What is steatorrhea?

Fat malabsorption. Steatorrhea means that there is fat in the stool. The pancreas secretes an enzyme, lipase, into the small intestine in response to ingestion of a fatty meal. The secretion of lipase is impaired when the pancreas is affected by conditions like pancreatitis, gall stones that get stuck, or pancreas cancer. Other causes exist, such as infection of the small intestine or crohn disease.

Related Questions

What are the causes of steatorrhea and what is cure for it?

Fat in the stool. Assuming there is no jaundice. Either the pancreas is not producing its enzymes (old or new pancreatitis, adult-onset cystic fibrosis, blocked duct, cancer) or the small intestine is not absorbing as it should (celiac sprue, tropical sprue, don't miss whipple's, several others). Treat the cause. Read more...

How does diabetes cause diarrhea and steatorrhea? What are the other effects of diabetes on digestive system?

Bacterial overgrowth. Due to the neuropathy effects of dm, the small bowel can develop excess bacteria. This can result in malabsorption ; subsequent diarrhea and fat malabsorption (steatorrhea). Dm can also caused slow stomach emptying (gastroparesis). Read more...