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How to Stop Vomiting Bile

How to Stop Vomiting Bile

In order to know how to stop vomiting bile, you should be aware of the causes that lead to its occurrence. This HealthHearty article explains more about this condition in detail and also tells you how to stop throwing up bile.
Rajib Singha
Last Updated: May 10, 2018
Vomiting, as most of us are aware, is the act of throwing up. In other words, stomach contents are forcibly expelled through the mouth. The act may be voluntary, and more often, involuntary. Vomiting is not a condition as it is often a symptom or indication of something that has gone wrong in the body. In case you were not aware, it is one of the body's natural responses to get rid of substances that it sees as invaders and irritants in the stomach. It occurs when the diaphragm muscle contracts downwards in a severe manner.

There could be various causes behind this problem, with the common ones being food poisoning, overeating, brain injury, disease of the gallbladder, intense pain, migraine, chemotherapy drugs, motion sickness, pregnancy, stomach flu, disorder of the stomach muscles, general anesthesia, and psychological illnesses such as bulimia. And depending on the cause, other symptoms may also be observed. In some cases, along with the stomach contents, a person may even throw up bile. Let us first see what exactly vomiting bile is.

What is Vomiting Bile?
It is a fluid that gets produced in the liver and stored in the gallbladder. It is greenish-yellow in color, and its main function is to digest fat. Besides this, it also helps in getting rid of certain toxins from the body and the blood cells that have died or worn out. Now, if a person is vomiting severely, then it may cause the small intestines to contract. This in turn, it may allow the bile to get mixed with the stomach contents that get vomited. The main symptom that may indicate the presence of bile is the vomit being yellow. Apart from this, there are other causes behind this condition, and most of them are associated with mild to severe underlying medical conditions. As what doctors have been able to find, some of the common causes of vomiting bile in infants and kids may include intussusception, and malrotation. In adults, the main offenders are inflammatory bowel disease, bile reflux, and less commonly, volvulus. Alcohol abuse may also cause the presence of bile in vomit.

Vomiting bile along with the stomach content is not like any ordinary case of vomiting. Treating it requires the aid of a medical professional, who would diagnose the underlying cause, and try to correct it. For instance, if we consider intussusception, which causes part of the small intestine or colon to slide into another part of the intestine, then treatment is a medical emergency. First, the affected child is stabilized at the hospital with the help of fluids given through intravenous (IV) line. Thereafter, an air enema is carried out for treating the problem. But if it does not work, then surgery may be required.

If bile reflux happens to be the culprit, then first, medications are administered to promote bile flow, and lessen the production of acid. However, if medications do not work, then surgery becomes a necessity. In one surgical method, manipulations are made which help the bile flow away from the stomach. And in another method, the surgery is performed on the esophageal sphincter, which helps in reducing acid reflux. So depending upon the underlying cause, the course of the treatment is decided upon. Self-medication must be avoided, and medications must be used only after having consulted with a doctor. However, one can take a few self-care measures at home to calm down the symptoms:
  • Never try to fight the urge to vomit. Whenever the urge is felt, one should go for it. As mentioned earlier, vomiting means that the body is trying to get rid of something that is not accepted by the digestive tract.
  • Severe vomiting can cause the body to lose out on a great amount of fluid thus, may cause dehydration. So, it is necessary to drink plenty of water, including other fluids such as diluted non-citrus fruit juices. For infants and little children, oral rehydration solution must be administered.
  • Severe and persistent vomiting can take a lot out of the body, and may also cause stress. It may be beneficial to apply a cold compress on the head. While, it may not stop the vomiting, but would make the person feel a lot better.
  • Doctors also advice patients to eat smaller meals, instead of going for the traditional three meals a day.
  • Immediately going to bed after eating is not considered healthy. One must stay upright for at least 2-3 hours after a meal. This buys enough time for the stomach to digest most of the food.
  • Cranberry juice, or a glass of lemon juice mixed with a teaspoon of honey also helps in calming the stomach, thus, reducing vomiting.
  • Let one-fourth cup of aniseed to steep in a half a cup of boiling water for five minutes. Strain the tea and drink once a day.
  • Ginger is also one of the most effective methods that help in reducing vomiting. Chew on a small piece of ginger, or sip ginger tea.
  • Equally beneficial is mint tea. Steep a tablespoon of dry mint leaves in a pint of boiling water. Let them steep for 30 minutes. Without straining, drink the tea once or twice a day.
  • If you throw up vomiting bile after drinking alcohol, it could be because of the low tolerance level of your body to alcohol. The body then tries to remove the toxic matter along with bile. The best remedy would be to drink lots and lots of water to keep your body hydrated. Taking vitamin C in the form of orange or lemon juice also helps.
  • Stay away from highly acidic and spicy foods and drinks that may further escalate the condition.

As said earlier, vomiting bile is not like the normal episodes of vomiting commonly encountered by people. The above remedies may be helpful if the condition is a mild one. But if it's otherwise, and if the vomiting is becoming persistent, then delay in seeking medical help can make matters worse.

Disclaimer: This article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice. In case of any serious illness, please seek immediate medical help.