What Can Cause You to Vomit Bile?

Examples of disorders that can cause people to vomit bile include intestinal obstruction, bile reflux, and drug and alcohol abuse, according to Health Hype. Bile is usually bright yellow or dark green color in vomitus. The presence of bile in vomit could be an indication of serious conditions that require medical attention.

Bile is a fluid produced by the liver and secreted into the intestines that aids in the digestion of fatty foods, according to MedlinePlus.

Intestinal obstruction can cause bile emesis because the obstruction prevents the contents of the gastrointestinal tract from moving through the colon, so anti-peristaltic contractions occur, and bile can move up through the esophagus and be expelled as vomit, explains Health Hype. The most common symptoms of intestinal obstruction include constipation, abdominal distension and abdominal pain.

Bile reflux occurs when bile backs up into the stomach and is usually caused by gastrointestinal surgery or peptic ulcers, according to Health Hype. In addition to the presence of bile in vomit, symptoms of bile reflux include unintentional weight loss, abdominal pain and heartburn.

The consumption of large amounts of alcohol and some drugs may lead to vomiting bile because of chronic irritation of the gastrointestinal tract. Also, drugs such as morphine can trigger chemoreceptors and cause vomiting of bile, explains Health Hype.