Make an appointment with your doctor if you have signs or symptoms common to bile reflux. After your doctor's initial evaluation, you may be referred to a specialist in digestive disorders (gastroenterologist).
Here's some information to help you prepare for your appointment and what to expect from your doctor.
What you can do
- Write down any symptoms you're experiencing, and for how long.
- Make a list of your key medical information, including any other conditions for which you're being treated and the names of any medications, vitamins or supplements you're taking.
- Find a family member or friend who can come with you to the appointment, if possible. Someone who accompanies you can help remember what the doctor says.
- Write down questions to ask your doctor. Creating your list of questions in advance can help you make the most of your time with your doctor.
Don't hesitate to ask questions during your appointment. Some questions to ask your doctor include:
- Do I have bile reflux?
- What treatment approach do you recommend trying?
- Are there any side effects associated with these treatments?
- Are there any lifestyle or dietary changes I can make to help reduce or manage my symptoms?
- I have these other health conditions. How can I best manage them together?
What to expect from your doctor
Your doctor is likely to ask you a number of questions. Being ready to answer them may give you time to go over points you want to spend more time on. You may be asked:
Mar. 14, 2012
- What are your symptoms?
- How long have you had these symptoms?
- Do your symptoms come and go, or stay about the same?
- If your symptoms include pain, where is your pain located?
- Have your signs and symptoms included vomiting?
- Does anything seem to trigger your symptoms, including certain foods or beverages?
- Have you lost weight without trying?
- Have you seen a doctor for these symptoms before?
- What treatments have you tried so far? Has anything helped?
- Have you been diagnosed with any other medical conditions?
- Have you had surgery of your stomach or had your gallbladder removed?
- What medications are you taking, including prescription and over-the-counter medications, vitamins, herbs and supplements?
- What is your typical daily diet?
- Do you drink alcohol? How much?
- Do you smoke?
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- Wang DH, et al. Aberrant epithelial-mesenchymal hedgehog signaling characterizes Barrett's metaplasia. Gastroenterology. 2010;138:1810.
- Richter JE. Role of the gastric refluxate in gastroesophageal reflux disease: acid, weak acid and bile. American Journal of the Medical Sciences. 2009;338:89.
- Yamada T, et al. Bile-acid-induced calcium signaling in mouse esophageal epithelial cells. Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications. 2011;414:789.
- Cheng P, et al. Effects of refluxate pH values on duodenogastroesophageal reflux-induced esophageal adenocarcinoma. World Journal of Gastroenterology. 2011;17:3060.
- Picco MF (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Jan. 15, 2012.
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