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Discolored stools. History of IBS. Taking plant sterols to control cholesterol

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 1978
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Dear Doctor

Over the last few weeks, I have noticed that my stool has changed to a lighter colour. Please see attached picture. Could you please advise whether the colour is indicative of health problems.

I have a history of IBS.

I am taking plant sterols in my diet to control my cholesterol.

I am also taking fish oil and multivitamins (Swisse Men's Ultivate).

Many thanks
Posted Tue, 22 May 2012 in Digestion and Bowels
Answered by Dr. Pavan Kumar Gupta 1 hour later
Hello and thanks for query.

I have seen the photograph.

The stool colour varies from day to day and discoloured stools rarely indicate a potentially serious condition.

The colour is influenced by what you eat and the liver disorders.

To rule out any liver disorder I would need some information from you.
Is this discoloration affecting every stool?
Any fatigue or bloating?
Is there any darkening of urine colour?
Any history of past or current fever?
Any history of pain abdomen?
What medicines you take?
What other symptoms you have?

Other causes of light coloured stools are use of bismuth salicylate and kaolin, chocolates, coffee, fatty foods, alcohol, and worm infestation.

Awaiting your response.

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