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Posts: 9
Joined: Mar 10, 2017

Relentless bile reflux / pain

Posted by @stephieisabella, Mar 10, 2017

Hi all,

In short, I’ve been suffering from the following for the last 2.5 years…

– daily burning in esophagus from reflux pretty much immediately after meals, can last for up to 2 hours
– dull, progressive pain on right side of abdomen just next to belly button and under rib. Can be sharp sometimes and radiate into right shoulder. Longest stint of pain was 4 – 5 days. Worse after eating
– burping and trapped air which causes sharp pain in my back
– Reflux is so bad that food gets stuck on its way down my food pipe and throat hurts a lot in general
– consistently yellow stools – been like that for years now
– Frequent ‘IBS-like’ symptoms – bloating, sharp cramps, intolerance to fatty heavy foods

I’ve had the following tests…

– x2 gastroscopy (gastritis and biopsies showed inflammation)
– x1 colonoscopy – clear
– H pylori breath tests – clear
– Fecal elastase to check pancreas function – clear
– Parasite testing – clear
– x3 ultrasounds – all clear
– HIDA scan – around 78%
– various blood tests (LFT, renal profile, CBC etc etc) – all clear apart from a slightly high white blood count during my worst time of pain
– food intolerance testing (celiac, lactose etc) – all clear
– MRCP – all clear

Here’s what I’ve tried…

– lifestyle changes: I’ve cut out fatty, fizzy, acidic and spicy foods, eating smaller and more frequent meals, elevating pillows at bedtime, not wearing tight clothing, not bending down after meals, not eating too close to bedtime, stopped drinking alcohol, chewing food properly and thoroughly
– omeprazole, esomeprazole, rantidine, gaviscon advanced – no help at all
– cut out gluten and dairy for months – no help
– digestive enzymes, ginger tablets, silicolgel, cold milk, ginger beer
– apercap, colpermin, mebeverine, amitriptyline, prozac, buscopan
– apple cider vinegar, ginger tablets, chamomile tea, milk thistle
– good strength probiotic
– beet juice, potato juice, parsley and all the good stuff for gallbladders

Sooooo totally running out of options here. Seen two specialists, been told I have bile reflux and IBS and that there isn’t much else for me. Can anyone shed some light? I’ve just started charcoal tablets today.

Note… I never get the right dull ache in my abdomen and the reflux at the same time. It is always one or the other. Been told NO to gallbladder removal and that I am too young to have problems with it (I’m 22).


Hello, Simon, @cherstue and @melonelily. Welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect. Thank you for sharing your experiences. I've seen firsthand what this can do to someone's lifestyle and it's awful. My heart goes out to you. Have any of you tried yoga or tai chi to help relieve symptoms? I haven't, I'm just wondering if it would be helpful or if anyone has tried it.

I practice Tai Chi (at home) and relaxation yoga (with a group). Both help with overall mindfulness, muscle relaxation and flexibility, and balance, but do not seem to affect the GI symptoms directly. Probably they do have some physical effect on the functioning of internal systems, but symptoms haven't been notably eased by this practice (compared symptoms during with periods when I didn't practice regularly). Great question :).

I recently got my diagnose – bile reflux. It is about 3 months now. And it started from nowhere – I havent had any surgery, USG shows everything is clear. First, I started to use Allochol, that didnt help me a lot. Now I am using Ursofalk before night – it helps trough the nigh, but next day after lunch I usually start to feel pain again.
I dont know what to do 🙁 I have read a lot and I start to think thatpain will not go away till the end of life.

Tomorrow I will try to eat only semolina porridge, because after I eat it in breakfast, I dont feel pain till lunch.

I hope there is something we can do about it:(

Find a surgeon who will remove your gall bladder. Everything you shared it straight out of my life story pretty much to a T. All my test came back normal or ok. Finally found a surgeon who said it's your gall bladder. Two weeks later he took it out. I woke up in recovery and felt better instantly. Even though all my test came back normal my gall bladder had enlarged walls and was full of sludge. About 9 months after I had it out everything started happening again. It felt like my gall bladder had grown back. I ended up having Sphincter of Oddi dysfunction but from what I've been told and have read they won't do an ERCP if you still have your gall bladder. Having your gall bladder out is a less risky procedure so that's where I'd start. I was 21 when I had my gall bladder removed. I dealt with the same symptoms you are having for over 2 years before I found a surgeon who listened and removed my gall bladder.

Liked by konniehoover

I was overwhelmed reading everything you are going through and have tried. Most of what you’re dealing with I cannot comment on, but regarding acid reflex, just started making a tea by combining 1 to 1 Hawthorn and licorice (each is available in organic tea bags) I understand licorice can help rebuild the stomach coating, but raises blood pressure, while hawthorn brings down inflamation and lowers blood pressure, so by combining you get what is good and cancel what is bad. Recommended by an asian practitioner who is also an MD, so I thought it would be worth a try. As I say, I am just starting it.

I wonder as I read the list of what you have tried to add or restrict to you diet, have you tried eating vegan?

I would go to the Mayo clinic to get properly diagnosed. They are #1 in gastroenterology. I suffered for over 10 years with undiagnosed fructose malabsorption and small intestinal bacterial overgrowth; also lactose intolerance, which I knew I had.

some time ago I wrote a comment about my abdomen pain and bile reflux.
For one month I got Ursofalk 500 mg before night and after that I started to eat soups, semolina porridges. I still got a little bit pain after meals but then there was 2 days where I accidentally didnt have much time to eat at all ( for breakfast little bread and than only at 16 PM I had one small bowl of soup).

So weirdest part- after two days of eating almost nothing, my pain went away. It felt that not eating at all for some time helped.

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