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Pale/tan stool--anyone know what might be causing this?

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Old 04-01-2005, 02:27 PM   #1
Join Date: Mar 2005
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Sallyz HB User
Pale/tan stool--anyone know what might be causing this?

Alright, I'm trying to figure out what is going on here, the doctor hasn't been much help.
I've been having very light colored stools for about 2 months now, (with a break of about two weeks). I went to the doctor and he did a blood test looking at my liver and pancreas. The levels were normal. Does this mean it's not something with my digestive system, but rather something I'm eating? My stools are basically normal--they aren't real loose, they don't float. I cut most milk out of my diet, but not all. I do have a history of IBS, but it hasn't been giving me too much trouble lately. I don't eat a lot of fat in my diet. I've been under a considerable amount of stress lately.
I don't really have any other symptoms, just the color is making me nervous. I'm 24 years old.
Any insight would be appreciated.

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Old 04-01-2005, 05:33 PM   #2
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 141
aslo HB User
Re: Pale/tan stool--anyone know what might be causing this?

My understanding, I have the same problem, is that it can be from a bile problem, which could be gall bladder etc due to the bile, or that it sometimes can happen with just plain old irritable bowel syndrome. Its a good thing that your blood came out good.

Old 04-02-2005, 01:17 AM   #3
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 316
Sallyz HB User
Re: Pale/tan stool--anyone know what might be causing this?

I'm trying to get a handle on what's going on because I am living in a foreign country right now and the language barrier is causing some problems at the doctor. I'm just wondering if anyone knows if this is something I should press the doctor about even though the blood work came out fine, or, if I should just ignore it and see if it'll go away on it's own.
The doctor here did send me to a GI specialist here, but the language barrier there is even worse. I'm not really sure he understands what the problem is.
I'm really scared about ending up in the ER with a gallbladder attack or something more serious because I wouldn't be able to talk to any of the doctors (I don't speak the language here, but I'm learning slowly). Does anyone know of any specific tests I might ask for, or, if anyone is of the opinion that I should just leave it alone.
Thanks, I'm feeling a little lost right now.

Old 04-02-2005, 06:37 AM   #4
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Join Date: Dec 2003
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Marimac HB UserMarimac HB User
Re: Pale/tan stool--anyone know what might be causing this?

Pale stools generally indicate that bile is not being produced for any of a number of reasons. The only time it would be a problem would be if you had a bile duct stone, or a failing liver. Since the blood levels were normal, the only thing left would be a bile stone, which if not completely blocking the bile duct is just an anomally. It means that you will be ok for now. If you should become sick, nausea, vomiting, food intolerant, then you would need to go have an xray of your liver be it a CAT Scan, sonogram etc to see if the blockage would require surgery. Sometimes people are born with little bile ducts that spasm under distress and bile backs up. Then when you eat something fatty, or in need of extra digestive juices, it may again spasm and a bunch of bile is released at one time. This would explain the periodic tan or clay colored stools, followed by darker ones.

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