: : Just today my 6 yeart old son has begun passing very pale, cream coloured faeces - they are reasonably firm and normal in all ways except for the colour. He has no pain before or after passing them. What could have caused this to happen?
: Dear Tamara:
: The color of stool is derived from bile salts, and in their absence, stool color may become clay-like. Another reason for pale stools would be an increase in stool fat content,poor digestion or absorption of dietary fat in the intestine . Stools in this case would be pale , bulky and foul smelling.
: There are a good number of causes for loss or absence of bile salts, most commonly a hepatitis infection (inflammation of the liver) or an obstruction in the bile flow, which maybe caused by bile stones.
: These illnesses however, would not manifest themselves with a change in stool only. Hepatitis would present with fever, nausea, and vomiting, dark yellow colored urine and jaundice (yellow discoloration of the skin). While bile stones maybe silent, they may present with on and off clay-colored stools, some abdominal cramps, maybe some nausea and retching and a dark yellow colored urine.
: I would suggest calling his doctor to let him/her know about the change in stool color, and if you're doubting whether it's clay-colored or not , to have a medical professional check the color of the stool (an experienced eye can tell the difference between a pale yellow stool and a white clay- color stool). A thorough physical examination of your child will also be necessary.
: Thank you for your question and keep us posted
: Disclaimer : The information presented is for educational purposes only .
: Category : Gastrointestinal Disease
: Keywords: clay-colored stools*, hepatitis*, jaundice*, bile stones*
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