What bile duct diseases cause digestive problems?


Quick Answer

Some examples of bile duct diseases that can cause digestive problems are gallstones and biliary atresia, according to MedlinePlus. Bile is a substance produced by the liver and stored in the gallbladder that helps the body digest fat. The bile duct is a tube that connects the gallbladder to the small intestine.

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Full Answer

Gallstones occur when different components of bile harden and crystallize, and over time they can block the bile duct, according to Heathline. Gallstones can cause digestive problems because symptoms of this disease include nausea and vomiting, as well as clay-colored stools. During a gallstone attack, when the stone blocks the bile duct, people often experience intense stomach pain and loss of appetite, as well as other symptoms unrelated to the digestive tract.

Biliary atresia is a rare, life-threatening bile duct disease that occurs in infants when bile ducts do not have normal openings, explains the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. Although the primary symptom of biliary atresia is jaundice, other symptoms related to digestion include slow weight gain and growth, as well as grey- or white-colored stools. One of the possible complications of biliary atresia if it goes untreated is ascites. Ascites is significant fluid build-up in the abdomen, around the digestive tract.

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