Digestive Disorders / Gastroenterology Expert Forum
Pumpkin Colored Stools
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Pumpkin Colored Stools

My stools are pumpkin colored, sort of burnt orange color. 6 months ago I had an acupuncture treatment in the gallbladder region and felt a fluttering under my left rib cage. The next stool was brown. So I deducted that my gallbladder was not emptying out bile. In last 3 months I've had intercostal left lower rib cage spasms laying on my back, relieved turning on left side. I see from other postings about yellow colored stools there may be a relationship between candida and IBS. I have had bouts of mucous stools in the 70s and most recently thought my latest blisters (clusters of blisters) outbreak was Shingles as I was worn out, got a upper respiratory virus w/fever. Could it have been the blister outbreak associated with IBS? (I can't spell the name out - it begins with e) I have Hep A in 1960, mono x 3 in the early 70s. I've had vaginal yeast infections in 70s post antibiotic therapies and from simple excess sugar intake. My liver enzymes have always been WNL. C-Reactive Protein three wks ago 14. Another CRP (w/high sensitivity) was done-no results yet. I am a RN and have had a few needle sticks in the past 24 years. Would parasites cause this color stool? I see a lot of references to clay colored stools, but what color is clay? In Georgia it's orange!!!!  Recently found out I was allergic to dairy and wheat - so now my flatulence is reduced 98%. What about Sprue as a possibility? Certainly an Ultrasound of Gallbladder would rule out stones. What tests are done to test Immune system function? I know this color is not normal for a stool. Thanking you in advance for your reply.
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Tough to say without examination.  Clay colored stools are caused by biliary blockage - possibly by a stone or a mass.  I cannot say whether punpkin-colored is the same as clay colored without seeing a sample.  

In any case, to evaluate the liver and gallbladder, you can consider an ultrasound for an initial study.  If there is concern about biliary blockage, an MRCP can be obtained.  

I would also consider sending the stool off for culture, as well as tests for ova and parasites.  Some infections can change the stool color.

A colonoscopy can be obtained to evaluate for any masses or inflammation which may affect the stool character.

It is also possible for irritable bowel to lead to your symptoms.  However, I would rule out the other causes first before settling on this diagnosis.

You can discuss these options with your personal physician.

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.
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