Throwing up a greenish and yellow substance, known as bile, is a very unpleasant experience, which you might worry about. The cause is sometimes obvious, for example drinking too much alcohol and in such a case there is usually nothing to worry about.
However, if you throw up bile and have no idea what might be the cause of it or it happens to you frequently without any clear reason, you need to be examined by a doctor as it might be a sign of some more serious medical condition.
Bile is a type of thick liquid which is produced by your liver and then it’s stored in the gallbladder. It supports the food digestion as it parts fats and turns them into fatty acids. Generally, bile consists of water, cholesterol, bilirubin, salts, acids, and some metals.
Read the article and find our what might be the possible causes of vomiting bile, how it is treated, and if there are any remedies, which can help you solve this problem at home.
The Causes of Throwing Up Bile
If you want to detect the cause of throwing up bile, you need to observe your organism for more symptoms, which will help your doctor find the culprit of your suffering.
If vomiting bile happens only once for example as a result of alcohol consumption, you don’t need to worry about it. However, if it has happened more than once, read what possible causes of throwing up bile are and what other symptoms you may experience.
1. Intestinal Blockage
Intestinal blockage is quite a common cause of throwing up bile and it’s a serious medical condition, which requires immediate medical help. If not treated properly, it can lead to life-threatening diseases such as malnutrition, tissue death, or sepsis.
Intestinal blockage, however, is not a disease itself, but it’s a consequence of some underlying condition, such as inflammatory bowel disease, impacted stool, gallstones, a hernia, infections of your digestive tract, or cancerous tumors.
Unfortunately, two most common reasons for intestinal blockage are colon cancer and scar tissues, which may develop in your intestines if you had a surgery in the abdominal or pelvic area. Therefore, an early diagnosis is crucial when it comes to full recovery.
In case of intestinal blockage, apart from throwing up bile, you may experience other symptoms, typical for this condition. These include loss of appetite, chronic constipation, swelling in the abdomen area, difficulty or inability to pass gas, cramps or abdominal pain.
If your doctor suspects an intestinal blockage, he will perform a physical examination and order you to do some other tests, including X-rays, CT scan, ultrasound, and air or barium enemas.
An intestinal blockage is usually a problem of adults, however, children under three years old may rarely develop an intestinal blockage, which is a serious disease called intussusception. It happens when one part of a baby’s intestine slides into the adjacent section.
At first, intussusception causes pain which comes and goes, but after some time it becomes chronic. A baby may of course vomit, look tired and pale.
2. Bile Reflux
Don’t mix this term with acid reflux as they are completely different conditions although they give similar symptoms. We talk about bile reflux when bile moves back into your stomach and esophagus.
Bile reflux is usually a consequence or complication after gallbladder removal or gastric bypass surgery. Peptic ulcers might be the reason for bile reflux too.
Apart from vomiting bile, the condition may cause other unpleasant signs, such as sudden weight loss, unexplained nausea, hoarseness in your throat or cough, heartburn, strong pain in the upper abdominal area, sour taste in your mouth.
It is a curable condition and it’s probable that your doctor will diagnose it based on your symptoms. He can also order additional tests to make sure that it’s bile reflux, and not acid reflux.
3. Stomach Flu
Stomach flu is called gastroenteritis in a medical world and it may be described as a viral infection of your stomach. It may cause vomiting bile and other accompanying symptoms such as dehydration, diarrhea, and cramps in the abdomen.
The reason why you throw up bile during stomach flu is because you cannot keep food down for even a few days. Thus, your stomach is empty, but you still keep vomiting and only thing that comes out is bile.
4. Food poisoning
If you have ever experienced food poisoning, you know that throwing up bile is very likely to happen during the time of the condition. In case of food poisoning bacteria and viruses from food enter your organism.
It happens when you consumed some food product after its expiration date or when the food was prepared or stored in an unsanitary way. The symptoms of food poisoning include sudden and violent vomiting, abdominal pain and cramps.