Does your vomit look greenish yellow? This is a sign of bile vomit. Normally, vomit is of a faint brown color but bile makes it greenish yellow.
Also referred to as the bile juice, bile is a digestive fluid produced by the liver. Bile contains an acid (bile acid) that aids in the digestion and absorption of fats. The presence of bile in your vomit is because of an open pyloric valve, which is a sphincter muscle with a ring shape and is located in the stomach. This valve closes when the contents in the stomach get in the small intestine. This ensures stomach contents do not flow backwards. The small intestine is where bile juice mixes with the food. But when bile is released to the small intestine while the pyloric valve is open, there is a flow back from the small intestine to the stomach.
Causes of Vomiting Bile
1. Intestinal Blockage
When the intestine is closed, there is a blockage preventing the food from passing through. This causes food to move in the opposite direction and hence vomiting. The cause of blockage is normally a twisted intestine. This structural irregularity is at times a birth defect.
The main sign of a blocked intestine is severe abdominal pains. This abdominal discomfort is followed by green vomit and constipation.
The most common treatment is surgery done to unblock the bowel to allow bowel movement. In the surgery, a part of the intestine is cut to get rid of the deformity in the intestine's structure. This stops the bile vomiting episodes.
2. Bile Reflux
When there is too much bile that is needed in the stomach the body will want to get rid of it through vomiting. Causes include gastric surgeries like removal of gallstones peptic ulcers and stomach surgeries such as gastric bypass or gallbladder removal.
The symptoms include abdominal discomfort, heartburn, nausea or hoarseness. These symptoms cause one to alter their feeding habits to avoid triggering the symptoms. This in effect leads to unhealthy weight loss. When you experience the symptoms, it is advisable to seek medical attention. Failure to seek medical attention causes chronic symptoms that lead to the development of gastritis, GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease), stomach inflammation and even extensive esophageal damage.
Use of prescription medication that control the production and reflux of bile is advised. Ursodeoxycholic acid aids in digestion while preventing abdominal discomfort. In case of severe symptoms, patients are advised to undergo fundoplication surgery, which seeks to increase the esophageal pressure.
3. Alcohol Consumption
If you experience bile vomiting after a drink, it could be because your body has low tolerance to alcohol. Due to this intolerance, the body seeks to remove the toxic matter along with some bile.
The body's intolerance to alcohol is a lifelong condition. The best way to treat bile vomiting caused by alcohol consumption is to stay away from alcohol. To relieve symptoms, patients can take antihistamine OTC drugs in the recommended dosage.
This is a viral condition commonly referred to as stomach flu. It is caused by the intake of water or food that is contaminated. Signs include dehydration, diarrhea and abdominal cramps. After gastroenteritis occurs, the human body is unable to digest foods in solid form for a few days. This causes the patient to vomit each time they take a meal. Excessive vomiting leads one to vomit bile.
Intake of plenty of water replaces the water lost during vomiting. The best remedy for children is electrolyte solutions that replenish lost body fluids. If the gastroenteritis is bacterial, adult patients are put under antibiotics. To stop the vomiting, one can also use antiemetics like promethazine.
5. Food Poisoning
Food poisoning occurs when one takes foods prepared in unsanitary conditions. This food is contaminated with harmful microbes like viruses and bacteria. Signs include abdominal pains, diarrhea and even fever.
Patients should take electrolyte solutions. These solutions help in replacing the potassium, sodium and calcium lost from vomiting. Patients are also put under rehydration therapy, which is administered intravenously or orally. Avoid taking anti-diarrhea medication as it may worsen the problem.
6. Allergies to Foods
Taking foods one is allergic to triggers an immune response prompting them to vomit and even vomit bile. The vomiting is followed by breathing problems, stomach cramps as well as a running nose.
One should stay away from foods to which they are allergic. Minor reactions normally subside after a while. Severe allergic reactions characterized by facial swelling and severe breathing should be handled by a doctor. The patient is put under epinephrine injections that manage the symptoms.
7. An Empty Stomach
Vomiting on an empty stomach will most likely produce bile. This is why the vomit is always greenish yellow when you vomit on an empty stomach.
Patients are put under antiemetics to prevent vomiting.
8. The Cyclic Vomiting Disorder
This condition is characterized by vomiting episodes triggered by different circumstances. In some cases, these episodes can go on for more than a month. In this case, the patient requires hospitalization.
The doctor will prescribe preventive medication and call for a change in the patient's lifestyle. Lifestyle changes include;
- Sleep adequately.
- Avoid circumstances that cause too much excitement as this is one of the triggers.
- Avoid foods that trigger the episodes like chocolate and cheese.
- Ensuring the intake of three meals that contain three snacks daily.
The symptoms and treatment methods above are effective but not comprehensive. It is always ideal to seek medical help. There may be an underlying problem that only a doctor can diagnose. This ensures you get professional help in the early stages in case there is a bigger complication.
Home Remedies for Vomiting Bile
- Avoid dehydration. Drink at least 8 cups of water at regular intervals.
- Drink cold lime juice and fruit juices can help relive the discomfort. Cranberry juice is a nice choice.
- Try anti-nausea herbs. Ginger tea and cinnamon can provide relief for repeated vomiting.
- Maintain a healthy lifestyle. Quit smoking as it can increase stomach acid production and rid your esophagus of saliva.
- Have smaller meals can help to prevent pyloric valve from opening at the wrong time.
- Avoid certain foods like caffeinated foods, carbonated drinks, citrus foods, chocolate, onions, dressings that are vinegar based, spicy foods, tomato based foods as well as mint.