more bile in and alows it to damage the stomach for longer, delayed gastric emptying causes back flow and hey presto the bile goes into your esophagus and causes severe damage, this problem spirals downwards and the condition gets worse over time and causes additional problems. When we first got the problems, we probably were not looking after ourselves as we should fatty foods? late night snacks? overeating? If all we had done back then is changed our eating habits and lifestyle instead of going to the doctors we would have been cured years ago, in fact the problems would have gone in 24 hours.
So this is how it works, which is all the opposites to the above, the problem causers, we need to improve digestion and gastric emptying, to do this we need to stop the acid blockers or any acid neutralizing drugs, we need to eat non fat non dairy products, small ammounts regular, the gall bladder reduces the ammount of bile produced, this meansevery time that stomach valve opens to empty, it takes the bile into the intestines with it, in the meantime the bread soaks up all excess stoch acids and bile like a sponge and stops it splashing up to the esophagus, hence why you should not drink until you feel your stomach empty, you do not want fluids splashing around.
Imagine your valve is a door, imagine you are bile, you are on one side and every time that door opens you tries to run through, but when it opens a 1000 people on the other side coming running through the door in the opposite direction, your going to have getting through arent you, the doors is slightly ajar, so you sneak through and 1000 people are all stood still, so you make your way through the crowd, before you can get through the crowd surge's forward and drags you back to the other side of the door and down the street, lol.
I can laugh about it now because it is all so simple, i spent years in agony and depression, get through that 24 hours and you come cback and tell me you do not feel 10 times better, the day after you will feel like the illness never happened, whenever you get a bit of reflux, eat dry toast and it will work 10 times better than any acid blocker did.
Gradually build up your diet, rice and fish, fresh vegeatbles,the odd banana, sleep elevated to combat reflux, because no doubt you have lower esophageal impedence and you will find a new lease of life, forget drugs, the only thing that might help is Bile diversion surgery, but why even have that when it is so easy to self heal.
Because you stomach acids will be back to normal level and food is being broken down properly to release nutrients you will also get all your energy back, because of the new healthy diet you will probably live longer and happier life.
Natural things are always best, get plenty of excercise once you get your energy back, your stomach will empty even faster and your body will get even stronger and so on, just build on it and appreciate you got a second chance.
by Sickboy1, Jul 14, 2009
Sorry, i should summarize.
The Problem
The problems is bile getting into the stomach.
The catalyst is delayed gastric emptying, causing backflow of acids into the esophagus
The cause of delayed gastric emptying is acid blockers, low stomach levels.

The Treatment(so simple it blows the mind)
Speed up gastric emptying by stop taking acid blockers or any other medication and by eating small meals regular.
Do not eat foods that will promote the production of bile.

The Result
You are cured, you have broken out of the viscious cycle and are in the recovery process, every time bile comes into the stomach it gets flushed back down into the intestines before it can do any damage.
Long term your body gets stronger to the point where you actually cure the problem completely, the lower esophageal sphincter recovers from the constant bombardment and gets its strength back,reducing reflux symptoms, stomach muscles start to contract strong again, nutrients, vitamins, proteins and calcium get released from the food and absorbed, due to the stomach acids being at the correct level again and everything just starts spiralling back up.

The Conclusion

If you do not break the viscious cycle you will be plagued by this for the rest of your life, everything you try to do and every medication you take will cause other health problems and make symptoms worse.

by Sickboy1, Jul 14, 2009

Please also read the above article.
by 1Rebecca, Sep 26, 2010
I am researching for my elderly mom.  I am learning that acid reflux and bile acid reflux are different.  I read sickboys cure for the bile acid reflux and I appreciate that.  Does acid reflux also cause thick salivia?  I am trying to rule out different things.  Thanks!
by mani302, Oct 04, 2010
hey mate !! i like the way you did this all and its a nice job really appreciated.

I think i am having the same bile issue because the time i finish my lunch or dinner and some time even during my eating the pain on in my stomach revolves like a hunting rat and it started killing me by making gastric and burning in my stomach specially in the right handside of my abdom but i never thought its getting so common now and so many of us are affected by this.

Any ways the idea is to control the diet rather then medicines.

by silly329, Oct 05, 2010
where can i get some bravado!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!