Vomiting Bile – Causes, Symptoms, Treatment


Bile is a digestive juice produced by the liver. The liver is located just above the stomach in the upper abdomen. After the intake of food, the bile travels from the liver to the gallbladder which then transfers it to the stomach. The bile is then mixed with the food to help its digestion. Any detection of bile in vomit is a cause for concern and individuals who experience bile on their vomit should immediately consult a doctor for diagnosis.

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Symptoms of vomiting bile

  • It is very easy to detect the presence of bile in the vomit. Most vomits have a mild brown color to them. But vomit with bile has a greenish yellow color to it. This by far is the most common feature of bile in vomit
  • Individuals who vomit bile may also experience chronic pain in the stomach.
  • It is important to remember that only the presence of bile gives vomit its greenish tinge and not otherwise.

Vomiting bile causes

There are several reasons that may cause an individual to vomit bile. Some of the probable causes are discussed below:

  • One of the primary causes of vomiting bile is intestinal blockage. Normally, the digested food passes from the stomach into the intestines. However, if there is any blockage of the intestines, due to numerous and/or unnatural turns and twists, then the passage of the digested food is not possible. In such a scenario, the food gets vomited out along with the bile. Infants and newborns may be born with such birth defects of the intestine. Hence, when they vomit bile, it should be immediately checked for intestinal blockage. Intestinal blockages are accompanied by other symptoms such as deficient bowel movements and severe abdominal pain that may subside and recur again. On occasions, the patient may also feel constipated.
  • Intake of excessive amounts of alcohol may also lead to vomiting bile. This is a common occurrence among alcoholics. Vomiting bile is a response of the body that it is unable to hold the increased amounts of alcohol and therefore ejects the toxins from the body along with the bile in the form of vomit.
  • Individuals who have undergone surgery for the removal of gall bladder may experience increased instances of vomiting bile. This is usual among all such patients and may persist for up to four to five months after surgery. However, if the instances of vomiting bile continue even after the recovery period is over, then it may point to some complications of the surgery and therefore require immediate attention of a doctor.
  • Individuals who are afflicted with the stomach flu or gastroenteritis may also experience frequent bouts of vomiting bile. In addition, there may be additional symptoms such as abdominal pain or cramps, dehydration as well as diarrhea. Gastroenteritis patients lose the ability to digest food and hence they vomit bile for two to three days after contacting the disease. Then, the patient may experience only episodes of diarrhea.
  • Individuals who are allergic to certain foods may also vomit bile after the consumption of such foods. Intake of certain foods may trigger an immune system response in allergic individuals that eventually results in vomiting bile along with the food. Other symptoms may include a runny nose, stomach cramps and breathing difficulties
  • The intake of food that is contaminated with bacteria or other microorganisms may cause food poisoning and result in the affected individual to vomit bile. Additionally, there may be other symptoms such as diarrhea, fever and pain in the abdomen. Therefore the intake food prepared in unsanitary conditions should be avoided.

Treatment for vomiting bile

All instances of vomiting bile must be checked by a doctor, who will then prescribe the medications as per the diagnosis.

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However, there are several home remedies that one can undertake for temporary relief from vomiting. Some of the remedies are listed below:

  • One can get relief from nausea by drinking a cup of ginger-basil tea prepared by adding basil leaves and crushed ginger to a cup of water and heating it up. The solution then needs to be strained and drunk with a teaspoon of honey.
  • Intake of water, cloves and some cinnamon boiled together and then strained also helps alleviate the symptoms of vomiting bile.
  • Once can drink cold lemon juice or chew on gooseberry candies to ease up on sensations of vomiting. Similarly, intake of oranges mixed with black salt is also an effective measure against vomiting.
  • Intake of honey mixed with cardamom powder and cumin powder along with a glass of water is also of great help.
  • An apple-ginger slush that is formed by adding a quarter cup of apple juice to half a teaspoon of ginger juice and several cubes of ice can also reduce the symptoms of vomiting and make patient feel a whole lot better.
  • One can add a little bit of peppermint extract or boil a peppermint candy and consume it. Another vomiting cure is the intake of ginger juice mixed with equal amounts of mint juice and lemon juice. One can also add some honey to it for additional taste.
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