Bile Reflux

Below you will find more information about Bile Reflux from Medigest. If you believe that you are suffering from any of the symptoms of Bile Reflux it is important that you obtain an accurate diagnosis from a medical professional to ensure that you obtain the correct medication or treatment for your condition. There are medical conditions that carry similar symptoms associated with Bile Reflux and therefore the information provided by Medigest is offered as a guideline only and should never be used in preference to seeking professional medical advice. The information relating to Bile Reflux comes from a third party source and Medigest will not be held liable for any inaccuracies relating to the information shown.


Bile reflux is a condition characterized by bile flowing upward from the small intestine into the stomach and esophagus. Bile, a digestive fluid produced by the liver, can inflame and then damage the esophageal lining and stomach.


Bile reflux can be easily diagnosed based on clinical symptoms. However, distinguishing between acid reflux and bile reflux may prove more difficult. To differentiate between these two very similar conditions, the following tests may be done: endoscopy, ambulatory acid tests, and esophageal impedance.


Bile reflux may be treated with ursodeoxycholic acid, a prescription medication that regulates bile flow. Proton pump inhibitors, which primarily blocks acid production, may also help reduce bile reflux. In severe cases, surgical intervention may be recommended, including: diversion surgery, a procedure wherein a surgeon creates a new connection for bile drainage and divert bile away from the stomach; as well as fundoplication or anti-reflux surgery.

Symptoms and Signs

The symptoms of bile reflux are often similar to those of acid reflux. The distinguishing difference is that bile affects the stomach, causing inflammation and a burning pain in the upper abdomen. Other signs of bile reflux include: nausea, vomiting bile, occasional couching, unexpected weight loss, and frequent heartburn.


Bile reflux is caused by failure of pyloric valve that connects the small intestine and stomach to close properly, allowing potentially toxic digestive juices to flow back into the stomach. Damage to the pyloric valve may be caused by complications in gastric or gallbladder surgery as well as peptic ulcer. Meanwhile, bile that refluxes into the esophagus is caused by the malfunctioning of the esophageal sphincter, which separates the esophagus and stomach.

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