An Instant Remedy for Bile Reflux…Soda!!

During a family camping excursion, I unintentionally discovered the most effective and almost instantaneous remedy to get rid of bile reflux!!  I have been getting bile reflux quite often, the kind that wakes me up in the middle of the night. And quite frankly, I’ve lost quite a bit of sleep because of it. Once I get the reflux, I’m not able to sleep well afterwards because the burning in my throat keeps me awake.

During camping, the only drink we had left inside our tent was, ironically enough, diet Pepsi. I knew I would have an issue before we went to sleep because I’d eaten s’mores (graham cracker, chocolate and marshmallow) and pretty soon after, we went to bed. We forgot to pack pillows, so I was basically laying completely flat on the ground. Both of these meant I would wake before sunrise to that burning bile feeling in my throat. So, at 5:00 AM or so, I was woken up by that exact feeling and tried drinking the only beverage I had available.

To my amazement, it turns out diet Pepsi completely got rid of the bile reflux, and it happened in approximately 5 minutes or less. Since then, I’ve done a little trial and error at home with this. If I wake up with bile reflux, I go and grab a Coke Zero (my personal favorite) and I take 5-6 giant gulps. Somehow the soda shoves the “knot feeling” down and gets rid of the burning feeling.

I’ve been so flabbergasted by this discovery, I just had to share it as its own unique blog post. I hope it will help those of you who also have this issue. On a side note, my stomachless brother does not have bile reflux, so he’s never had to try this.

Hope that helps! Have a good night.

25 thoughts on “An Instant Remedy for Bile Reflux…Soda!!

  1. No way!! That is the last thing I would have thought to try. I have been having issues with this out of the blue again lately (maybe coinciding with eating more meat??) so I will have to give this a try! Thanks for the tip.

  2. Thank you for sharing I have aquastion if I may I’m having vomiting issue before and after I eat at time I actually do take every thing I eat and time is just liquid I’m one year after my total stomach surgery do y have advise for me
    Thank y so much for y post

  3. Oh, my God! You are so right! During this spring my husband discovered the same thing.And…I was annoyed:”pay attention! Pepsi isn’t healthy for you.”despite him telling me:”Pepsi is the one that works for my bile reflux”Silly me!

  4. Thank you so much for taking the time to document your life since your surgery. I had my stomach removed 8 months ago due to a neuroendocrine tumor. Your blog has been so helpful!

  5. Thank you so much for your blog! I just underwent an emergency partial Gastrectomy (on 12/1) for a cancerous GIST and your blog gives me hope that I’ll be able to get back to working out again someday.

    • Hi Chrissy!

      You’ll get there! It’s a long journey back to health and recovery. You just have to keep that in mind for the difficult days.


    • I also had a cancerous tumor called Gist, I was allergic to both chemo pills, Gleevec and Sutent,so they had to go ahead and remove the tumor without shrinking it. They took out a portion of my stomach and got it all, now I’m down to every 6 months for CT scans but was told there’s a chance it can come back in the lungs! I’m not taking any chemo pill thought they were supposed to. This was said by the oncologist as I was walking out the door! Then he said don’t worry about it. I’ve been a nervous wreck since last Sept, I see him again the end of March, I have alot of questions! The surgery was done on October 12th, 2014.

  6. That’s awesome! I’m definitely trying it next time. I get reflux rarely these days (TG was in 2003). I managed to pin down two key triggers – raw onions and nuts (particularly after late afternoon).

  7. Marne, I had planned to reply sooner to your wonderful discovery about Pepsi helping with bile reflux, and finally getting around to it. With no stomach, or the valve above and below it (has been five years now), I have had bile reflux if I lay down flat too. I too had trouble getting the bile moved out of my throat until I tried your solution. After reading your blog, I tried Ginger Ale (what was in the pantry) and it did the trick. Cleared it quite rapidly. Thank you for sharing with us. Gratefully, Frank

  8. Thank y for sharing y experience I’m surching for support groop for no stomach can y please send me any info y might have
    Ps how fast did y return to work after the surgery and the treatment
    Thank you esther

    • I returned to work about 11-12 weeks post surgery.

      The support group is accessible through Facebook. It is called “Support Page for Partial & Total Gastrectomy Patients”. Once in FaceBook, you’ll need to search for that group name and like them to see their posts.


  9. Do you notice a difference between diet Pepsi and Coke? It may just be cold drinks, I don’t know… I may need to experiment… All I know is if I drink a cold cold when I have the bile thing, it hurts pretty bad like I’ve gulped too hard and I tried a diet Pepsi at my mom’s and that helped a lot… BTW, thank you for your post. I didn’t have cancer, but I had to have an unexpected partial gastrectomy last September because clips and staples were used for a fistula and had had three previous surgeries that didn’t fix it… When my surgeon got in there for an endoscopy before my surgery, the clips, etc., were actually sticking up in my esophagous… Then during my surgery there were so much scar tissue and adhesions, he had to start removing to fix it… I was trying to find someone else who’d had anything like this when I found your blog. I just want to say thank you. You’ve made me feel not so alone and I’ve learned stuff from you that no one else would or could tell me… All my surgeon kept saying was I didn’t have enough stomach to produce acid and have reflux… You helped me figure out the bile part… And I asked my ENT doctor about it and he confirmed what you said… I just don’t get why the surgeon didn’t tell me that when I kept saying my throat hurt like that…

    • Hi Deanna,

      I haven’t seen a difference between Diet Pepsi and Diet Coke. There probably is one, but I think it’s just preference or a little trial and error. I’ve just used Coke Zero because I love the taste, and it’s worked for me!!

      Thanks for the feedback on the blog! A lot of us stomachless people laugh that the best advice comes from fellow stomachless people because they’ve gone through it. A nutritionist with a stomach can recommend healthy food choices and a surgeon with a stomach can tell you feedback from patients, but it’s peer to peer that we’ve gotten the best tips and tricks!!

      If you have any, feel free to share. The soda thing blew me away as such a simple solution to such an obnoxious side effect to stomachless life!!


      • Hi Marne, I was just wondering if anyone has mentioned to you since you posted about this bile reflux being severe. I was lucky to find your post at such a perfect time. Coke has been my Go- to when I start to burp or get that burning feeling in my throat, thanks to your suggestion. But it only helps for a couple hours then comes right back, every day! My doctor says to ” eat smaller portions”. Ha! Don’t know how much smaller my portions can get… just wondering if anyone has mentioned their experience to you being similar to mine. Thanks!

        • Hi Danielle,

          Not sure why I didn’t receive my blog comments, but a lot of people post TG have discovered going to extremely low carb diets work. I haven’t needed to go extremely low carb, but I have had success removing most refined carbs from my dinner. This just means eating a meat + veggie + fruit for dinner and avoiding bread, rice or pasta. Oddly enough, I can eat popcorn before bed without issue.

          It has been very successful! And the coke trick helps get rid of bile if I didn’t eat well just before bed.

          I hope this is helpful. Sorry my response is so delayed.


  10. For me the problem arose after I took my meds–I’ve discovered that to actually prevent the problem (and I KNOW this is counter to nighttime sufferers) is eating a half of a graham cracker whenever I lie down after eating anything.
    PLEASE don’t think that this little bit from my [six-years-yesterday, 8.3.16] is normal; I’ve been on HPN for 12 years for motility issues, and despite a perfect surgery, still only eat about 1/4- 1/3 of my calories. BUT I ENJOY EVERY ONE!
    I invite anyone to visit my (not quite up-to-date, but beginning to be) site re: my multiple issues with gastroparesis, tubes, and the like!
    Clearly, affinity suffering tops the best group therapy around! THANK YOU to all who have connected with this wonderful, shiny woman who CARES! 🙂

  11. Oh my I just discovered it a couple of days ago and l thought to myself let me Google it and find out. Turns out it actually does work.

  12. I get bile reflux regularly and it’s scary and horrid the smell is as acidic and tannic which makes it worse. I found herbal GINGER AND LEMON TEA perfect!! It offered instant relief and drunk regularly limits the episodes in between. Caffeine is a huge contributor to bile reflux so I’m skeptical about this sorry but glad it offered relief! I also eat small amounts of anything ginger in between episodes also like ginger bread (yummy) biscuits, ginger bits.

  13. I had bile reflux for the first time this evening and I freaked out. Thought it was acid reflux that I’ve had occasionally in the past and was almost screaming from the pain :S Munching on Tums was not a great idea in hindsight lol.

    Soda worked decent for me as a quick emergency relief but since then I’ve been sipping on Apple Cider Vinegar about 50/50 cut with water. I like the taste and it has neutralized the burning completely without sugar or carbonation to upset my tummy anymore.

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