Treat Bile Juice Reflux during Pregnancy
Bile juices aid in the digestion of fats. During pregnancy however, regurgitation of bile is fairly common and can lead to a host of unpleasant symptoms. Here are some herbs and home remedies along with some home based and lifestyle modification tips to help in the management of bile acid reflux.
What is Bile Juice?
Bile reflux is characterized by regurgitation of the bile in to the stomach and esophagus from the small intestine. Bile regurgitation is to a certain extent comparable with gastro-esophageal acid reflux (GERD), but is somewhat difficult to treat. The symptoms of bile reflux are managed with the help of certain drugs and infrequently via surgical intervention.
Bile is a yellowish color fluid that is prepared in the liver and plays a vital role in digestion. Bile is considered have strong surfactant properties which makes it very suitable for digesting fats and lipids. Bile is prepared from the breakdown of blood cells and is stored in the gall bladder ( a small pouch located close to the liver) and opens into the duedenom or the small intestine.
Bile usually gets mixed with food in the small intestine, however in case of bile reflux, bile enters the stomach and the esophagus, from the small intestine and is associated with a host of symptoms.
Changes in the Hormone Profile, the Blooming Uterus and Consuming Greasy Foods are Important Causative Factors
Causes of Regurgitation
During pregnancy, a host of changes are taking place within the body; some of these changes set off bile reflux. Some of the factors leading to bile reflux include the following,
- Primarily, an insufficient intake of water can hamper the production and concentration of bile juices. Changed composition of bile along with not eating food every three hours, can triggers a backward flow of bile, resulting in bile reflux.
- The growing size of the uterus can put pressure on the small intestine, invariabily curtailing its storage capacity significantly. This increased intra-abdominal pressure can also contribute to backward flow of bile, from the intestine into the stomach.
- Pregnancy hormones are also known to play a part in the development of bile reflux.
- Consuming foods that are very oily or fatty can also trigger excessive release of bile into the small intestine, which in turn increases the risk of bile reflux
Due to changed anatomical and hormonal factors during pregnancy, bile reflux is common among pregnant mothers.
Symptoms of Bile Juice Reflux during Pregnancy
In principle, bile is produced in the liver and released into the small intestine. The mucosal lining of the small intestine helps protect it from the corrosive action of bile. However when bile juices regurgitate into the stomach and the esophagus, it can irritate the mucous membrane and result in a host of other symptoms.
- Bile juice reflux into the stomach can lead to severe burning pain and irritation
- It is associated with heartburn and acidity. There is severe distention of the abdomen which may be associated with distressful symptoms like breathlessness and nausea.
- Bitter or sour taste in the mouth with frequent episodes of vomiting are commonly observed. Some may complain of ulcers in the mouth or the oral cavity.
- Other associated symptoms include: hoarseness of voice, coughing and soreness of throat, espeically in cases of bile reflux up to the oesophagus
Home Remedies and Herbs to Treat Bile Reflux
Here are some herbs and simple home remedies that can help in the treatment of bile reflux especially during pregnancy.
- Consume Chamomile tea about three to four times a day. Chamomile has strong anti-inflammatory properties and helps protect the stomach and the esophagus from effects of bile reflux.
- Licorice Roots are also considered beneficial in the treatment of bile reflux. However, licorice contains glycyrrhizin, a chemical known to be associated with higher risk of blood pressure and tissue edema.
- Mint is an excellent carminative and digestive. Have a glass of mint tea every morning.
Guidelines for Good Digestion
The following course of action will help handle and deal with bile regurgitation successfully; nevertheless, it is wise to confer with your health care provider and seek his opinion.
- Do not eat heavy meals. Avoid having two heavy meals in the day; in its place, make sure that you eat five to seven small meals, frequently through the day. Bile reflux habitually occurs due to overeating, so do not eat too much at one time, have small sized meals frequently. Also, have dinner three hours before going to bed.
- Keep away from greasy and oily foods. Oily meals increase the manufacture and release of bile, thus, stay away from them. Include plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables in your everyday menu.
- Eat on time. Do not have long gaps between two meals.
- Do away with caffeine and carbonated drinks.
- Ensure that you are consuming sufficient quantity of water; stay well hydrated.
- Never lie down immediately after your meal. Sit up or walk around; this perks up digestion and prevents reflux of bile effectively.
- When lying down or sleeping, keep your head a little raised, this will help prevent the bile from regurgitating.