A healthy, normal stool should have a shade of brown. Any changes in its color are mainly because of your diet. Thus, a pale or clay-colored stool from time to time is nothing to worry about as it’s probably the result of something you have eaten.
However, if it happens frequently or chronically, you should consult it with a doctor as it may be a sign of a medical condition. In fact, it suggests some problems with pancreas, liver, or gallbladder.
What gives your stool a healthy, brown look is bile salt, which your liver releases into your stool. Therefore, pale stools may suggest that your liver doesn’t produce enough bile or the bile flow is blocked.
Read the article and see what other symptoms often accompany pale stools, what the causes of this phenomenon are, and how you can treat it.
Pale Stools – Symptoms
While it’s difficult to detect the cause of your pale stool when it’s the only worrying factor, the accompanying symptoms are often the key to diagnosis. For example, if you can also observe that your palms have a red shade, it may indicate liver problems.
Thus, if your pale stools are a sign of some more serious medical condition, you can also notice such symptoms as enlargement of male breasts, loss of muscle tissue, or getting bruises more easily than before.
Describe these or other symptoms thoroughly to your doctor as it will help him identify the cause of your pale stools and recommend the best treatment for you.
Pale Stools – Causes
Pale stools may be caused by a number of reasons, some of them are trivial and easy to detect while others are more serious and difficult to identify.
First of all, you should think if you’ve been taking any medicines on a regular basis recently as they may often change the look of your stools. Some antibiotics, birth control pills, anabolic steroids, or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen or naproxen may be the cause of your pale stools.
If you are addicted to alcohol then a possible cause of your pale stools is alcoholic hepatitis. It’s a medical condition that affects your liver. In consequence the organ becomes swollen and inflamed. Alcoholic hepatitis may lead to liver disease and liver failure and thus has to be treated by a doctor.
Viral hepatitis, on the other hand, is also a condition in which your liver gets inflamed and swollen but it’s caused by A, B, or C hepatitis viruses. The most dangerous is type C as it can lead to liver disease.
Gallstones are a common cause of pale stools too. These are hardened deposits which develop in your gallbladder and as a consequence block the flow of bile. If early detected, gallstones may be dissolved by special medicines. If that doesn’t work, a surgical removal is a must.
It happens that the cause of pale stools is a serious medical condition known as biliary cirrhosis. It occurs when the bile ducts in your liver get inflamed and irritated. In consequence, the flow of bile to your intestines is blocked.
There are cases when tumors or cysts are to blame. They sometimes develop in your biliary system and disturb the bile flow or irritate the liver.
Quite a common cause of pale stools is jaundice. It happens when there is some obstruction in the bile flow in your gastrointestinal system. In case of this condition you will also notice that your eyes and skin turn yellow.
Chronic pancreatitis is a condition in which your pancreas got inflamed. Pale stools may be one of the symptoms that this condition leads to. Apart from that you may also often feel bloated or feel cramps in your abdomen.
Of course, in plenty of cases pale stools are only the consequence of your diet and eating habits. It’s especially the case if you’re generally a healthy person and you don’t experience any other worrying symptoms.
However, if you follow the home remedies described in the next section for a few weeks and your stools still remain pale, you should consult a doctor who will order you to do some tests in order to detect the cause of your problem.
Pale Stools – Best Home Remedies and Tips
If your stools have been pale for some time, but you don’t experience any other worrying symptoms or your doctor ruled out some serious medical conditions, try to deal with the problem with the use of several simple home remedies.
Most of them are about introducing some healthy habits into your everyday diet or about avoiding things which are bad for you. It’s likely that these simple tips may help you get rid of pale stools quickly and permanently.
1. Supplement Magnesium
Deficiency of magnesium is very common nowadays and we are often not aware of that because lack of magnesium doesn’t give clear signs for a long time. Some studies have shown that almost all of us may have some magnesium deficiency because of poor diet and living under a lot of stress.