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A 33-year-old member asked:

been having pale stool. when to call doctor?

1 doctor answer1 doctor weighed in
Dr. Heidi Fowler
Psychiatry 25 years experience
Now: Hello. Prompt medical evaluation is warranted for extremely light stool. There are a number of possible causes such as hepatitis, cirrhosis, or obstruction of a bile duct (i.e., gallstone or a mass). Any significant change in bowel habitus warrants assessment.

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Similar questions

Bradenton, FL
A 40-year-old male asked:

I am having tan / light colored stools? Should I be concerned? Thanks.

2 doctor answers5 doctors weighed in
Dr. David Wyatt
Family Medicine 26 years experience
Nah...: Lighter colored stools reflect what you have eaten recently. Unless you are have very loose stools like diarrhea that you have to worry about becoming dehydrated -or - bloody stools, the change in stool color is not to be concerned with. Any new foods? Supplements? Vitamins? Or medications? If so these would explain as well... Best to you!
United Kingdom (Great Britain)
A 67-year-old female asked:

What causes extremely pale stools?

2 doctor answers5 doctors weighed in
Dr. John Weeks
Family Medicine 45 years experience
Bile blockage: One possible cause is obstruction of the bile duct from gallstones, tumor or swelling. The normal color of the stools comes in large part from the bile so when it doesn't get into the intestine, light or "clay colored" stools result. If you are having abdominal pain or other symptoms associated with this, please see a doctor.
A 63-year-old member asked:

What would cause a white stool?

2 doctor answers2 doctors weighed in
Dr. Tom Harrington
Internal Medicine 42 years experience
White stool: Stools can be of different color by one's intake. Alot of antacids or a recent barium test could possible be a cause. However if this persists liver disorders need to be ruled out. A white (or clay colored stool) can signify lack of bile salts and an underlying liver condition. I would take this seriously and see your pcp asap.
A 37-year-old member asked:

Are light colored stools a sign of illness?

1 doctor answer2 doctors weighed in
Dr. Charles Cattano
Gastroenterology 39 years experience
Light-colored stool: Bile & your gut's bacterial flora account in large part for color & volume of stool. Absence of bile results in pale (acholic) stool. Lots of other things also affect stool appearance: ingested foods, medications (peptobismol, antacids), swallowed blood or bleeding from gut, infection/antibiotics, inflammation, maldigestion, & the amount of mucus mixed with stool, as well as transit time of food.
A 37-year-old member asked:

Loose and light colored stools now why?

1 doctor answer3 doctors weighed in
Dr. Charles Cattano
Gastroenterology 39 years experience
Light colored stool: Bile & your gut's bacterial flora account in large part for color & volume of stool. Absence of bile results in pale (acholic) stool. Lots of other things also affect stool appearance: ingested foods, medications (peptobismol, antacids), swallowed blood or bleeding from gut, infection/antibiotics, inflammation, maldigestion, & the amount of mucus mixed with stool, as well as transit time of food.

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Last updated Mar 28, 2013

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