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Dr. Andrew Rynne

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What causes steatorrhea?

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Dr. Vasudha Jayant Athavale

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :1970

Answered : 6412 Questions

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Posted on Thu, 19 Apr 2018 in Digestion and Bowels
Question: What would be the cost for the answer to this question. Getting an oily discharge with my stool. Also gas pains. I'm a male 67 years old.
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Answered by Dr. Vasudha Jayant Athavale 4 hours later
Brief Answer:
It's lack of absorption of fats in bowels ( Steorrhea)

Detailed Answer:
Hi XXXX,
Thanks for the query. I have read it & understand your concern.
* The oily discharge with stools is called as Steatorrhea & The causes are-
- Absence of digestion of fats ( Pancreatic problem/ Conditions affecting bile salts ( Bile stones, bile duct obstruction )/ Malabsorbtion due to intestinal problems like Celiac disease, Bacterial infections,lactose intolerance/ excessive whole nuts in diet/ taking slimming medication/ Artificial fats in diet ( Olestra)- to reduce fat contents in diet or natural fats like Jojoba oil- which remain unabsorbed.
* Excessive fats in stools get decomposed in bowels & lead to excessive gases & some times foul smelling , light & bulky stools.
* Management consists of detection of the cause & relieving it. & substitution of fat digesting enzymes ( pancreatin & lypase ) as per need.
In this case you need to consult your family physician or gastroenterologist ( as per recommendations of the physician ) for assessment of health & cause followed by specific advise for you.
I hope that answers your query. Any follow up query is welcome.
Thanks.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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