Digestive Disorders / Gastroenterology Expert Forum
Pale stools
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Pale stools


As background, I suffer from a number of allergies. Dust mite causing fever, rhinitis, lowered immune system, as well as some food allergies causing hives. I have identified dairy as one of these and symptoms improved following elimination.

I also appear to suffer from malabsorbtion of food. If I do NOT take enzyme supplements with most meals I experince bloating and pale stools. If I do take them stools appear normal, no bloating etc. I am thin to normal build and enzyme supplements assist with weight/muscle gain. Overall i am relatively fit and active but need to be moderate with this.

Can I assume that as the enzymes change stool color that the issue is NOT in my liver or gall bladder but has something to do either with another allergy causing food or some lack in my own enzymes or stomach acids. ie. the enzymes could not compensate for a blocked bile duct.

I had severe Hepatitis A in 1978, however have no other symptoms of liver problems, eg. dark urine, abdominal pain etc.

I take no medication apart from supplements like garlic, vitamins etc. Dust mite is managed by dust free house, hives are triggered by cold water, low immune system, cold flu are triggered by excessive exercise or chills
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233190 tn?1278553401
The most common causes of pale stools would be any problem in the biliary system.  If this is suspected, an ultrasound and liver function tests would be a reasonable first step to examine whether any of the bile ducts are abnormal.  

However, you also state that when you take the enzymes, then the stool color is normal and the bloating is improved.

Here are the major causes of pale stools:
- bile duct cancer
- biliary cirrhosis
- biliary obstruction
- cholangitis (sclerosing)
- cystic fibrosis
- hepatitis
- pancreatic cancer
- pancreatitis (acute)
- viral hepatitis syndrome

If you have to take enzymes for digestion, you may want to obtain further testing on the pancreas.  Pancreatic enzymes and a CT scan would be reasonable first steps to evaluate this.  

You may also want to consider other causes of malabsorption - including fat intolerance (using a fecal fat test) and celiac disease (which can be tested via a blood test).

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.
1 Comment
Avatar n tn
my GI doctor is indian and he said why are so many people in this country taking garlic,there is no official study which established the merits of taking garlic ??
he then reminded me garlic thins out the blood ,so i am passing this on to you.
in fact too much garlic kills good and bad bacteria and could cause yeast infction.
then there is a chinese herbal medicine called don quai or **** qwei,you find them in health food store,chinese women take them during menopause to shrink their uterus.
men do not take don qwei,young women of child bearing age do not take don qwei for very obvious reasons.
just want to pass this on to anyone who is interested to know.
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