December 31, 2011

Linkage: The Damage of Reflux (Bile, Not Acid)

My doctor wonders if some of my reflux stems from bile, not acid reflux, since none of the reflux medications have helped the situation, and I have had ulcer-like symptoms in the past.  I just came across this 2009 New York Times article about bile reflux, and it's a must-read (largely because so little IS written about this) to stay informed:

Both acid reflux and bile reflux may afflict the same person, which can make diagnosis a challenge. But the stomach inflammation that results from bile reflux often causes a burning or gnawing pain in the upper abdomen that is not felt with acid reflux, according to experts at the Mayo Clinic. Other symptoms of bile reflux may include frequent heartburn (the main symptom of acid reflux), nausea,vomiting bile, sometimes a cough or hoarseness and unintended weight loss.
While the article notes bile reflux is often linked to gastric bypass or other surgical interventions, it is something to consider if your medication/care plan for reflux is not working.

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