Eating highly fatty or oily meals or eating oilfish, escolar, rudderfish or orange roughy(commonly mislabeled as butterfish or codfish) can cause temporary oily diarrhea known as keriorrhoea. This is due to the unabsorbable wax esters contained in some foods. If it cannot be linked to a food source see old answer below:
Kevin Pho, MD
Boston - MA
Member since Feb 2003
Dec 24, 2003 12:00AM
Oily or floating stools (steatorrhea) suggests malabsorption or chronic pancreatitis. I would suggest tests to look for this.
For chronic pancreatitis, one can obtain a plain abdominal film to look for any calcifications. Serum amylase and lipase levels can also be obtained. If this is the case, pancreatic enzyme supplementation (using medication) is indicated.
For malabsorption, it would be a good idea to send the stool off for analysis. A fecal fat test can be done to evaluate for fat malabsorption. You can also test for celiac disease via a blood test.
You may want to discuss these possibilities with your personal physician.
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.
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