Symptoms of Bile Duct Leakage

Updated April 17, 2017

Bile duct leakage is caused by non-cancerous and cancerous growths in the bile ducts. When the bile duct becomes narrow or blocked the bile doesn't drain into the intestines causing it to fill up the liver and contaminate the blood stream with poisons. The poisons can than cause infections and illnesses that can possibly lead to death if not treated promptly. Bile duct leakage is usually treated with antibiotics and surgery if needed.

Yellowing of the Eyes and Skin

Yellowing of the eyes and skin can happen when your bile duct leaks bile into the blood stream causing waste build-up in the liver and bloodstream. When there is too much waste in the bloodstream the liver can not break down the red blood cells that carry oxygen throughout the body causing the yellowing discolouration of eyes and skin. When this happens see a doctor immediately for treatment.

Itchy Skin

Itchy skin will be present all over the body when there is bile duct leakage because bile salts that leak into the bloodstream will eventually build up in the skin causing dryness and redness. Sometimes the itching gets worse at night and on hot summery days because the body tends to need more moisture.

Brown Urine

Urine may look brown in colour when you have bile leakage. The liver and kidneys are not able to flush all the waste out of the body and blood fast enough because it has built up too much. It is important to see a doctor immediately with this symptom because it could be another serious illness or infection.


Fever is most always present with a bile duct leakage because the poison that leaks from the bile causes infections and illness in the body causing its cells to work harder to fight off what is making you ill. Anytime you have a high fever of any kind it is important to see a doctor immediately to figure out what is causing it.

Nausea and Vomiting

Having an upset stomach with nausea, vomiting and dehydration is normal with bile duct leakage because the body is trying to rid itself of the poisons in it. However, nausea and vomiting can become dangerous if it is constant. Seek medical attention with any nausea and vomiting lasting more than a few hours.

Pale Stools

Pale stools are caused by the decrease of bile output due to a blockage. When bile isn't being created in the liver, stools don't become brown. Instead they look pale white and clay coloured.

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About the Author

Soleil Robins began writing professionally in 2010. Her work mainly appears on eHow, and she specializes in writing creative articles about beauty and food.