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Light yellow/ochre coloured stools, safety of long term Prilosec

  I have been diagnosed with a hiatus hernia and esophagial irritation
  due to the reflux. I've been taking Tums recently as I've gone off
  of the Prilosec. I've been having light yellow/ochre coloured stools
  Could this be the result of the Tums or something more serious. My
  urine colour is a normal yellow to darker yellow (when I don't drink
  enough fluids). I'm afraid to go back on the Prilosec as I've been on
  20mg/day for 8 months and had read that long term use of Prilosec
  may cause colon tumors and I developed a racing heart after 7 1/2 months
  of Prilosec usage. My doctor says that the racing heart is NOT due
  to the Prilosec, but I'm terrified of trying it again and have therefore
  tried to stick to a very bland, non-fat diet and Tums when I need them.
  I am lactose intolerant and therefore can use the calcium anyways.
  I also have IBS (mostly diarehia) and find that I'm much better on a lower
  fibre diet and eat mostly carbohydrates, well cooked vegetables, lean protein
  such as fish and chicken, but can't tolerate fruits.  Should I be concerned
  about the light yellow coloured stools, and should I be concerned about long
  term usage of Prilosec? Please answer as I'm confused and worried.
Dear Louellen and Viv,
the color of stool can vary based on a number of factors.  Pale stool (usually considered clay colored not yellow) can be a sign of either liver disease or blockage of the bile duct.  People with clay-colored stool also have dark urine (like coke) and yellow eyes.
You are correct that there have been animal studies suggesting that high dose porlonged use of Prilosec can cuse tumors.  There has not been any human evidence to support that conclusion.  Studies from Europe suggest that longterm use of prton pump inhibitors appears to be safe.
With regard to the irritable bowel syndrome symptoms, the treatment is increased not decreased fiber in the diet.  By eating more fiber the stool become soft and bulky.  
This information is presented for educational purposes only.  Always consult your personal physician for specific medical questions.
*keywords: esophageal reflux, Prilosec, irritable bowel syndrome

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