Bile is a digestive liquid of yellowish-green color that comprises water, fats, bilirubin, and salt. Bile is a crucial component of the body that helps digest fat and eliminates toxins from the body.
The liver carries out the bile process, and the gallbladder stores it. When you consume fat elements, the gallbladder releases the bile to process the fat, which gets through the duodenum — the tube storage in the upper small intestine.
When food and bile get to mix up in the duodenum, the pyloric sphincter, a muscle in the shape of a valve that connects the small intestine and stomach, passes the food to the digestive system. The valve opens slightly to allow the food to enter and only allows the fully digested food to pass, restricting the partially digested food to pass.
However, there are several causes for a person throwing up bile. Here are the four major causes of it:
- Bile Reflux
Bile reflux happens when bile is reversed into the stomach. When the bile collection in the stomach exceeds its limit, the digestive system tries to block the entry into the system; thus, the bile tries to exit from the mouth and results in you throwing up the bile vomit.
In some cases, when the stomach acid and bile are mixed up, and the pyloric sphincter muscles get weak or function abnormally, the bile travels to the esophagus, the tube that allows passing the food to the stomach from the throat after you chew the food.
Causes of Bile reflux:
- Poor lifestyle: Consuming excess alcohol and smoking cigarettes can lead to bile reflux.
- Peptic Ulcers: Inflammation occurs on the stomach lining and small intestine upper part, which causes stomach acid to mix up with bile and enters reversed into the esophagus leading to throwing up bile.
- Complications due to surgery: Gallbladder removal and stomach surgery that includes weight loss surgery can be one of the responsible factors for bile reflux.
Bile reflux is often confused with gastric acid reflux due to similar symptoms, and it may co-occur. Bile reflux symptoms include puke green yellowish bile mixed up with vomit, chronic pain in the upper abdominal, diarrhea, burning sensation in heart, chest, and throat, mouth tastes sour, loss of appetite, coughing, nausea, and following with headache.
Bile reflux treatments include medication such as sucralfate, ursodeoxycholic acid, or bile acid sequestrants. If the medicine failed to perform, the specialist might suggest diversion or anti-reflux surgery.
In diversion surgery, the surgeon creates an external tube for collecting the bile that connects the small intestine and stomach. While in anti-reflux surgery (also called Nissen fundoplication), the surgeon recreates a one-way valve around the lower tip of the esophagus.
- Quit tobacco consumption: Smoking cigarettes or consuming any tobacco products increases the stomach acid and destroys the sticky layer that protects the esophagus.
- Limit the consumption of fatty meals: Fatty food takes a lot of time to process and digest. Thus, it takes the gallbladder a lot of time to process the fat, and it slows down the function of the stomach to clear the food.
- Avoid consuming food that releases acid: Food and drinks to avoid — carbonated beverages, sparking-based beverages, caffeine, citrus juices, tomato, spicy food, vinegar, chocolates.
- Limit or avoid consumption of alchohol: Alcohol can cause inflammation around the esophagus and disturb the process of liver and gallbladder.
- Eat meals in 5–6 small portions instead of larger meals: Large meals take a lot of time to process, and the stomach can easily digest small quantities of food. Thus, it gets fewer chances of excess bile production in the stomach.
- Avoid having too much stress: Stress causes a hollow stomach feeling, and when you are having a meal in stressful conditions, it takes a lot of pressure to digest because the muscles in the stomach get tight. Practicing deep breathing, meditation, light exercises, and yoga helps to calm down the nervous system.
- Do not sleep or lie down right after having a meal: You need to allow your stomach to clear the food before you sleep because, in flat conditions, it takes strength for the food to get digested. In addition, it is recommended to raise the bed head to prevent any reflux or acidic symptoms from developing.
- Try to maintain the body weight: Excess fat in the body adds pressure on the gallbladder and intestine to process and digest the food. In addition, stomach acids are highly likely to develop when there are excess fat stores in the stomach.
- Post-Heavy Alcohol Consumption Hangover
The morning after heavy consumption of alcohol, throwing up bile is one of the common symptoms. This is because excessive alcohol drinking dehydrates the body. In addition, the alcohol heat effect causes inflammation in the stomach lining that results in acid reflux, which causes the throwing up of bile.
When it comes to staying hydrated, drinking plenty of water is always the best strategy. However, there are times when even that isn’t enough. If you’re struggling to consume enough fluids, you may want to consider different types of IVs. These can help to supply your body with the hydration it needs, and they’re often used in cases of severe dehydration. There are different types of IVs available, so be sure to speak with your doctor to find the one that’s right for you. With their help, you can get the hydration you need and start feeling better.
Causes of throwing up bile after heavy alcohol consumption:
- Bile Reflux: The digestive liquid — bile reverses its action to the esophagus when the body doesn’t get enough water to hydrate and causes vomiting bile. It also causes when one is drinking alcohol on an empty stomach.
- Gallbladder soreness — Cholecystitis and liver problem: The gallbladder is the body organ where bile is stored after the liver produces it. If the gallbladder and liver are inflamed, the bile loses control and causes the person to throw up bile.
Throwing up bile after a hangover causes nausea, heartburn, stomach acid, irregular breathing and heart rate pattern, faintness, and dizziness. However, it is a normal condition to throw bile after a hangover. If the condition is repeating day after day or more frequently, it can cause organ failure.
It is highly critical to treating dehydration and nausea after throwing up bile.
- Consume water slowly and in small intake. Gradually increase the consumption as the digestive system is trying to process. Keep drinking water at regular intervals.
- Avoid citrus and milk products because they may cause harshness to the digestive system.
- To regain body strength it is necessary to have food that is easy to digest, avoid having spicy or greasy, or too much flavored food. Chew the food carefully and do not swallow it without chewing properly as the digestive system is weak.
- Take rest as much as you can to help the body develop its strength.
- Over-the-counter lowest strength medicine to treat headaches and body pain.
Immediately consult the health expert practitioner when the condition leads to fever, chronic muscle cramping, blood vomiting mixed up with pile vomit, or oxygen level drop. A repetitive throwing bile condition is prone to blood vomit because it causes damage to the esophageal lining due to excessive vomiting bile. The situation may get worse if it is not treated.
- Take water frequently in between drinking alcohol.
- Keep having healthy snacks or meals in between drinking alcohol.
- Avoid mixing up greasy and spicy food when the alcohol strength is high, as the digestive system may take extra work to process the food and alcohol simultaneously.
- Wearing a hangover patch may help not get drunk as the patches are infused with multiple vitamins to combat the hangover symptoms in the body.
- Blockage in the intestine
The food digestion process needs to travel from valve to valve and from one organ to another and be distributed to the entire body differently. In a simple way, the body organs work like how machines do. The intestine helps in processing food and helps in fighting bacteria in the body, along with controlling the body’s water level balance.
The blockage in the intestine (small or large) can disrupt the entire food digestion process and block the way for transferring the food and causes the mixing of food with fluid, stomach acids, and causes a person to throw up bile. The worst-case scenario includes the formation of harmful bacteria into the body organs, which can cause fatality.
Along with throwing up bile, the blockage in the intestine also developed the symptoms of the inability to pass the stool, which causes chronic bloating in the stomach, nausea, loss of appetite, chronic constipation, abdominal pain, or diarrhea.
Causes of blockage in the intestine:
- Twisting of the small or large intestine due to heavy object lifting or accident.
- Development of tumor cells in intestines.
- Intestine damaged due to swallowing some sharp objects.
- IBD — inflammatory bowel diseases can also be responsible for the blockage in the intestines.
- Hernia can cause inflammation of the intestines resulting in blockage.
- Scar developed post pelvic surgery may affect the intestine.
- Diverticulitis is when the digestive tract pouches in the large intestine get sore and tweaked, which blocks the process.
- Other reasons: colon cancer, ovarian cancer, stomach muscles disorders, etc.
It is not advisable to treat intestine blockage on your own by consuming medicines or by home remedies. It needs proper medication to reduce inflammation. The treatment may include IV fluids to balance the electrolyte in the body and help in urine and pass the stool; a catheter may temporarily be attached to the body. If the medication doesn’t get the condition better, the patient may need to undergo surgery.
- Consume meals in small portions 4–6 times a day and chew the food thoroughly before pushing off the throat to the esophagus tube.
- Only consume thoroughly cooked meals.
- Cut down the intake of food that contains high fiber.
- Cut down the consumption of caffeine, carbonated beverages, and alcohol because it may inflame the intestine in the long run.
- Cut down smoking cigarettes or try to quit.
- Keep the body hydrated. Drink 7–8 glasses of water every day.
- Include workouts in the daily routine.
- Talk with your health practitioner in case of constipation lasts longer than 2–3 days.
- Foodborne Illness
Another name of foodborne illness is stomach flu or food poisoning. It occurs due to having adulterated food that has bacterial substances or parasites. Foodborne illness is also caused when the food you are consuming is not cooked thoroughly. It takes 30 mins to 48 hours for symptoms to develop after exposure to contaminated food.
Throwing up yellowish or greenish bile with vomiting is one of the common symptoms of foodborne illness. Viruses, bacterias, or parasites can live in the digestive tract and damage the wall. The body’s immune system is trying to fight the foreign toxic substances that enter the body, resulting in a forceful reverse mechanism of passing all the stomach content through the mouth and vomiting.
Symptoms of foodborne illness include throwing up bile with vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal cramping, weakness, dizziness, dehydration, headache, nausea, and fever.
The foodborne illness usually can be treated at home with over-the-counter medicines and water mixed with electrolyte substances to treat the dehydration in the body.
Including the small portion of the BRAT (banana, rice applesauce, toast) in the diet and probiotics helps build enough immune systems to fight off the germs in the body. In addition, the consumption of mint or ginger tea helps keep the stomach warm, relieve nausea and keep the body hydrated.
In severe foodborne illness cases, when the vomiting and diarrhea don’t stop within 72 hours, fever shoots up to 100.4 degrees, chronic abdominal pain, it is highly advisable to contact a professional medical expert. Doctors may give IV fluid which helps to hydrate the body. Untreated foodborne illness can cause fatality.
- Cook meals at a safe temperature to avoid the food getting spoiled.
- Defrost the food carefully and cook it immediately. If the defrost food is lying under a hot temperature, the bacteria may build up in it.
- Cook food thoroughly, especially meats, and do not consume half-cooked food.
- Wash the utensils thoroughly with germs killer dishwashers before cooking food in them.
- Clean hands properly before handling the cooking part and consumption of food.
Throwing up bile has numerous causes, and early detection of the symptoms helps get the proper treatment to avoid the condition worsening. In addition, it is vital to promote healthy living by making a shift in diet and lifestyle.