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Oily Orange Discharge
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Oily Orange Discharge

For the second time this year, I've had a loose bowel movement that leaves an orange film floating on top of the toilet bowl water.  The film resembles the orange grease you find with certain mexican food.  

The stool itself was light brown - with a few pieces of undigested food (like chopped onion).  My diet in the last 24 hours has included things like red meat, pasta noodles, chocolate, salad, granola, sunflower seeds, orange juice, and wine.  I have not eaten anything mexican.

What causes this type of oily/greasy discharge from your colon and should I be alarmed?  Are there tests I should see my doctor for?
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Thank you for visiting the family practice forum.

When people come to my office with a "change" in their bowel movements, a thorough physical exam is in order, regardless of their age. Quite commonly, it turns out to be "nothing" but I feel as though when there is a change in bowel movements a physical exam is in order, at least.
On occasion, when there are problems with the gallbladder or liver, insufficient bile excretion is associated with fatty stools. Food may pass through inadequately digested, therefore, a blood test for Liver Function Testing (LFTs) is in order.
There are other inflammatory bowel conditions such as Crohn's Disease and Ulcerative Colitis which can be associated with oily, greasy, or bloody stools. I know it appears "orange" but you really need to make sure that there is no blood in the stool as well. (blood may appear as red, black, or different "shades" of red, if there is bleeding in the intestinal tract).
I guess I wouldn't be "alarmed" at this point, but I would see the doctor to have a blood test, and I would recommend some evaluation of the colon, either through a simple Xray, double contrast barium enema, or colonoscopy. These are tests which will help determine if there, in fact, is anything "serious" going on here.
Diverticulosis is another possibility here, but this is typically associated with some fairly severe stomach cramping and lower abdominal pain. Like I said earlier, it may turn out to be nothing, but some initial blood tests and evaluation of the colon as I describe above are a good idea.
1 Comment
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korbmom: Hello i recently began to have the same problem that you described.   I just started weight watchers 3 weeks ago.

I was wondering if you had ever figured out what was wrong, if you dont mind me asking.  THis has me worried.

thank you
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I recently had my gallbladder removed. It was full of stones. It has been a week now and I am still experiencing low grade fevers (99.4 - 101.0 0rally. I haven't been able to have a bowel movement without the help of a laxative and then I only have diahrea. For the last couple days I have had orange stools. Is this common after having the gallbladder removed?
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If you are eating any fat free foods that use Olestra or Olean, this will happen!  Please check the labels.  Typical culprits are Fat Free Pringles, or Lays Fat Free Baked Chips.  Read the labels!
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