Bile duct disease is most commonly caused by gallstones blocking the bile ducts and preventing their ability to drain properly, which can lead to infection, according to InteliHealth.com. People with high cholesterol or who are overweight are at a higher risk of developing gallstones and causing bile duct disease.
Implementing a healthy diet plan and a routine exercise program can prevent gallstone blockage and bile duct disease, notes InteliHealth. Eat only well-cooked fish, particularly if traveling through Southeast Asia, to avoid parasites that can lead to bile duct disease. Certain medicines can cause slow drainage in bile ducts, therefore medications being taken for other ailments need to be reviewed.
Preventing bile duct disease may not be possible if a person has had prior abdominal surgeries with residual scarring, a history of gallstone blockage or infection, inflammation and scarring of the liver, or the prognosis of cholangiocarcinoma, which is cancer of the bile duct, as stated by InteliHealth. In these cases, the patient most likely requires surgery. In treating a gallstone blockage, first a course of antibiotics is prescribed followed by surgical removal of the gallbladder. Extreme cases of liver damage, caused by blocked bile ducts, can require a liver transplant.