Digestive Disorders / Gastroenterology Expert Forum
pale stools
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pale stools

I had an ultrasound today as I had complined to my Doctor about having very pale stools. I do not have gallstones but am awaiting a full report. Since I was diagnosed with Hiatus Hernia about 9 years ago I have been taking Omeprazole. I have cut down from 20mg a day to 10mg (but not necessary every day) as the problem has improved. As Omeprazole is a proton pump inhibitor could this have cut down on the bile being secreted from my liver,as I read some time ago that this was what gave stools their brown colour. I am a vegetarian.
Thank you for your anticipated reply
Silver Birch
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Hello - thanks for asking your question.

Obstruction of the bile flow out of the liver can cause pale or clay-colored stools.  Possible causes for clay colored stool result from problems in the biliary system (the drainage system of the gallbladder, liver, and pancreas):

Cancer or benign tumors
Strictures (narrowings)
Congenital anatomic problems (present at birth)
Gallstones
Cysts
Medications
Sclerosing cholangitis
Biliary cirrhosis
Protein or infectious infiltration
Alcoholic hepatitis
Viral hepatitis (A,B,C, etc.)

I would suggest a full liver panel and base your evaluation from these results.  Possible imaging with an ultrasound may follow.

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.

FYI - I will be away from August 1-9th. I will look forward to answering your questions when I return.
2 Comments
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Blood tests would be the best way to test whether there's any problem with the liver. Pale is a matter of degree; in general, when there's a problem with bile being prevented from getting into the intestine, the stools are chalky white.
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Avatar_n_tn
I am still wondering if the Omeprazole would have any effect? The pale colour is not a constant one as sometimes the stool is a mid brown (rust colour) Other times there are light and dark together - piebald effect!!!!!!
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Avatar_m_tn
A related discussion, rust or burnt orange colored stool was started.
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