Yellow Poop: Symptoms & Causes

by John Staughton last updated -

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Yellow poop is often called “pale stool”, and is not as uncommon as you might think. Your stool is normally brown because of the presence of bilirubin, which is a waste extract of red blood cells. However, your stool color can change based on your diet and other factors. While slightly green or different-colored brown stool is relatively normal, yellow poop can be an indication that something is wrong with your gastrointestinal system. Some of the causes should be addressed professionally, while others are less serious. Yellow poop is not normal, but it isn’t an immediate sign that you need to rush to a doctor.

What Causes Yellow Poop?

Pale or yellow stool can be caused by a number of reasons such as celiac disease, stress, and liver and gallbladder disorders related to bile production, among others.

Celiac Disease

One of the most common causes behind yellow stool (or any discolored stool) is celiac disease, in which the gastrointestinal system is unable to digest certain wheat proteins, resulting in a myriad of stomach issues, unless gluten is avoided.

GERD

Gastroesophageal Reflux disease (GERD) is another likely culprit behind your yellow stools because people suffering from this condition have very fast digestive processes, so your fecal matter doesn’t pick up the bacteria and other waste as it moves through the gut, resulting in a yellow color.

Liver & Gallbladder

These two organs can both be linked to problems with bile production, which is one of the main causes behind the yellow stool. Various inflammatory or chronic conditions affecting these organs can cause this yellow discoloration.

Gilbert’s Syndrome

This disease is basically harmless, but it means that your liver can’t process bilirubin, meaning that it isn’t able to color your stool, resulting in a yellow color.

Stress

Perhaps the most common cause of this condition, excess stress can lead to high-stress hormone levels, which can affect bile production and excretory functions.

Yellow Poop Symptoms

Aside from the obvious symptom of yellow poop (fecal discoloration), some other symptoms that may accompany this unusually colored feces include the following:

If these symptoms become serious, it is important that you go to see a doctor immediately.

About the Author

John Staughton is a traveling writer, editor, and publisher who earned his English and Integrative Biology degrees from the University of Illinois in Champaign, Urbana (USA). He is the co-founder of a literary journal, Sheriff Nottingham, and calls the most beautiful places in the world his office. On a perpetual journey towards the idea of home, he uses words to educate, inspire, uplift and evolve.

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