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Yellow Brown Stool Symptoms

Updated March 23, 2017

Normal stool colours include all brown shades and also green. Stool colour may change colours depending of what foods have been consumed and how much bile is present in the stool. The Mayo Clinic says that only rarely does bile colour indicate a serious medical condition.

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Coeliac Disease

The most common condition that may cause stool to appear yellowish is coeliac disease, a condition that occurs when the body has an immune response to gluten. Gluten is a protein found products containing wheat, rye or barley. Coeliac disease is diagnosed using endoscopy exams and blood tests.

Other Conditions

Other possible causes of yellow or pale coloured stool can stem from malabsorption or the gallbladder, bile ducts, liver and pancreas.

Time Frame

Stool colour may change from time to time without a medical cause. However, if stool colour remains consistently pale or yellow for several days, you should consult your doctor.


A physician may need to perform blood tests and conduct a stool sample analysis to determine if an underlying condition is causing the yellowish-brown stool colour. An endoscopy or colonoscopy can check for digestive disorders.


Treatments depend upon what condition is causing the stool discolouration. If coeliac disease is the cause, your doctor probably will recommend a gluten-free diet.

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About the Author

Based in Laurel, Miss., Melody Morgan Hughes covers topics related to education, money and health. She has a Bachelor of Arts in English education from the University of Southern Mississippi, a Master of Education from William Carey University and a Master of Education from Nova Southeastern University.

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