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Yellow Stool

If you are experiencing yellow stool, it is best to be examined by a medical professional to rule out potentially serious diseases and disorders. When you see your doctor, he or she will likely first perform a stool analysis to rule out or diagnose digestive tract conditions, viral infections, bacterial infections or parasites. During a stool analysis, your doctor will swab the inside of your rectum with a long cotton swab and will collect a sampling of the stool. By taking a swab, there is no chance for an airborne bacterium to taint the sample.

Yellow Stool

After taking the sample, the lab will analyze the yellow stool to check its volume, shape, odor, mucus, blood, consistency, and color. Normal stool is brown and soft. It should be roughly tube-shaped, have a pH of around six, contain less than two milligrams of sugar, and be free of bacteria, viruses, fungi, blood, pus, mucus, and parasites/worms. If your stool doesn’t meet these criteria, it is a certain sign of a digestive problem.

Possible Causes of Yellow Stool

Yellow stool relates to a condition referred to as Pale Stool in which the stool is pale or yellow in color. Unless you have ingested large amounts of food coloring on some strange whim, yellow stool is not normal. If your stool is pale or yellow, your large intestine, liver, small intestine, or stomach may be affected by a serious condition or disease.

Yellow stool could be a symptom of:

Celiac Disease

A genetic condition in which the body cannot properly digest gluten because the villi within the intestines are damaged. One out of every 5,000 people is diagnosed with Celiac Disease, but researchers believe one out of every 250 people suffer from the condition at some level but may be unaware of it. While vitamin and mineral supplements can help, the best treatment is following a gluten-free diet.

Cholangitis

An inflammation of the bile ducts. Bile is a necessary component of digestion. If the bile duct is infected or inflamed, the stomach will not receive enough bile to digest food properly. If gallstones are causing the inflammation, they will need to be removed. Otherwise, antibiotics, bed rest, and pain medications are necessary. You can try doing a liver/gallbladder cleanse to help with the removal of gallstones.

Choecystitis

An inflammation of the gall bladder. If the gall bladder is inflamed (diagnosed through x-rays), antibiotics will be required. If gallstones are to blame, they will need to be removed.

Gallstones

The result of the liquid within a gall bladder hardening into small crystals. These crystals can cause an inflammation in the bile ducts or gall bladder. Gallstones can be caused by cirrhosis, sickle cell anemia, or diseases of the blood. While some people do not realize they have gallstones, some experience severe abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, and indigestion. If you are diagnosed with gallstones, shockwaves can be used to break the larger stones up so they pass more easily. Other options include taking medications to dissolve the stones or having your gall bladder removed entirely.

Giardia

A parasite feeding on the intestines in both animals and humans. It is prevalent among children and childcare workers because the parasite is transferred through waste. If a daycare worker changes a diaper and fails to properly wash her hands (both before and after), the parasite can enter the body via the mouth. The parasite lives in contaminated water sources. Symptoms include diarrhea, fever, inflammation of the intestines, or other stomach flu-type symptoms. Doing a parasite cleanse may help flush these intestinal invaders out of your system.

Hepatitis

A viral disease attacking the liver. There are three main forms (A, B, or C) and many lesser-known forms. Hepatitis is often spread through sexual intercourse with an infected partner, through drug use (sharing needles), or even by overdosing on alcohol or certain drugs. If caught early, Hepatitis is not necessarily a death sentence as it was years ago. If diagnosed with Hepatitis, your doctor will require you to take certain antiviral medication, drink plenty of liquids, and get extra sleep.

Jaundice

The main symptom of jaundice is the appearance of orange or yellow skin, which is caused by high levels of bilirubin. This can also be accompanied by yellow stool. The disease is common in premature infants and people with liver problems or hepatitis. Your doctor will need to investigate the cause of your jaundice to determine the best plan of action.

Malabsorption

A condition in which your body is not properly digesting nutrients. The food you eat travels too quickly through the stomach and intestines for nutrients to be absorbed. With Malabsorption, doctors may prescribe heavy-concentration vitamins while searching for the underlying cause.

Obstructive Jaundice

Occurs when bile is blocked while exiting the liver. Hepatitis, pancreatic cancer, and gallstones are the most common causes of obstructive jaundice. Surgical removal of the obstruction is often required, followed by courses of antibiotics.

Sprue

A disorder in which the body fails to absorb nutrients during digestion. Symptoms include pale or yellow stool, rancid smelling diarrhea, severe weight loss, and lack of hunger. If you are diagnosed with Sprue, your doctor will most likely prescribe a high-protein, high-carb diet, bed rest, and vitamin supplements.

Steatorrhoea

A condition in which a person’s feces contain high quantities of fat, resulting in yellow stool. Bowel movements are often loose and foamy. Steatorrhoea can be caused by Malabsorption, Pancreatitis, Celiac disease, or Sprue. If diagnosed, your doctor will most likely prescribe a digestive enzyme supplement while searching for the underlying disease.

Viral Hepatitis

A disease that can lead to anorexia, jaundice, and an enlarged liver. Often there are no symptoms. Those who experience symptoms complain of a low-grade fever and headache. Your doctor will need to determine the type of hepatitis and then antiviral medication may be prescribed. Bed rest and extra fluids are always recommended.

As you can see, a variety of serious medical conditions and digestive disorders can cause yellow stool. To be on the safe side, consult with a qualified physician if you produce a yellow stool. The underlying cause could be something you really don’t want to have!

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