Why Is My Stool Yellow

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Stool and your health

It’s often normal for stool to change color.In some cases, yellow stool may be a result of liver disorders, diet changes, or stress.If yellow stool persists for several days, or if it is accompanied by other symptoms, you should contact your doctor.

Your stool is about 75 percent water. According to a presentation at the Tenth International Symposium on Recent Advances in Environmental Health Research, the remaining ingredients include:

  • bilirubin
  • fat
  • protein
  • undigested food
  • mineral salts
  • bacteria
  • mucus from the digestive system

What causes yellow stool?

It’s normal for your stool to change color. After all, you likely have a varied diet and changes in your diet impact your stool. But yellow stool, sometimes called pale stool, can also indicate a number of health problems.

Cirrhosis of the liver and hepatitis reduce or eliminate bile salts that help the body digest food and absorb nutrients. Gallstones or sludge in the gallbladder reduce the amount of bile that reaches your intestines. Not only may this cause pain, but it can also turn your stool yellow.

Chronic pancreatitis, pancreatic cancer, a blockage in the pancreatic duct, or cystic fibrosis can also turn your stool yellow. These conditions prevent your pancreas from providing enough of the enzymes your intestines need to digest food. Undigested fat can give the stool a yellow, greasy appearance causing it to float or appear frothy.

Gluten is a protein found in wheat, rye, and barley. If you have celiac disease and eat gluten, your body’s immune system responds by attacking and damaging the tissues of your small intestine. When this happens, your intestines aren’t able to absorb the nutrients your body needs. Celiac disease commonly runs in families.

According to the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness, more than 300 symptoms are associated with celiac disease. This can make it difficult to diagnose the disease. Among the most common symptoms are:

  • nausea
  • bloating
  • fatigue
  • headache
  • skin rash
  • loss of bone density
  • depression

Complications of yellow stool

Some of the complications of untreated yellow stool include low red blood counts, dehydration, poor nutrition, growth trouble in children, and the potential of spreading cancers or infections.

Some symptoms are warning signs of a digestive track problem:

  • diarrhea
  • nausea and vomiting
  • indigestion and gas
  • severely bad-smelling stool
  • swelling and bloating in the abdomen
  • cramping in the abdomen