Natural Remedies for Bile Acid Malabsorption

| Modified: Oct 25, 2020
Add New Post Bile Acid Malabsorption Remedies.

Bile Acid Malabsorption, or BAM, occurs when your intestines do not absorb bile acids normally. Another name it is frequently referred to is Bile Acid Diarrhea. The condition results in extra bile buildup in your intestines, which causes watery diarrhea.

Bile acid malabsorption is a common but often incorrectly diagnosed cause of chronic diarrhea. Consequently, patients are frequently diagnosed with other causes of diarrhea or Irritable Bowel Syndrome, interfering with, and delaying proper treatment. (1)

Holistic treatment for Bile Acid Malabsorption usually includes a multi-level approach with dietary change and herbs that can detoxify the liver and increase bile production.

What is Bile Acid Malabsorption?

Bile is a fluid that is produced in the liver. Bile acids are critical molecules that help us digest and absorb fat and nutrients from our food.

The common bile duct moves bile acids from your liver into your gallbladder (see video below), where they remain until you eat something.

As soon as you eat something, bile acids are expelled from the gallbladder into the bile duct. Bile Acids then enter your small intestine and break down food so your body can absorb the nutrients. 97% of these bile acids are then reabsorbed in the terminal ileum, the very end of the small intestine, to be used repeatedly.

When bile acids aren't appropriately reabsorbed in the colon, this leads to BAM. When you have too much bile acid lingering in your colon, you can get watery stools and diarrhea (aka bile acid diarrhea).

Deficiencies Caused by BAM

If you have chronic Bile Acid Malabsorption symptoms, it is crucial to treat nutritional deficiencies caused by diarrhea, such as low iron, zinc, potassium, and magnesium.

Symptoms of BAM

People experience any one of the following symptoms with this condition:

  • Diarrhea, watery and loose (often pale, smelly, greasy, and hard to flush)
  • Bloating
  • Watery Stool
  • Fecal Incontinence
  • Excessive Gas
  • Stomach Pain

Natural Remedies for Bile Acid Malabsorption

1. Fiber

Soluble fiber supplements like psyllium or slippery elm act as a natural bile acid binder, They can help reduce the amount of water in the bowels.

2. Low FODMAP Diet

Some people with BAM find a low FODMAP diet, (a diet low in fermentable carbs), helpful in reducing excess gas and fluid in the gut.

FODMAP stands for Fermentable Oligo-, Di-, Mono-saccharides And Polyols (2). These are terms used for groups of carbs known to trigger digestive symptoms like gas, bloating, and stomach pain.

3. Low Fat Diet

Some people with BAM find a low-fat diet helpful. When you eat less fat, you don't release as many bile acids. This, in turn, results in fewer BAM symptoms.

4. Small, Frequent Meals

Having smaller, more frequent meals can reduce the amount of bile acids released, thereby decreasing Bile Acid Malabsorption symptoms.

5. Enzymes

Enzymes can help break down foods like protein, fat and dairy.

6. LIver Support Supplements

The liver is responsible for processing vitamins and nutrients from your food into forms that can be utilized by your body. Many holistic practitioners include liver supporting herbs and supplements as part of a protocol to treat BAM.

PPC (phosphatidylcholine) is one such liver supplement made from soybean extract that supports healthy liver cell function.


Do you have a natural remedy suggestion for BAM? Please send us your feedback!

Related Links:

Bilary Reflux


BAM Remedies

Posted by Earth Clinic on 10/23/2020

A reader asked us to create this new ailments page this week. Here it is and we would LOVE your feedback if you have any experience treating BAM, which is frequently misdiagnosed as IBS.


Get a Sensitivity Test

Posted by Bren (Oregon, USA) on 10/25/2020
4 out of 5 stars

Bile Acid Malabsorption

Getting a sensitivity test, via hair samples, and allergen tested via a blood test can definitely help guide a person in assisting in their symptoms.

I am not sure of the validity of the hair test, and plan on doing another test soon to see what comes up... but, I stopped one of the triggers I was highly sensitive to, and lower left Sharp postin 2is virtually gone and (while working to do an entire elimination of all of them) my belly pain and bloating has improved.

I believe I am on the right track.

My blood test from the doctor's office said I was low on iron and potassium and? One other thing.

And the sensitivity hair test said I was lacking in five others;and so I'm working to build those up by eating foods that bring that back into my body naturally. I can only be helping myself at this point