Stool concern: Diet affected?
Tuesday 07 June 2005
I have read that loose, pale-coloured stools are a sign of fat malabsorption. I have had consistently yellow, foul-smelling stools (with undigested bits in them) for as long as I can remember. Also, after going to the toilet I often feel nauseous. What could be the cause? Does it mean that my body is deficient in "good fats" and vitamins?
Dr Fred Kavalier answers your health question:
When the intestine is unable to properly digest and absorb fats, the stools become pale, bulky and smelly. They usually float in the lavatory pan, and are difficult to flush away. Sometimes it is even possible to see floating oil droplets in the toilet water. Fat malabsorption can be caused by many different problems. If the pancreas or liver are not working properly, in conditions such as cystic fibrosis and liver disease, the intestine is unable to break down and absorb food. In conditions such as coeliac disease, which is caused by an abnormal reaction to wheat and other foods that contain gluten, the intestine loses its ability to absorb nutrients. If people with coeliac disease avoid all foods containing gluten, the intestine recovers and regains its ability to absorb food normally. Some vitamins, especially A, D and K, are fat-soluble vitamins: if you are not absorbing fat properly, you can become deficient in these vitamins. You need to have tests to see if you are suffering from malabsorption. If you are, then the cause needs to be identified and treated. Your first stop should be your GP. The next stop should be a gastroenterologist.
Please mail your questions for Dr Fred to firstname.lastname@example.org. He regrets that he is unable to respond personally to questions.
Life & Style blogs
Husband creates spreadsheet detailing wife's 'excuses' for turning down sex
The Last of Us: Ashley Johnson says she would play Ellie in a sequel
UK police to start seizing drivers' mobile phones after all crashes
Standing my ground: If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
Rihanna, Kim Kardashian and me: How Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain
- 1 Woman and two children killed by mob in riots over 'blasphemous' Facebook post in Pakistan
- 2 Christians: The world's most persecuted people
- 3 The secret report that helps Israelis to hide facts
- 4 Danish TV reporter is all business up top, all party down below
- 5 Denmark bans kosher and halal slaughter as minister says ‘animal rights come before religion’
£21804 - £31868 per annum: Randstad Education Chelmsford: Are you a qualified ...
£21804 - £31868 per annum: Randstad Education Chelmsford: We are urgently for ...
£21804 - £31868 per annum: Randstad Education Chelmsford: Are you an experienc...
£26000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A highly successful international media organ...