Treatment for Bile Reflux
Those suffering from bile reflux understand the pain and discomfort involved and are usually eager to find a treatment option that offers them the relief they need. The medical community has developed a number of treatment options, and the right one may depend on your severity of bile reflux symptoms and other health factors.
Surgical Options for Bile Reflux
Some of the more drastic options for bile reflux treatment can include surgery, although this is not always the case. If it’s been determined that you are a good candidate for surgery, there are a couple of types that will be considered. Anti-reflux surgery, for example, is more commonly used for acid reflux but can sometimes be beneficial for those with bile reflux, as well. The procedure is also known as fundoplication and focuses on increasing the pressure at the bottom of the esophagus.
Diversion surgery, on the other hand, seems to be more useful for those with bile reflux. It includes a procedure known as Roux-en-Y to divert bile away from the stomach. The surgeon creates a new connection lower down the intestine, with bile draining there instead of up near the pyloric valve, which is likely faulty or has been removed.
Interestingly, bile reflux is often caused by earlier surgical procedures in which the pyloric valve was damaged.
There are some prescription medications that have been found to have a positive effect on those with bile reflux. Proton pump inhibitors, for example are used to block some of the body’s ability to produce acid. Less acid produced means there is less to reflux, or back up, into the esophagus. Again, this treatment may more commonly be used for acid reflux, but there had been good indication that it can also help with bile reflux.
Ursodeoxycholic acid is another prescription medication that is used in the treatment of bile reflux. This approach can be helpful if your problem is caused by the stomach emptying too slowly, which often results in pressure that forces bile up into the stomach. Instead, ursodeoxycholic acid helps to promote the flow of bile and increase the speed at which food travels through the stomach.
Taking Care of Your Health
Bile reflux is typically not caused by an unhealthy lifestyle, but that doesn’t mean that there’s no benefit to improving your choices in that regard. For example, eating foods that are high in fat can increase the amount of bile the body uses in digestion. Choosing lower-fat foods, therefore, can help to reduce bile reflux symptoms.
Additionally, bile reflux and acid reflux often occur together. That means that if you make healthier choices that are known to positively affect your acid reflux symptoms, you may see a reduction in bile reflux symptoms, as well.
Some things to consider in the treatment of bile reflux:
- Don’t lay down right after eating
- Avoid foods that seem to make symptoms worse
- Lose weight
- Cut out alcohol
- Quit smoking
In addition, there is definitely something to be said for reducing the stress in your life. Stress causes digestion to slow down, which helps lead to that pressure building below the stomach and forcing bile upwards. Using some relaxation techniques and getting some of the more stressful things off your plate can go a long way in improving your bile reflux symptoms.