What does a white colored stool mean?

Written by yasmine fuller
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If you are excreting white coloured stool, you should contact your doctor without any further delay. White coloured stool is a possible symptom of some serious medical conditions.

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If your stool is white in colour, it either means that your liver is not producing enough bile (indicating a liver problem) or that there is an obstruction in your bile ducts. This connection is made because it is bile that gives stool its normal brownish colour. In the absence of bile, stool is white.


There are different possible medical conditions that could cause this symptom. Some of these are biliary cirrhosis, liver infections, gallstones, congenital abnormalities of the intestines or bile ducts, inborn errors of metabolism, cysts, tumours, sclerosing cholangitis or the narrowing of bile ducts.

Side Effects

White stool is also a side effect of certain medications. These include antibiotics, anti-diarrheal medications, anti-fungal medicines and antacids.


Bile-duct obstruction is a common cause of white stool. The reasons for this obstruction may include gallstones, gallbladder injury caused by surgery, inflamed bile ducts, cysts in the bile ducts, enlarged lymph nodes in the porta hepatis, tumours that have spread to the biliary system and tumours in the pancreas or bile ducts.

Digestive Issues

Pale coloured stool may also indicate problems with your digestive system. Some of the possible diseases causing this are dysentery, Whipple disease and esophageal achalasia.

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