soft, greasy stools
by mark128, Jun 16, 2008
I'm a 50 year old male, generally in very good health.  Lots of regular exercise, eat a very healthy diet, and have for years.  I have always been regular, having bowel movements once per day that were well formed, and left me feeling fully evacuated.  About 18 months ago, my stools began getting very soft and greasy.  I also became a producer of very foul-smelling gas (quite unpopular with the family, though a source of some amusement for the kids).  After about 8 months, I talked to my physician about it.  After various blood tests, he eventually sent me in for a colonoscopy.  That came up clean - no issues at all.  My physician recommended avoiding certain kinds of foods (e.g. beans) and getting plenty of fiber (not an issue).

So now it is 18 months into this, and I continue with soft, mushy stools on a daily basis.  I typically have a single bowel movement in the morning, after eating, and it tends to come on with some urgency.  I usually don't feel fully emptied afterwards.  The gas persists, with cramping that comes and goes.  I know that certain foods, such as beans, will increase the gas, but the gas is there with or without such foods.  I don't consume dairy much, so lactose intolerance isn't an issue.  It seems to me that my abdominal awareness/discomfort has gradually increased over the 18 months, but it's hard to say.  My weight is unchanged.

Any ideas or suggestions on this?  I have some concern of an underlying issue that is slowly manifesting itself with these symptoms, but my doctor and the gastro doc both said that there isn't anything to be concerned about given that the colonoscopy came up clean.  My doc suggested it was just a symptom of aging, perhaps with a little IBS tossed in.  

thanks in advance,
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Member Comments (6)
by snoozies43, Jun 16, 2008
sounds like doc is right...IBS. colonoscopy came out fine.

Try watching any caffine, alchohol, and spicy foods, sugar intake. make sure to eat plenty of fiber. I always eat oatmeal in am's. This has helped the lose stools, and cramping. also your amount of salt intake. as this can irritate the colon.

Fruits, steamed vegetables, try to cut out red meat :OX..sorry  i know men like their steaks lol. 1 or a little piece is ok once in awhile. Watch also Oils in foods.

Certain beans are actuallly a good fiber. "Try them in nother room away from kids"

Good luck and try to keep track of what you may be eating for the day, as trigger foods.

I know with IBS..over time you lose weight.

There are many web sites for IBS diet. Or suggestions here.
by CalGal, Jun 16, 2008
Greasiness suggest a fat malabsorption issues which can have a couple of causes. The malabsorption can also cause a very malodorous smell - as if something 'died.' You may want to have your doc do a stool test for fat malabsorption.

Check into the issue of any problems with your gallbladder, pancreas or the possiblity of celiac disease (and yes, it can be celiac problems despite you're being an adult.)
by mark128, Jan 29, 2009
I thought it might be worth following up for posterity's sake (in case someone runs across this thread with similar issues).

I began taking probiotics about two months ago (specifically, Jarro-Dophilus).  After about a month of consistently taking them, my greasy stools and foul-smelling gas disappeared.  Stools returned completely to normal.  No more gas.  Back to regular bowel movements once per day which empty me.

I have no idea what was going on in my gut for nearly two years, but the probiotics seemed to do the trick.  I continue to take them, though I will probably stop at some point to see if the symptoms return.
by rph5555, Jan 29, 2009
It sounds like it could be your gall bladder.  This can happen if you don't have enough bile to break down the fats.  Has anyone thought about an ultrasound or HIDA scan to check the function of your gall bladder?
by SteveB400, Jun 20, 2009
This is exactly the same situation I am finding myself in.  Only difference is I am 43 and my problems have only been going on for about 10 months.  You said you took probiotics.  This is not the first thread I have ran across that recommended them.  What did you take?  Are they available over the counter or only through prescription?  Am getting ready to go to Dr's but whenever I go in with some weird issue, they always downplay it as diet or something else.  But if I can try probiotics over the counter first to see if that works am willing to give it a try.

by Ivanca777, Sep 24, 2013
I have it on and off and only once a day after breakfast and urgent and also a bit of incontinence and also have high fibre with oats, a completely healthy breakfast.  I dont know if it could be lactose dificiency as I found it more often when having more dairy.  I am 59 years old.  I do have sugar in tea and coffee and I enjoy chocolate and puddings, but just lately has been happening one day after the other and I had it before this way.