Chronic yellow diarrhea symptoms

toilet paper image by robert lerich from

Chronic yellow diarrhoea is the passing of loose, watery, yellowish excrement for more than four weeks. It can be accompanied by cramps, tiredness and a general feeling of malaise. The causes of yellow diarrhoea range from low bile production, which can signify a problem in the liver, to a serious disease.

Treatment and prevention depends on the cause.


When a person has chronic yellow diarrhoea, he will suffer from several loose and sometimes watery bowel movements on a daily basis for more than four weeks. The colour of the diarrhoea might range from a light yellowish-brown to an almost yellow-grey colour. Cramps, fatigue and weakness are other common symptoms. Chronic diarrhoea, which is diarrhoea that lasts more than four weeks, can result in dehydration and a loss of electrolytes and potassium. It can also signify a serious health problem. Contact your health care provider if you are experiencing these symptoms.

Medications May BeCausing Your Chronic Yellow Diarrhea Symptoms

Antibiotics, laxatives and some chemotherapy medications can cause yellow, runny stools. If you are experiencing yellow, runny stools and are concerned about the medications you are on, consult your health care provider.

Lack of Bile

Another symptom common in chronic yellow diarrhoea is that the colour of the stool changes over time from yellowish to a pale grey. This symptom signifies an issue with the liver's production of bile. It is bile salts that turn stool brown. As bile salts diminish, the stool turns yellow, then eventually grey and almost colourless. If you suspect you may have a bile production problem, it is important to see a doctor as soon as possible.

Bacterial Infection as a Cause of Chronic Yellow Diarrhea

If your chronic yellow diarrhoea started suddenly, with no other symptoms, it was probably caused by a bacterial or viral infection that you may have picked up from infected food or water. In fact, such diarrhoea is commonly called traveller's diarrhoea because it is common to suffer from it after travelling to another country.

Treatment and Prevention

No matter the cause, chronic yellow diarrhoea should be treated by first drinking lots of fluids rich in electrolytes, as the biggest health danger from diarrhoea is dehydration. To prevent diarrhoea, eat several small, healthy meals per day and always wash your hands before you eat. Be careful where you get your food and water, especially if you are in a foreign country. In addition, avoid fatty foods and anything containing caffeine or alcohol, as these foods and drugs are known to trigger and aggravate diarrhoea.