Creating a bile reflux diet that works for you takes some effort and understanding on the part of everyone involved. The first step is to work with your doctor to determine just what is going on inside of your body in order to react to it in the best way possible.
For example, a workable bile reflux diet will definitely be impacted by other issues you may be experiencing. Many sufferers are dealing not only with bile reflux, but also with acid reflux. There is a difference between the two.
- Acid reflux results when stomach acids make their way through the lower esophageal sphincter into the esophagus, leading to heartburn and potentially serious health problems.
- Bile reflux takes place when bile from the gallbladder makes its way through the pyloric valve from the small intestine in order to reach the stomach. There it causes inflammation and pain.
When these problems exist together, there is the added situation where the bile that refluxed into the stomach is now able to travel along with the stomach acids into the esophagus. This creates even more discomfort and concern for health issues.
In order to determine just what is going on, your doctor will perform a variety of tests. One of these will check for the types of substances that are making their way into the esophagus. If the area is acidic, then stomach acids are to blame. If it is alkaline, then it is the fault of bile. Unfortunately, unraveling the results of this test can be more complicated when both acid and bile are present.
The Acid Reflux May be Easier to Treat
Many doctors will tell you that there is not a whole lot you can do to your diet to improve the case of bile reflux. That said, there are plenty of people who offer advice and suggestions, and doctors often agree with them.
One of the most common pieces of advice is that if you have both acid reflux and bile reflux, consider modifying your diet to deal with the acid reflux first. Some of the suggestions (such as not lying down shortly after a meal) are good advice for any type of reflux, as they help keep the digestive juices where they belong instead of giving them easier access to the places they shouldn’t be.
Other dietary choices are considered to be beneficial for both acid reflux and bile reflux, such as avoiding or severely limiting the following:
- Spicy foods
- Carbonated drinks
Bile Reflux Diet Specifics
While those foods listed above are commonly associated with bile reflux and acid reflux, they may not be your specific “trigger” foods. To determine what is causing you the most trouble, it’s a good idea to start a food journal. Document every food and beverage you have and rate your bile reflux symptoms throughout the day. Over the course of time, you will be able to recognize patterns that tell you which foods are more likely to lead to symptoms;.
As the symptoms of acid reflux decrease, you may also see a decrease in those of bile reflux. To capitalize on this, remember that fatty and oily foods increase the release of bile, so avoiding those can also help to lessen the symptoms you experience.
Eating smaller meals can also be a beneficial aspect of a bile reflux diet. Some bile reflux is a result of food being slowed in the digestive process, often by a peptic ulcer. This creates opportunities for the bile to enter the stomach through the pyloric valve, and gastric pressure can also increase the likelihood of bile and acid refluxing into the esophagus. Instead of a few large meals a day, consider trying several smaller ones.