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Normal stools can vary in shades of brown, mostly due to your diet. Pale stools are not normal. If your stools are pale or clay-colored, you may have a problem with the drainage of your biliary system, which is comprised of your gallbladder, liver, and pancreas.
The most common reasons for a pale stool color include: 1. Foods. Some foods may lighten the color of stool, especially fatty foods, or those containing food coloring.
Light-colored, white or clay-colored: A lack of bile in stool. This may indicate a bile duct obstruction. Certain medications, such as large doses of bismuth subsalicylate (Kaopectate, Pepto-Bismol) and other anti-diarrheal drugs. Yellow, greasy, foul-smelling: Excess fat in the stool, such as due to a malabsorption disorder, for example, celiac disease.
Iron supplements, green leafy vegetables, as well as, green food coloring can lead to a green stool too. Light colored stool. Indicates a lack of bile due to a bile duct obstruction, liver diseases, cancer, etc. Some medications such as anti – diarrheal medications or large doses of bismuth subsalicylate can lead to a light colored stool.
Light-colored stools in infants or adults can be caused by lack of bile in the digestive system. Hepatitis B, irritable bowel syndrome, or a stomach infection can cause clay-colored stool, also known as acholic stool.
Some types of cancer may cause light or pale-colored stool as well as fatigue. Pancreatic cancer may cause the stool to become a light yellow color due to lack of digestive enzymes coming from the pancreas 3. This may also cause fatigue, as food is not fully digested and nutrients cannot be absorbed.