The presence of toxic bile in the intestine can also upset its digestion of useful food, giving rise to products of toxic indigestion, gas formation and much abdominal pain. In some respects bile is comparable to urine. When the bile is entirely too irritating to be poured over the contents of the duodenum (the first portion of the small intestine into which the bile ducts drain), it is stored temporarily in the gall bladder, where it is gradually neutralized. But toxic acid or corrosive bile is incompatible with many foods. Consequently it creates an inflammation of the liver, of the bile ducts, of the gall bladder and of the intestines. At times it is regurgitated into the stomach and, if toxic enough, vomited.
In the duodenum, irritation from abnormal bile can result in bile burns which, in turn, cause unpleasant and frightening spasms. And it is for the relief of these unpleasant symptoms that the popular anti-acid pills, wafers, lozenges and powders are dispensed by the millions.