Stools are usually in a shade of brown to green in color and hence white stool in adults is definitely not a common scenario. So since you are wondering what made your bowel color change, here are some of the common reasons we suspect that can be blamed for white colored stools – inadequate proportion of bile or blockage of the bile ducts, inability to absorb fats by the digestive organs may be some of the many reasons. Stools that lack the proper amount of bile are usually named “bile acholic” and usually is a condition in adults that produce light or white colored bowels. For extra concerns, always consult a doctor for more definitive and detailed information.
Reasons for White Stool in Adults
- Digestion issues: the digestive system starts from the mouth down the esophagus and into the stomach along with the intestines below and then passed out through the rectum. Any disorder in the whole of the system such as whipple diseases, dysentery, fecal inconsistency or esophageal achalasia can be blamed for paling of the stool color.
- Medicine interactions: barium sulfate containing aluminum hydroxide is used for X-rays and other such medication purposes and this can be one of the reasons why you are experiencing whiteness in your stool color. Isoniazid is a drug that is used for treating tuberculosis which spikes the bilirubin level causing the stool color to change. Gastrointestinal drugs such as kaolin or bismuth have the same effect on your stools.
- Liver problems: hepatitis or cirrhosis are liver disorders that are inflammatory in nature. If left untreated not only does it change the color of your bowels but also can lead to serious conditions like liver cancer. The issue in the liver functioning may be one of the symptoms as to why your stool is pale in color. Immediate doctor’s consultancy is advised to be sought at this time.
- Obtrusive bile duct: the bile is recognized as a fluid that digests fats being released to the liver and passes it onto the gall bladder through the bile ducts. Once you eat, the bile gets passed on into the small intestine and the digestion process occurs. Responsible for normal coloring in the stools, a blockage in this very duct may cause the color for the stool to be changed. Infections too have the same effect the symptoms for them being itching and abdominal pain, tiredness and of course change in stool color.
- Gall stones: White stool in adults can also be the cause of gallstones where excess bilirubin or cholesterol may affect the gall bladder where the gall bladder fails to pass on the entire stool to the small intestine. This blockage may force out symptoms like fever, vomiting and nausea, persistent pain and cause imminent change in the color of the stool.
- Diseases that cause inflammation: Celiac or Crohn’s are both defined as inflammatory diseases where the former one is mainly caused by gluten sensitivity like from consuming rye, wheat or barley. Crohn’s is the same type of inflammatory disease caused by the inflammation of the digestive system, the intestines to be precise. Both these diseases may partake in changing the color of the bowel.
- Cancer: usually cancer in the liver or pancreas can be related to the formation of white colored stools in adults. The same can be said for intestinal cancer or cancer in the rectum. The other symptoms gathered along with it are abdominal pain, weight loss, back pain, jaundice, irritability, diarrhea and so on. Often the cancerous tumors in the respective places may result in obstruction of the bile duct resulting in pale or light colored bowels.
White Stool in Adults Treatment and Cure
The treatment for this condition of white stool in adults is usually based on the cause or the reason that has forced the stool to change its hue. For instance-
- If the unabsorbed fats in the digestive system are deemed to be the reason for the change in the color, you may be prescribed fat- soluble tablets of vitamin varieties and may also be advised to up your diet quotient, i.e. to modify the diet pattern.
- If hepatitis is causing the change in the color for your stool, proper medication, drug and treatment relating hepatitis should be taken into account.
- Much like that, diseases such as Crohn’s or Celiac or any other kind may be blamed for the situation in which case respective individual diagnosis and treatment would help you.
When does White Stool in Adults require a Doctor Supervision?
Whitening of the stool may be caused by the recent X-Ray examination you just took that has barium sulfate or maybe just an exposure to a persistent large dose of antacid that you’ve been taking, white stools in adults may be linked to a much grave or serious kind of illness and for that we advise you to seek medical attention at the speediest possible rate. This is simply not a normal situation.
- Consult a doctor as soon as you realize the sudden change in your stool color and watch out for accompanied symptoms like fever or weight loss. These symptoms branched together requires proper diagnosis and treatment.
- In occasions when the rise in body temperature is too much or the illness is taking a toll on the mental status along with convulsions and abdominal pain is noticed, it is for the best if you seek immediate medical attention at that time.
- Signs such as lowering frequency of your urination, fatigue and light-headedness and even increase in thirst are all signs of dehydration which is yet another symptom along with whitening of the stool you should keep an eye out for. If you experience anything as such, immediately rush to the doctor.