Digestive Disorders / Gastroenterology Expert Forum
greasy stool
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greasy stool

I've had stools where the toilet water looks like there is oil in it. I'm scared, what could this be? I had gallbladder out in August, am 22, v. healthy, but have gastritis
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13 Comments
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi,
Perhaps I can help you out.  What you are seeing is called an OIL SLICK.  I have pancreatitis and see this everyday.  It means that your body is not absorbing enough nutrients from the foods you are eating.  It also means that your body can not handle the fat you are consuming.  I would advise you to call your doctor and ask for a FECAL FAT TEST.  This will tell you exactly what your body is doing with the food, nutrients and fats.  I have tested extremly high (after being advised to do the test wrong, mind you) and am now on enzyme pills to help with digestion.
To do the test properly, you will have to eat a diet of 100 grams of fat or more for the first three days.  Then you continue this high fat diet for another 3 days, but this time you collect all your poop and freeze it each and everytime.  At the end of the 3 day collecting, you then bring it to the lab and they will give your doctor results in about a week.  I only ate 20 grams of fat a day for the 3 days of collecting and I still turned out to be EXTREMLY HIGH.  If you are having upper right quadrant pain, unexplained weight loss or fever, you might ask your doctor about the possibility of pancreatitis.  I believe you said you had your gallbladder out, right?  If not, then that might also be a cause of this problem.  At any point, you need to tell your doctor about this.  It's not good, but not life threatening.  It will not go away on it's own.
Good luck to you,
TazLady
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Avatar_n_tn
when i went to the doctor I asked him about pancreatitis but he examined me and said there was no way I had it. I have only had the oil thing a few times. Couldn't it be something else?
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Avatar_n_tn
they said after my surgery, i would have looser stools because your gallbladder isn't there to break down fats. couldn't that be it
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi Lisa:

I've heard of your problem in other people who've had their gall bladders removed.  Apparently it's common.

I have gastritis too and was wondering what your symptoms are?  Have you had it long and what does your doctor say about having it clear up?  It seems to take a long time to go away.  Mine is caused by bile/acid reflux and is very painful.

Cheers,

Kittee
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Avatar_n_tn
Really, you've heard that? If so, is that forever?
I was diagnosed last year, which was really painful because I had gallstones and gastritis.
Well, I went on Prilosec but that gave me chest pains, so now I am on Axid which is sort of helping, but not too much. I just went on it, though, so it may take time to work.
Try not to eat greasy foods and spicy foods, which sucks, but see if that helps. Also don't take asprin, try tylenol instead.
have you been to the doctor? He should get you on an acid reducer. Zantac helps (OTC) but shouldn't be taken long term. Hope that helps.
I get a tum ache/sour stomach if I don't eat for a while, or if I eat anything greasy.
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi Lisa:

Yes, I've been to my doctor and have had upper GI, small bowel follow through and abdominal ultrasound.  I have gastritis and esophagitis and go back and forth between Nexium and Losec for PPI's.  Nexium definitely works better so I am trying once again to tolerate it.  It makes me nauseous and irritates my bowel but it does cut down on the acid.

My doctor says that after being on PPI's for 3 months that my tummy troubles should be cleared up by now but they are not.  I also have a lot of pain under my sternum and ribs and into my back.  Do you ever have that with gastritis.  I too get a sour stomach and aches when my tummy is empty.  Have you had gastritis since last summer?  It seems like a long time.

Cheers,

Kittee
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Avatar_n_tn
No it went away for a few months, but yeah, since last may. I also get pain in my ribs, which i thought was my heart. i recently got back pain, too only on the left side though. It stinks, doesn't it.
what about the stool thing? tell me what you've heard
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi,
I have all the symptoms and more, that you both are taling about.  My gallbladder was taken out in December of 99 and I still have all the symptoms and pain now, that I had before my gallbladder was removed.  I have seperate pains in the front.  Sometimes it feels like I'm having a heart attack.  But thats not the case.  Lately the oil slick I have had only when I BM, is now present when I urinate.  I am on a VERY low fat diet.  No more than 25 grams of fat a day.  No fried foods, butter, oil.  Fat free milk, 2% cheese...along that order.  It does help to eat this low fat, but does not take away all the pain or symptoms.  Good luck to you both in getting an accurate diagnosis.  Everyone deserves that!
TazLady
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Avatar_n_tn
TAZLADY, I thought you said you had pancreatitis? Was that from gall stones?
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Avatar_n_tn
Yes, I do have chronic pancreatitis and sphincter of Oddi dysfunction.  When they removed my gall bladder, I was in TERRIBLE pain for months!  My family started to believe I was milking the surgery for more attention.  Even my husbands aunt, who is a retired nurse, thought the same thing.  The surgeon I went back to 4 times just kept telling me that there was nothing more he could do for me and that I was fine.  I went to several different GI's who told me nothing was wrong with me.  I went into the hospital the first time and was there for 4 days.  I had a GI tell me that there was nothing wrong with me and didn't think there was EVER anything wrong with me.  That I was nothing more than a lonely housewife looking for attention!  Swear, that's what he told me in my hospital room.  Finally almost 3 years later I was diagnosed with this dreaded disease.  It wasn't until I got to a univercity either.  I knew what I had before they (the doctors) knew.  But they wouldn't believe me because I had not had EXTREME weight lose, nor did I drink.  
What I am getting at is, we don't know if the pancreatitis brought on me having to have an emergency gall bladder operation, or if the gall bladder operation brought on the pancreatitis.  Either way, I was SO hurting after the surgery and no one for years wanted to believe me.  Keep on pushing with doctors until you find one that WILL believe in what you are feeling.  You know your body better than anyone else.  If something is wrong, you will be the first one to know.  I am finally being allowed to go to another univercity on thursday (2/21). Haven't seen a doctor for this for 6 months.  They have already looked at my file and decided I need another ERCP with Oddi monometry.  The first one I had put me in the hospital for 10 days.  I am a little nervous to put it mildely.
Good luck with your quest for accurate and proper medical diagnoses and treatment.
TazLady
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Avatar_n_tn
Thanks for your story and help, but my doctor says that there can be a little bit of oil in the water after a BM after you eat a lot of greasy food, especially without a gallbladder, so pancreatitis isn't the case with everyone. you shouldn't generalize because you made me very afraid. I know you were just trying to help, but you aren't a doctor.
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Avatar_n_tn
Lisa,
You are on this website looking for answers to your problems.  This is a website where people post their problems and answer to those questions that sound like theirs.  It is too bad that you got so frightened by YOU asking ME questions and me answering honestly.  I never said I was a doctor.  I never said I could give medical advice. I never said you had what I have. You asked me questions about my situation that I answered as honestly as I could. If you were so concerned and frightened about your problems, then the place to be is in your doctors office asking him the questions you asked on here.  Not relying upon the advice of other peoples experiences.  The people posting to this forum are not medical personel.  That is expressly understood when you join.  I'm sorry that you mis-understood what this forum is for and about.
TazLady
PS...If you got so frightened by my answers to your questions, then that is perhaps because you saw your own health problems in what you were reading.  Better safe than sorry.
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Avatar_n_tn
it is the forum that provides a medium for others to share experiences, not to diagnose. The symptoms did sound the same, that is why I was scared, but those symptoms are also describing almost every digestion disorder, and then some. Don't misunderstand, I appreciate your advice, I jsut wanted to let you know how your advice came off. Thanks, and good luck
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A related discussion, Greasy film on toilet water was started.
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