Digestive Disorders / Gastroenterology Expert Forum
inability to digest fat
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inability to digest fat

I have symptoms of ruq pain, just right of the sternum, tender to the touch, and often loose stools w/odor. I have also had a weight loss of ten pounds. An ultrasound test was completely normal as was an hida at 35. My doctor has me taking ursodiol for the last month and a half. My symptoms continue to worsen. I have gone to an almost fat free diet this last week. This is not practical in the long term as I will be forced to tell everyone I dine with about my health troubles, and must make alternate meals for my husband and children. Is my doctor taking the right course of action? Should I consult him again? Thank you!
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I would suggest a fecal fat test to evaluate for fat malabsorption.  A blood test looking for celiac disease should also be considered.  I would also consider testing for chronic pancreatitis, which can cause loose, mucousy stools.  This can be done via a blood test for amylase and lipase, as well as imaging studies (i.e. an abdominal CT scan).  

Another consideration would be chronic gastritis or duodenitis which can cause epigastric discomfort.  An upper endoscopy would be the appropriate next test to evaluate this.  

You may want to inquire about a second GI opinion.

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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