Stool comes in many colours and textures, and is often indicative of the food we are eating. Most sudden changes in stool colour is a sign of something that we ate that passed through our system too quickly. If stool continues to remain yellow, this can indicate one of several medical conditions. Always seek a doctor for an accurate diagnosis.
Cause for Yellow Stool
Yellow stool results from a problem with food absorption. If this occurs infrequently, it is most likely caused by consuming something high in fat and will more than likely cure itself if this isn't a normal part of your diet. But for conditions where yellow greasy stool is occurring often, this may be indicative of a more severe problem with the pancreas, coeliac disease, gallstones or hepatitis to name a few. It may also be a chronic symptom of gatroesophageal reflux disease. It is always best to discuss chronic yellow stool with your doctor to find an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan.
Reducing or removing foods that are difficult to absorb will reduce the problem of yellow stool. Foods high in fat should be excluded from regular consumption as should alcohol, coffee and chocolate. If the problem is strictly dietary, then eating a bland diet should resolve the problem, which at that point you can slowly reintroduce moderate consumption of these items. If the onset was sudden but not a result of diet, it may mean that you have a bacterial infection affecting bile production which would prevent the stool from being pigmented brown. A blood test can confirm this and it can be resolved with a round of antibiotics with a bland diet.
Babies are constantly monitored for jaundice, a condition where the liver is not functioning properly and too much bilrubin is produced. Most babies (and people) who become jaundice will have yellow around the whites of their eyes, a yellow skin tint and on the gums in addition to yellow stool. If you are concerned, see your doctor. Some home remedies such as early morning and evening sun exposure do help but may not always cure the problem. Phototherapy is a medical process where special fluorescent-like lights are placed in front of your child that helps to break down the bilrubin to then be excreted. In rare cases, a blood transfusion may be necessary.
If diet and antibiotics are not solving the problem, your doctor must run a series of tests to determine the underlying cause of the yellow stool. Each condition needs to be treated to help the pancreas and liver perform properly and restore health. With more than 80 causes for yellow stool that go beyond diet, it is imperative to get the proper diagnosis to cure it.