Throwing up bile? Understand the Common Causes, Treatments and Prevention
Feeling sick and vomiting a light brown color substance may be considered normal. Is your vomit producing a greenish or yellowish color? Then, you may be throwing up bile.
Bile is a fluid that is made up of bile salts, bilirubin, electrolytes, cholesterol, and water. The fluid is made in the liver and stored in the gallbladder. The bile juice is then passed to the small intestine and contains bile acid to digest and absorb fats from food (1).
Throwing up bile could be the result of a malfunctioning open pyloric valve (a ring-shaped sphincter muscle in the stomach) leading to a bile reflux. Vomiting bile has many causes and comprehending the causes can help treat it effectively.
Throwing Up Yellow or Green Bile: What Does it Mean?
Vomiting the yellow green bile usually occurs in the morning and is quite a distasteful experience. Vomiting is a process that expels toxins from the body. Vomit can be of different shades, and knowing the color of vomit can help to adapt to the appropriate treatment.
The breakdown of consumed food could be the premise for the color of vomit. So, the vomit after a meal consisting of green or yellow foods like corn, asparagus or spinach, can be green or yellow in color.
If the color of vomit is a mix of orange or brown, or just orange, or brown, then it could be indicative of something more serious.
The fecal smell emanating from a brown color vomit is detestable and indicates a problematic digestion or the bowels being backed up. It could also be indicative of something more severe like an almost impossible digestion and needs immediate medical attention.
Bile is greenish-yellow in color. Throwing up yellow bile or green bile could indicate that there is nothing to expel and is common on an empty stomach. Vomiting bile could be due to an infection or some other problem. It may not be a primary concern however it may not be wise to ignore the condition. There are some effective home remedies which could reduce throwing up of yellow or green bile.
Common Causes of Throwing Up Bile
There could be myriad reasons for throwing up bile. It could be the result of an empty stomach or some other irritation. Here are some of the common causes of vomiting bile:
1. Food Allergies
The consumption of certain foods could set off an allergic reaction and induce vomiting food and bile. The other symptoms could be inclusive of skin rashes, breathing issues, stomach cramps, or a runny nose.
2. Food Poisoning
Food cooked in unhygienic conditions has a greater likelihood of being contaminated with bacteria and viruses. The consumption of such unhealthy food could lead to food poisoning and cause vomiting bile. Some other symptoms are inclusive of fever and abdominal pains.
Gastroenteritis, also known as stomach flu, is triggered off by the consumption of water or food. It is a condition where you are unable to digest food, leading to throwing up bile after meals. The sufferer may also experience diarrhea, abdominal cramps, and dehydration (2).
4. Intestinal Obstruction
Throwing up bile can occur with an intestinal obstruction, which implies the blocking the flow of food in the intestines. Throwing up yellow bile is triggered with the intestinal blockage caused by inflammatory bowel disease, adhesions, or gallstones forcing out contents into the stomach (3).
5. Cyclical Vomiting Syndrome
The occurrence of cyclic vomiting syndrome is a rarity. The condition can trigger random and vicious vomiting that seems to happen for no particular reason. The vomiting episodes can occur at the same time every day, from 1 to 10 days, and can happen more than once every month.
It can transpire with the same intensity. The cyclic vomiting syndrome could be set off due to extreme excitement, emotional stress, infections, or menstruation.
6. Bile Reflux
Bile reflux is quite similar to the acid reflux condition. The bile in the stomach is set off leading to throwing up bile instead of acids. In the healing phase, after a stomach surgery such as gallstone removal or peptic ulcers leads to the building up of excess bile, and sets off vomiting bile.
7. Drug and Alcohol Consumption
Can excessive consumption of alcohol lead to throwing up bile? The use of alcohol for longer periods can reportedly cause irritation to the stomach lining and set off vomiting bile. The usage of certain drugs like digitalis or morphine could also reportedly set ablaze the chemoreceptor zone of the brain, and lead to an urge to vomit.
8. Excessive Dehydration
Extreme dehydration is a condition where the body lacks water and the essential nutrients. The lack of fluids could trigger vomiting, low blood pressure, and lead to feeling dizzy and lightheaded.
9. Respiratory Inflammation
A respiratory tract inflammation or infection like common cold or pneumonia could set off throwing up bile. The respiratory infections lead to significant amount of mucus formation, and this can set off vomiting bile.
10. Pyloric Valve Malfunction
The pyloric valve is known to regulate the release of bile. A malfunction in the pyloric sphincter muscle can set off throwing up green bile or yellow bile. The failure is common in older adults.
Symptoms Associated with Throwing Up Bile
Throwing up bile has a few symptoms related to the reflux which is similar to acid reflux. The symptoms of bile reflux are:
- Unintended weight loss
- Upper abdominal pain, which can sporadically get extreme
- Occasional hoarseness in the throat or coughing
- Recurrent heartburn which could spread to the throat. The process could produce leave a sour taste in the mouth.
Vomiting Yellow Bile after Drinking? Is Alcohol the Reason?
Had a good time enjoying your favorite beverage? Are you worried about the consequences of drinking like throwing up yellow bile?
The association of consuming alcohol with vomiting bile is probably logical. It could be simply that your body has little tolerance towards alcohol. The alcohol in your system reportedly sets off throwing up bile as the stomach lining stands irritated and the body looks at wanting to do away with the alcohol.
The low tolerance to alcohol could set off the body trying to remove the bile and toxic substances from the body. What about a vomiting bile hangover? The vomiting bile in the morning could be the bile hangover, which is considered worse than the vomiting bile at night. It is advised to stay hydrated after vomiting bile.
The gravity of the situation could increase with alcohol poisoning. There could be other symptoms like seizures, irregular or slow breathing, skin turning pale or blue, low body temperature, or being unable to wake up after passing out, apart from the vomiting. In the case of alcohol poisoning, the person suffering should immediately seek medical assistance.
How to Stop Throwing Up Bile?
Throwing up green bile or yellow bile can be not only distasteful but can leave you feeling drained out. So, how to stop throwing up bile? You could consider visiting a doctor and start with the recommended course of action, which could involve taking antiemetic like antibiotics for gastroenteritis or promethazine to stop vomiting bile.
Are there any home remedies for vomiting bile? There is an array of home remedies for vomiting bile, which could not only stop throwing up bile but also help you lead a healthier lifestyle. Here are some remedies for vomiting bile:
1. Stay Hydrated
It is advisable to drink plenty of fluids (intake of eight cups of water) throughout the day. In case, you are suffering food poisoning, or stomach flu, stay well-hydrated so as to prevent the extreme loss of bile. Alternately, you can start off with electrolyte solutions to regulate the balance of fluids till the symptoms show signs of improvement.
2. Moderate Food Intake
Throwing up bile is a sign of that your body needs to limit diet momentarily. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle would be inclusive of consumption of small proportions of food regularly to reduce the pressure on the intestine.
The small portions should include bland foods and broths which can reduce the digestive stress. You can also drink sweet beverages like fruit juices that replace the lacking sugar and also consume snacks with salt to replace the lost salt.
3. Avoid Smoking, Drinking, Certain Drugs
Smoking leads to drying up body fluid like the saliva, which acts as a shielding of the windpipe leading to throwing up bile. Drinking could result in irritating the stomach lining and disrupting the digestive system. You can also ask your doctor for replacement of certain drugs which have a tendency of making you throw up.
4. Steer Away from Trigger Foods
It is advised to steer away from foods that increase the production of acids or lead to relaxation of the esophageal sphincter. The list is inclusive of:
- Carbonated beverages
- Caffeinated drinks
- Citrus food
- Vinegar-based dressings
- Tomato-based foods and
- Other spicy foods
Steer away from unhealthy foods and also avoid foods that you are allergic to or cause food poisoning.
5. Include Herbs
The use of herbs like ginger and cinnamon have been tried and tested to help relieve nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting. The herbs may be available as supplements in the form of tablets or tea.
Alternately, you could try some yellow dock to control bile production and improve digestion disorders. You could also ask your doctor for some health supplements to relieve throwing up bile.
6. Lose Weight
Losing weight facilitates a healthier lifestyle and scientists have found that obese people are more commonly affected by bile reflux. The obesity leads to pressure on the stomach and internal organs. So, losing weight could facilitate curing the excess bile discharge. It is advised to exercise in the morning, go on a diet, and limit fat consumption to achieve weight loss.
7. Try Medications
You could visit your doctor who may prescribe bile acid sequestrants to reduce the amount of bile your body. There are other medications which help protect the esophagus from corrosion like proton pump inhibitors, prokinetic agents, or ursodeoxycholic acid.
8. Medical Treatment
There could be various medical procedures like surgery to unblock the bowel, or a fundoplication surgery to increase the esophageal pressure, or epinephrine injection for people who are allergic to particular food.
What to Eat after Throwing Up Bile?
After vomiting bile, you may be feeling weak and dehydrated. You may not want to consume anything immediately, but it is advised to stay hydrated.
It is important to take small sips of water to replace the lost electrolytes. A few things that could help you relieve the nauseous feeling and settle your stomach would be to consume light and bland foods (anything like baby foods) and foods that replace the lost salts and sugars.
Have sweet fruit juices, salty crackers, or ginger tea or soda. You may consider taking small bites of banana (mashed banana) which is a nutritious source of potassium.
Alternately, you may try some vegetable broth to settle your stomach and also help you regain your strength. You may probably revolt at the very thought of consuming any food or drinking water or juices, but it is best to consume small portions to bounce back quickly.
How to Prevent Throwing Up Bile?
What measures can you take to avoid throwing up bile? Here are a few measures that can prevent vomiting in general, and also extends reducing throwing up bile (3).
- Reducing Stress: Vomiting bile can be stressful, and it is essential to reduce stress. You can indulge in meditation, some light exercise including yoga, qigong, or tai chi to reduce stress.
- Moderating Intake of Food: You can consume small portions of food to prevent vomiting. Having bone broths are not only nutritious but can help in improving digestion and reducing the nauseous feeling.
- Steer away from alcohol and specific drugs: The consumption of alcohol relaxes the esophageal sphincter, leading to a sense of irritation. You could also steer away from opioid painkillers and antibiotics to prevent throwing up bile.
- Avoid Sleeping after eating: It is advised to skip sleeping immediately after dinner. Try and stay upright for nearly two or three hours after dinner, as this helps to digest most of the food consumed.
Throwing Up Bile: Is It a Serious Health Condition?
Any adverse health condition like vomiting, in general, should not be ignored. Throwing up bile could be the root of a serious health condition like appendicitis. Try and observe the situation of vomiting bile and check for other symptoms like severe pain across the abdomen. The extreme pain could be a signal of a burst appendix, and you may need immediate medical attention.
Recurrent vomiting could also indicate a severe brain damage which could be fatal. There is an increase in the likelihood of developing epilepsy, after a concussion. A brain injury could also set off severe migraine headaches. You will need to visit a doctor immediately if you experience severe vomiting.
Throwing up bile along with motion sickness could also indicate pregnancy. Excessive vomiting can be dangerous for both mother and baby, as this leads to dehydration. It is best not to ignore these symptoms as they could be a serious concern.
When to Call the Doctor
You will need to get medical help when you observe the following symptoms of bile reflux:
- Having abdominal or chest pain
- Feeling lightheaded
- Having shortness of breath
- Unintended weight loss
- Throwing up material in a shade of red and looking like coffee grounds
- Excessive vomiting
A few of these conditions may not warrant an emergency scenario, but it is important to eliminate the gravity of the situation, and also start with the prescribed treatment.
Throwing up bile can be a distasteful experience, but timely treatment by adapting home remedies can alleviate pain and facilitate in regaining your health quickly.