Digestive Disorders / Gastroenterology Expert Forum
Oily Stools, Diarrrhea, and Blood in Stool
About This Forum:

This is a place to ask questions about digestive problems and receive a personal answer from a highly qualified doctor. You will also find support from other members who share your interest in digestive disorders. Digestive Disorders include: Anal and Rectal problems, Barrett’s Esophagus, Bleeding in the Stomach and Digestive Tract, Constipation, Crohn’s Disease, Gastritis, GERD, Heartburn, Proctitis, Short Bowel Syndrome, Ulcers, Whipple’s Disease, Zollinger-Ellison Syndrome (and many more).

Font Size:
This expert forum is not accepting new questions. Please post your question in one of our medical support communities.
Blank Blank

Oily Stools, Diarrrhea, and Blood in Stool

I'm a 36yr old male, no family history of serious GI problems.  I'm having a few recurring symptoms that I am concerned about

Last year I tried taking fish oil and/or flax seed oil for the Essential Fatty Acid (EFA) benefits.  These gave me severe diarrhea, with floating oil, even at just 1 gram per day.  (Typically, people are taking 6 or 12 grams EFA per day.)

Odd thing is I can eat a Big Mac and fries, about 70 grams of "bad" fat, with no problem - no diarrhea or oil in stool.  But 1 gram of "good" fat, and I have cramping, diarrhea and oily stools.  I can actually see an iridescent sheen on the water and an oil slick in the toilet bowl.

I have also noticed an increasing frequency of blood in my stools.  It is bright red; sometimes just on the TP; other times it looks like a 1/4 cup in the toilet bowl.  

I had someone tell me a few years back that bright red blood is no problem because it's hemorrhoids, but it has become more frequent, and also I have alternating bouts of diarrhea and severe constipation.

I have let this go awhile, because I considered the intolerance for good EFA oil to be an oddity of my personal physiology, and the bright red blood to be merely hemorrhoids.  Now I am getting concerned.

Other than follow up with my physician, do you have any suggestions as to what this could be?

What could cause my intolerance for good fat, while letting me eat bad fat with (short term) impunity?

Are these symptoms related, or just seperate issues?

Related Discussions
  • Oily discharge (3 replies):
    What are the possible medical conditions for having oily...[more]
  • Paula (1 replies):
    This discussion is related to Color change in stool. I...[more]
  • Oily Stools?
    This is a question I am way to embarrassed to ask my own...[more]
  • Oil with BM (2 replies):
    I noticed quite some time ago (6 months or so) that alon...[more]
  • Oily stools (2 replies):
    Hi, I'm a female and 21 years of age. I'm having some pr...[more]
233190 tn?1278553401
The most common cause of bright red blood in the stool in your age group would be hemorrhoids.  However, there is always the possibility of cancer, polyps or inflammatory bowel disease.  

For that reason, I would consider some sort of endoscopy - either colonoscopy or flexible sigmoidoscopy to be sure.  No amount of blood in the stool is normal.  

Regarding the oily stools, you may want to inquire about fat malabsorption - this can be evaluated with a quantitive fecal fat test which can be discussed with your physician.  I would also test for chronic pancreatitis which can lead to malabsorption and fatty stools.

Biliary tract obstruction, cholestatic liver disease, and bacterial overgrowth can also lead to maldigestion problems. Small bowel mucosal disease or surgical resection of the small bowel, gluten-sensitive enteropathy (celiac sprue) are also common causes of malabsorption in the United States. Whipple's disease, tropical sprue and Zollinger-Ellison syndrome are less common conditions that can lead to malabsorption.

Followup with your personal physician is essential.

This answer is not intended as and does not substitute for medical advice - the information presented is for patient education only. Please see your personal physician for further evaluation of your individual case.

Kevin, M.D.
Avatar n tn
Continue discussion Blank
Weight Tracker
Weight Tracker
Start Tracking Now