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What could be the reason for having pale waxy stools and electrolyte imbalance?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2008
Answered : 641 Questions
Hi Doc My grandmother is 87 now. Of late her general health has come down with occassional electrolyte imbalance etc. The current concern is for past 1-2 weeks it is noticed that her stool is pale waxy and really fowl smelling. What could be the reason and possible management.
Posted Wed, 5 Feb 2014 in Digestion and Bowels
Answered by Dr. Gaurav Katiyar 1 hour later
Brief Answer: Steatorrhea Detailed Answer: Hi, I have gone through your query. Your grandmother has complain of Pale , waxy and foul smelling stool for last 1-2 weeks. I assume that she has no other complaints other than occasional electrolyte imbalance. It is known as steatorrhea. Pale colour is due to absence of bile (may be due to liver damage). Waxy and foul smelling due to presence of fat ( Defect in lining of intestine leading to malabsorption or defect in pancreatic enzyme). Since it is sudden at this old age, actual cause should be found out for effective treatment. I advise you to see her a local gastroenterologist for clinical examination and investigations like stool examination, liver function test and other blood tests. In the meantime fat free diet can be given with digestive enzymes like Aristozyme. Hope I have answered your query. If you have any further questions I will be happy to help
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