Digestive Disorders / Gastroenterology Expert Forum
White stools???
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White stools???

I am a WF, 56, slightly overweight (15-20#)and active (and not a native English speaker, so bear with me).
The past three years or so I have had ocassionally nausea, stomach/back pain and white stools and mentioned it to my physician. He didn't comment on the white stools, but ran an upper GI and ultrasound that showed a large hiatal hernia.
I was laying where I could see the monitor and the gallbladder lighted up but with no discernible large structure, so I assumed some light material, no stones, were there.
Nothing about that was mentioned to me.

Knowing about that hernia, I have handled it by managing my food intake and am doing fine.

My doctor quit practice and it will be some time before all paperwork is done for me to see another at the same clinic.
I have been feeling worse the last two days and the stools have been white all the time now, so I wonder if there is a bilirubin blockage somewhere and if I can wait for the new doctor to come on board for me or, as the receptionist suggested, should go to the emergency room if I feel really bad.

There is some sort of digestive upset going around here but the symptoms are diarrhea, etc. that I don't have, but it could be that.

My question is: What all may cause white stools?

Tags: Digestive
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Although I can't think of a disease that causes white stools specifically, there are several diseases that can cause pale stools.  These would include any disease affecting the gallbladder and obstructing the bile duct.  Liver disease, pancreatic disease, or malabsorption can also cause pale stools.  

I would obtain liver function tests to make sure there is no elevation in the enzymes.

To further evaluate the bile duct, you can consider an MRCP which is a pretty thorough 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.

Thanks,
Kevin, M.D.
5 Comments
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Avatar_n_tn
The cramps are from some bug, salmonella, the way the whole bathroom smells, like a sewer system gone bad, once the explosive diarrhea set in, a little while ago.
This too shall pass...pun intended.

The question still stand: What may cause periodic, now practically all the time, white stools, without any other decisive symptoms?
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Avatar_n_tn
Couple of sites for you ,This is guess work but  I would certainly check out infection , together with  parasites including the protozoa Giardia & bacteria  C. difficile.  Search
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Avatar_n_tn
Thank you for the answers.
Knowing more, I will follow up with my new doctor, when I get one.
Seems that letting a doctor investigate further is the best course to take.

The stools are at times absolutely snow white, don't really know for how long.
Was a shock the first time I noticed and have been paying attention since.

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Avatar_n_tn
Seven Years ago I got very ill.  I had white stools and it turned out that I had contracted something called Cryptosparidium.  Not sure of the spelling?  It's a highly contageous infectious disease.  Luckily it only goes through your intestinal tract.  I was pregnant when I had it so I was not given any antibiotics to get rid of it.  I lost 20 pounds from my normal body weight in my first tri-mester of pregnancy and had four different I.V.'s.  Don't rule out this as a possibiliy for anyone with white stools.  It comes from drinking water that has sewer back up in it.  I would have been better not drinking water while I was pregnant.  I understand it is more common to catch this in areas where there is alot of flooding.  Good luck to all.
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Avatar_n_tn
Thanks you for that tip.
Cryptosporidium has been going around here.
My neighbor spent two days in the hospital with it around Christmas.

Will keep it in mind. Thanks!
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Avatar_f_tn
A related discussion, What causes Pale White Stool was started.
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