Dear Ask The Doctor: My husband has heartburn 24 7 for the past four months. He is 48, doesn't smoke or chew. At night, it gets so bad he is throwing up bile. A week ago his regular doctor gave him Omeprazale, but that is only slightly helping. He can't get into the GI Doctor for another two weeks. Any suggestions?
Dear Patient: Vomiting bile is a serious issue and requires an urgent appointment with a doctor. There could be several causes of bilious vomiting, these are :
i) Intestinal blockage - If there is some kind of obstruction in the intestine that is not allowing the food to enter through it, the food along with bile can travel back to the stomach. Intestinal obstruction is typically marked by severe abdominal pain. Abdominal pain is typically accompanied by frequent bouts of green vomiting. Most importantly, the person feels constipated and there is the absence of bowel movement.
ii) Alcohol Intolerance - It is observed that heavy drinkers are prone to this type of vomiting. It indicates the body's inability to absorb too much alcohol consumption.
iii) Gastroenteritis - Frequent episodes of vomiting bile have also been linked to gastroenteritis. Also, referred to as stomach flu, this is a viral infection of the stomach resulting from consuming contaminated food and water.
iv) Food allergies - Food allergies can be yet another reason behind vomiting bile. Eating certain foods that the person is allergic to, triggers an unexpected immune response forcing him to vomit the ingested food.