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Iowa City, IA
A 23-year-old female asked:

does having pale stool always indicate hepatitis or liver failure? not sexually active or using drugs.

2 doctor answers2 doctors weighed in
Dr. Pamela Pappas
Psychiatry 42 years experience
No: The normal brown color of stool comes from bile, secreted by the liver. If anything interrupts bile production or release, stool can be gray or clay-colored because it contains little/no bile. Conditions like bile duct obstruction from a tumor or gallstone in the duct or nearby pancreas can cause this. Some medicines can result in pale stools as well. Check w/your doctor about yourself.
Dr. Mark Kuhnke
General Surgery 40 years experience
NO: Jaundice, associated with liver or gall bladder problems, results in yellowish discoloration of the skin, dark urine and associated light, clay-colored stools. Color changes in the stool can be associated with dietary intake, otc medications, and some GI disorders. I'd seek consultation with your doctor or a GI specialist if you have continued concerns. Good luck.

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How can I address liver scarring and cirrhosis?

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Dr. Marguerite Barnett
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Live healthy: The liver has an amazing ability to regenerate itself if further damage is not done. If you have infectious hepatitis, see your doctor for possible medical treatments. If you are not a candidate for these, avoid liver toxins such as alcohol, paint fumes and tylenol (acetaminophen). Keep hydrated and eat properly. You may need special vitamens and supplements to maintain health so see your nutritionist.

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Last updated Jun 10, 2014

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