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Biliary Dyskinesia

Last reviewed by Dr. Raj MD on January 12th, 2022.

Biliary Dyskinesia is a disorder that affects your gallbladder, which stores the bile from your liver and then releases it into your small intestine. Once the bile is in your small intestine it breaks down the fats that were taken in during a meal. When a person has biliary dyskinesia their gallbladder cannot contract correctly. It is sometimes referred to as acalculous gallbladder disease because it does not involve the formation of gallstones. It is a medical condition that can be chronic or acute. More women than men suffer from biliary dyskinesia.

Many times they consider biliary dyskinesia more of a symptom than an actual medical condition. The reason is that it could signal the existence of chronic or acute pancreatitis, gallstones, chronic inflammation, or other digestive disorders.

Biliary Dyskinesia Symptoms

The primary symptoms of biliary dyskinesia are abdominal cramping and pain. Usually there is also recurrent pain in your right upper abdomen because of your gallbladder not emptying correctly. The pain can also spread to your upper back and also radiate to your shoulder blades. Normally the ingestion of foods such as rich fatty foods, heavy meals, or fried foods can trigger or make these symptoms worse.

Other symptoms you may experience can include:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Bloating
  • Burping
  • Belching

Having an insufficient amount of bile in your small intestine could lead to loose stools and indigestion. If it is your gallbladder that is causing these symptoms you will generally start to experience they forty to fifty minutes after eating a meal that is rich in fat. Sometimes there are no symptoms if there is an abnormal contraction of your gallbladder.

Causes of Biliary Dyskinesia

The bile that is excreted from your liver will travel from your gallbladder through your common bile duct to your small intestine. If this bile cannot get through your common bile duct or is not secreted from your gallbladder it will back up in your gallbladder and cause biliary dyskinesia.

Risk Factors

Some risk factors that could cause impairment in the functioning of your gallbladder include:

  • Excessive stress
  • Chronic inflammation of your gallbladder
  • Following a no fat, low fiber or low fat diet
  • Thyroid disorders
  • Low stomach acid
  • Obesity
  • Excessive consumption of sugars and refined foods
  • Alcohol abuse
  • Antidepressants
  • Chronic inflammatory bowel disease
  • Excessive consumption of antacids
  • Diabetes


To diagnosis biliary dyskinesia and rule out the presence of gallstones your physician will do a complete examine. They will also have blood work done to evaluate your level of bilirubin and your liver function. To rule out gallstones they will do an ultrasound. If it shows no gallstones then further testing will be done. Many times you will have to have nuclear medical testing, which involves having a radioactive substance injected into your bloodstream. It will collect in your gallbladder. During this test your physician will track the flow of the radioactive substance to your gallbladder and the rate of secretion from your gallbladder.


Once you have been diagnosed with biliary dyskinesia the treatment most commonly used to remove your gallbladder. This procedure is called laparoscopic cholecystectomy. This is an outpatient surgery and done under general anesthesia. Following the surgery most will have a reduction in abdominal pain and experience normal digestion.

Herbal remedies

When using herbal remedies you are using plants that will help to produce the contraction and relaxation of your gallbladder along with regulating your liver secretions of the bile. Before trying any herbal remedies, you should check with your physician to make sure that it is okay.

  • Artichokes — the best way to use the artichoke is to make a tea but it is quite bitter so many people bypass this herbal remedy because you have to sip the tea unsweetened. If you do choose to try this remedy, you will need to do it in the morning on an empty stomach. Take a small cup or glass and take small sips. You do not have to drink a full eight ounces but two to four ounces would be enough. Once you have finished the tea you need to lay down on your right side for at least thirty minutes to get the maximum effect of the tea. You could also take capsules with artichokes instead of drinking the tea. If you take the capsules, you need to take one thirty minutes before each meal.
  • Dandelion — this is a very effective herbal remedy to help with liver drainage and the evacuation of bile in your digestive tract. It will also help to stimulate liver activity. For each cup, you need to use two teaspoons of the herb. Make sure that you drink two to three cups each day.
  • St John’s Wort — with this herbal remedy you need to use the tea or oil from the plant. To make the tea add a teaspoon of the crushed herb in a cup of boiling water. It needs to be drunk within fifteen to twenty minutes after making it. You should drink at least two to three cups each day.

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