Symptoms of White Stool

Written by jessica lietz
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Symptoms of White Stool
White stools can be a sign of a life-threatening health issue. (Image by Flickr.com, courtesy of Naomi)

While normal stools can range in colour depending on diet, general health and individual variation, stools that appear white may be a cause for concern. People with white stools should consult a physician to avoid potentially life-threatening health problems.

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Types

White stools may also be described as claylike, pale or grey in colour but are usually normal in amount, frequency and size. Some people may have white stools that are loose and watery like diarrhoea.

Identification

People may notice their stool is white after wiping or when flushing the toilet; parents or caregivers may notice white stools in babies or children during a diaper change.

Causes

White stools can result from a number of infections, including hepatitis and diseases or abnormalities of the liver, intestines or gallbladder. It also can be the result of side effects from medications such as antibiotics.

Diagnosis

When diagnosing symptoms of white stools, a doctor may request a specimen, do an internal exam and ask the patient health questions about any other symptoms.

Warning

White stools can be a sign of a blocked bile duct, which is a serious medical condition that can lead to other health complications, if left untreated.

Considerations

People who regularly use medications to treat diarrhoea, heartburn or indigestion might experience frequent white stools, which usually go away after discontinuing use of the medication.

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