Can you have fatty stools but not have steatorrhea?

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Hi

Me again. Sorry to post again but I'm in such a bad place right now. I've written a post about my bowel movements, being paler, yellow and suffering with diarrhoea for months. I have Ibs so the doctors say it's that. I went back to the doctors on Thursday as on Wednesday night we ate out and I had a fatty meal of chips, gammon, fried egg and peas. The next morning I passed a fatty stool that did sink but lots of big air bubbles came from it. It was pale too. It didn't smell bad. I totally freaked out. I've had stools that float but never bubbles. Then I had an even softer stool an hour after again with bubbles. I felt sick too. My anxiety went into over drive and since then I can't think straight. The doctor said she didn't know what the bubbles are. She said I've not lost weight so not to worry!! I've only started with the floating stools the past couple of weeks. Before then if not diarrhoea they were pale. I had a blood test being with an A to test my pancreas. Get the results hopefully Monday. I'm already scared about that. I did another stool test to check for inflammation. I asked if they could test the fat in the stool and she said no!!! She said if the bloods come back OK maybe have the camera up the bottom! Sorry can't remember what it's called. Pain wise I have pains all over the abdomen. But lately I've been getting pain under my left rib shooting through to my back. But I can also get that on the right side too. I get pains in my hips and pelvis too. It's all so random. I also get pain in the upper back in my shoulder blades. I do have reflux too. My appetite before Thursday was good. I had no pain after eating the fatty meal and no tummy pain. Just the fatty stool the next day. My stool issues seem to be every morning. The only time I get relief is in the night! I can wake slightly and my tummy is calm. Within a minute of waking fully in the morning my stomach starts gurgling, I get gas pains and pass wind, I feel a little sick then I'll have to go the loo. I never normally go the loo after my tea. It makes no sense to me. I seem to be full of wind from the minute I wake up. My bowels movements are so random. I can have a normal colour stool then diarrhoea an hour after or a lighter stool. The only niggly pain I've been getting lately is mid back behind my stomach. Some pains I get are relieved when my stomach churns and feels like a bubble has popped in my stomach. The only other thing after eating is sometimes I feel like I need a bowel movement but I don't go. This is immediately after eating and I get very windy! Since Thursday I have lost my appetite, feel sick and I'm on edgy. I dread having a bowel movement. I just can't see how this is ibs. I'm living on immodium. If I had steatorrhea would I have lost weight? My diet food wise hadn't changed but I've hardly excersied since November. My legs are weak and shake. I've got anxiety issues going on so and I know I'll lose weight now I've lost my appetite. I've had this before when I've worried about things. My stomach feels like it's on a fairground ride. It's been going on so long now and I've not had any real tests. She only tested my pancreas on Friday. I asked for a full blood test too but she said the one I had 2 months ago was perfect which it was but that was just as this was all starting. My liver was tested too. It's taking over my life and I can't see past PC 😢

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  • Posted

    You are really overthinking this. I think you need help with your head, not your body. It all sounds like classic anxiety. Believe me, that can wreck havoc with your bowels. After that meal you had, I’m not surprised your poo was like it was! I’m no doctor but your doctor sounds like she’s doing all the right stuff. If I were you I would ask her to refer you for some counselling for your anxiety.

    I have had pancreatic cancer and this doesn’t sound like it, especially as your tests so far have been clear. And don’t Google - it’s utterly pointless and only feeds your anxiety. Listen to your doctor, not your computer.

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    • Posted

      I have been referred. Sorry don't mean to offend. I'm genuinely worried. I wouldn't post on here to try upset anyone going through cancer. I've eaten that before and not had a problem. The chronic diarrhoea is draining and the worrying. Thank you for the reply.

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  • Posted

    If I panicked everytime Ive gone through strange stools or pain I would need to be committed. 

    You are causing so many of your issues!!  Anxiety can tear your life apart. I think you need to go see someone about your anxiety issues not your health.  When you get that in line your health will improve. 

    Your Dr is trying to tell you !!  PC is the least of your worries. 

    I hope I’m not sounding to harsh but you are totally causing so many of your issues.  Your body reacts  to stress and anxiety and never in a good way.  

    Praying for you to get straight. 

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    • Posted

      No you're not coming across too harsh. If I didn't have the lighter, fatty stools I wouldn't be so worried. You Google these things and BOOM you have the worst thing you read. Just want to get back to normal and not have this diarrhoea everyday. People say listen to your body and to me this isn't my usual ibs. I've never had this before

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    • Posted

      It’s fine to be worried and you’re doing the right thing by going to your doctor. But you’re on a hiding to nothing with Google. It is not your friend if you have health anxiety. The internet is a poisoned chalice for people on the whole. Ironic when it was initially set up as a quick way for scientists to distribute technical and in depth research between each other.
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    • Posted

      Hi nickiwiwolf, I have seen your post on a few forums and I just wanted to say I think you’re awesome, I’ve never voiced my concerns about thinking I might have this horrible disease and I’m glad I was able to stumble upon your responses to people. You really are a rockstar and you helped put my mind at ease to trust my dr’s and know everything will work out. I have thought I’ve had this disease for quite some time and sometimes I still do but I just take a deep breath and know that I’ve had quite a few tests done that have all come back normal and I was eventually diagnosed with GERD and gastritis. So I’m trying to take comfort in the fact that I do have a diagnosis and I have had blood work and endoscopy with biopsies and an ultrasound that looked at my abdomen organs specifically. So thank you and I hope you read this and decide to come back to the forums because you really have helped so many people, I know it’s probably exhausting but I hope you’re doing well and stay in remission. 
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    • Posted

      Thanks. Glad you got a diagnosis and it wasn’t cancer. Most of the time it isn’t but Googling stuff just gets ideas in people’s heads that are hard to shift. I see people on these forums worrying themselves into all sorts physical symptoms and refusing to believe what their (actual proper medical!) doctors tell them because if something’s on the Internet, then it must be true! I and my doctors always knew there was something wrong with my pancreas - it just took a while for it to come out. I’m doing fine now - long may it last.
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  • Posted

    Listen to what others have advised, you're making your situation worse and ramping up your anxiety.

    The horrid thing about health anxiety is that whilst one can be rational about nearly everything else health anxiety blocks you from accepting that the anxiety is the problem.  To say you wouldn't be anxious if you didn't have the physical symptoms is typical of health anxiety and it's the wrong way to view it.

    Even if you think the physical symptoms are the problem, humour us, your family and yourself and be open to the possibility that anxiety is the issue.  What will it hurt?  The outcome might hopefully be that you recognise the reality and be treated and therefore diminish or eliminate your symptoms which is what you want, right?  Your aim is to be well so you have to consider all the ways that can be achieved so whether you believe in counselling initially or not you need to consider the possibility and do it.

    And btw, I agree with Nix re how that meal you ate could create havoc with anyone, gut issues or not, it sounds ghastly and so not what you should be eating if calming your gut is the aim.

    Stop googling, stop examining every stool, participate in counselling for anxiety and be open to the possibility that your problem is a self induced mental issue.  If you don't, well I dread to think about that.  Stop trying to prove you have something physical wrong, you're not the expert ok, listen to those who are.  Sorry to sound harsh but something has to pull you up, sympathy or empathy will not help you.

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  • Posted

    I just want to retract my comment about your health anxiety being self induced, it came out wrong.  Health anxiety is beyond the control of sufferers.   It's an illness just like any other only it's produced by our mind rather than from a physical place.  It needs to be sorted by a specialist just as physical ills do.

    We are quick to seek specialist consults for our physical ills and should be just as open to those specialists who deal in ills of the mind.

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  • Posted

    Thanks for the replies. I found some parts harsh. I have light coloured stools. I've never had this with all the stress in my life. I've eaten worse meals and not had a fatty stool with bubbles coming up. This is all new to me so why wouldn't I question it! I find it harsh you all say I need 'help' yes I may agree but I have the bowel issues and that's never happened before so I have every right to fear it. Saying I need more help is a litter rude. If I wasn't getting the lighter stools and diarrhoea for over 2 months I wouldn't be here . I understand you all have real life changing conditions but you all got diagnosed through a different journey so please don't judge!

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    • Posted

      Believe me, since I’ve had PC and joined some forums to chat with people in a similar situation, I’ve seen quite a few posts like yours pop up. I appreciate no one wants PC but it seems to be what people like you with severe health anxiety (particularly if there’s a stool change) automatically latch onto. As I said before, if you’re worried go to your doctor which you have done. I hardly think that’s harsh. I should hope you wouldn’t take medical advice off an Internet forum anyway - that would be foolhardy. People can be supportive and make suggestions but no one with any sense will give you a diagnosis. That’s your doctor’s job. Also, if you’re going to come on here and ask for advice without a definitive diagnosis, you may get some answers you don’t like. At the moment, based on what you describe in your posts, you seem to be suffering from health anxiety which is making your IBS symptoms worse. I have had bad anxiety in the past and know how much it can affect you physically. As it turns out, PC affected me totally differently and, while I was worried there was something wrong, I wasn’t affected in the way my anxiety had previously affected me. So I can see this from both perspectives. The fact you’re getting a bit defensive about the replies you’ve received makes me think you know there might be some truth in them.
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    • Posted

      I'm sorry if I upset you. I'm also sorry you can't see that we are responding to what you tell us and are trying to be helpful.  

      I agree absolutely with your comment that you have worrying symptoms however you don't seem to be listening to your doctor who has done tests (from memory of your other post) which concluded they're as a result of your anxiety.  Whilst you find it difficult to accept, anxiety can cause the symptoms you describe. 

      Your doctor knows your history, has a medical degree and has had tests performed on you.  I'm a stranger endowed with common sense most of the time and little else of relevance.  On balance if I were you I'd go with the doc's advice. 

      I agree with your doc btw.  The next step is to deal with the anxiety and possibly eliminate the symptoms which means seeing another sort of professional.  I can't understand why you can't accept that if it offers a possible solution.  

      Obviously you shouldn't request help or advice if you aren't open to responses (which have been very kind actually given it's the internet).  

       

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    • Posted

      I couldn’t agree more. If one posts a question they should be open enough to consider other people’s opinions. The question “Can you have fatty stools but not have steatorrhea?” was asked and my reply was fatty stools is the definition of steatorrhea. 

      DJRN

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    • Posted

      I am right there with you. my stool is loose, varies in shape often flat and is light in color. Gallbladder has been checked out and all is good there. I never used to have these issues either and now I have pain in my left shoulder blade and right leg. Related? I don't know. I have had abdominal pain but not as often. I am told it is stress and anxiety but I am not stressed, and developed anxiety after the issues began. so I totally get where you are at.

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  • Posted

    Hi

    Sorry. I was so down when I wrote this as yes my anxiety has been awful. I had my bloods back for the pancreas and all ok.

    I did a stool test for inflammation and that has come back high. Waiting on the doctor to ring to discuss. It's not urgent. My level is 90 and should be below 50. In some ways as crazy as it sounds it has reassured me. I guess they will re test in a few weeks and go from there.

    Thank you all for the help

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