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TOPIC: What is Steatorrhea?

What is Steatorrhea? 16 May 2007 17:29 #3589

  • Debra
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If you notice a really foul smelling stool it could be a sign of malabsorption. 

What is Steatorrhea, or an oily stool?

According to a medical source:

Steatorrhea (or steatorrhoea) is the formation of bulky, grey or light colored stools. Stools may also float and have an oily appearance. There is increased fat excretion, which can be objectivated by determining the fecal fat levels. While definitions have not been standardized, fat excretion in feces in excess of 0.3 (g/kg)/day is considered indicative of steatorrhea.

Seen in:

malabsorption, e.g. in inflammatory bowel disease, celiac disease, and abetalipoproteinemia
exocrine pancreatic insufficiency
chronic pancreatitis
choledocholithiasis (obstruction of the bile duct by a gallstone)
pancreatic cancer (if it obstructs biliary outflow)
primary sclerosing cholangitis
bacterial overgrowth
Short bowel syndrome
Cystic fibrosis

If you have a foul smelling stool more often than not and constant diarrhea please ask to be tested for Celiacs or gluten intolerance.

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