Pale colored stool

Posted , 7 users are following.

Ok, some background. I am a 45 year old female. Back in the early fall, I started having mild pain over my gb. It also radiated a bit around my neck and shoulder blade, but nothing major. Just annoying.

I went to the Dr and he ordered an ultrasound which came back normal...no stones seen. I then had a HIDA scan which came back at 33%. I was told this was just below normal and was scheduled to meet with a surgeon. The surgeon and I met and we both decided that because the pain was so minimal and was better with low fat diet, I would not have surgery.

Btw, I did have a physical in mid Nov and all my CBC blood work came back normal.

All the gb pain went away and I felt really good through Christmas. Well, I have been consuming a lot of high fat foods lately, and about 4 days ago, the gb pain returned. I figured it was from all the fats, so I ignored it.

Well yesterday, I had a bm and it was VERY light brown. Could be considered light beige or even clay colored. I never had this before. I had the gb pain all day yesterday (about a 2-3 level). It also feels like my gb is swollen... Like it's hitting my rib. I had this back in the fall, and the surgeon dismissed it and said maybe it was because it was "sluggish".

So I slept fine, felt no pain when I got up I ate some Grape Nuts with skim milk. Felt like I could use the bathroom after eating. Sure enough it was the same pale stool. Definitely not normal for me. And the pain is back (maybe a 2 on pain scale).

So, I made an appt with my Dr tomorrow afternoon. The pale stools have me worried. If it is my gb, why is the pain so low (annoying, but low). I have read about sludge not being seen on ultrasound, and my HIDA was already lower than normal. I am kinda freaked out by the pale stool. I don't know what to think.

If my gb was blocked or something, why am I not in excruciating pain, as gb "attacks" usually are?

Any thoughts?

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12 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi, your symptoms certainly sound as though its gallbladder. Perhaps you should ask for a CT scan as stones or sludge don't always show on an ultrasound. Any stones wouldn't show on a HIDA scan but any blocked ducts would but that doesn't mean that you haven't a gallstone that keeps moving causing the pain and then falling back into your gallbladder. I suggest you ask  your doctor for a CT scan that'll show if there is anything there.

    Let us know how you get on tomorrow? Good luck.

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  • Posted

    I know the pale colour stool is not a good sign. Might be your liver.
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    • Posted

      Yes, I know it could be my liver. I just had blood work done in mid Nov, and all my liver ranges were normal. Plus, my liver looked fine on ultrasound. I do realize there are other liver problems that might not show, but I really think its my gb since my HIDA scan ejection rate was lower than normal.

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  • Posted

    Thank you Katherine. I will suggest a CT scan to my Dr tomorrow. I didn't know stones could move around like that.

    I had a dull ache today over my gb, but it got a little worse in the past few hours. Still, probably only a 4 on a pain scale. I just ate some low fat cottage cheese and steamed veggies for dinner.

    Thanks for your advice,

    Jane

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    • Posted

      A CT scan will certainly show if there's any sludge too. do your symptoms get worse if you eat fatty, spicy or high sugar foods?They suggest you keep to a low fat diet which I'm trying to do. My HIDA scan was 14% so I'm just waiting for my appointment date to have mine removed.

      Keep us informed on how you get on.

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    • Posted

      I normally eat low fat because fat affects my IBS. Back in August (when I first had the pain), it was after going out and eating deep fried picked and French fried. I guess all that high fat triggered it, so I went back to eating pretty low fat and the pain eventually went away. I have eaten high fat recently and I think that's what brought this on. Idk... I would just deal with it because it's not that bad, but pain plus clay colored stool has me concerned.

      Yeah your HIDA scan was pretty low. Do u have alot of pain every day? What other symptoms do u have?

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    • Posted

      Hi jane, I'm the same fairly low fat due to ibs. I'm not sure what triggered mine, I woke up in the night in alot of pain on the right, under my ribs, it was really bad but I took some pain relief and hoped it would go away. It wasn't so bad the day after but I started getting a nagging pain on the right which would go through to my back and upto my shoulder blades. I didn't go to my gp straight away and left it for a few days and she thought it was gallstones so put me in for a ultrasound. when that came back clear she referred me to a consulant so I could have a gastroscopy. I found that I couldn't eat anything rich as when I did I felt really sick and sick. I couldn't eat as much as I did originally as, as soon as I eat the pain starts. so I've had the gastroscopy, CT, MRCP which have all come back as normal its only the HIDA scan which I had just before Christmas which came back with anything wrong, so I've seen the surgeon and due to have my gallbladder out on the 1st March. I've never had different coloured stools so you may have gallstones but my urine does go very dark. I'm in varying degrees of pain all the time and I've lost alot of weight. Some days I can't make it into work. My surgeon thinks I may have a sphinctor of Oddi dysfunction too but we won't know how much is my gallbladder  until I have it taken out but having it out may also make the dysfunction worse, lets wait and see.

      I've read your post about the soup, has that reduced your symptoms, let us know how you get on.

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  • Posted

    When I had this and dark urine? For me it was a blockage in bile duct, I didn't know at the time and then had bad jaundice my eyes and skin went yello x

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    • Posted

      Ok, I thought I should update something I just learned...

      Eating Progresso Creamy Clam Chowder soup and Creamy Chicken Alfredo can give you white bms! And guess what I had for dinner Monday night... The Progressive Creamy Chicken Alfredo.

      I was thinking about what I are last before my pale bms, and I thought of the soup. So I googled it and there are SO many people complaining about this happening. I can't believe it. I am angry at Progresso for using white food coloring and freaking people out.

      Therefore, I am going to hold off going to the Dr a few days, because the pale bms are very likely from the soup. Because I do have a sluggish gb, however, I will definitely see the Dr if this continues after the soup leaves my system.

      I just thought someone else out there with pale bms might want to know this!

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  • Posted

    How funny that the soup will do that! I know before my gallbladder surgery, I was having upset stomach/sour stomach so I would take Pepto Bismol. Now that's fun because it turns your stool almost BLACK! I thought I was dying.

    Anyhow, I had no stones as well. HIDA scan came back at 98% so I was at the other end of the spectrum. My pain was only dull as well, and pretty constant every day. It would be gone in the AM and would slowly come on during the day, maybe getting as bad as a 3 some days but that was all. It was more annoying than anything.

    I did actually have lighter bowel movements, and I didn't eat any soup! It's a classic GB symptom, and yes, a liver symptom as well - moreso WHITE and chalky where GB is clay/orange/yellow/lighter brown. All my CBCs and liver panels were prestine as well. Morning sickness and loss of appetite were the kickers for me to decide to finally get it out.

    You don't have to have stones or sludge to have pain. Sometimes your gallbladder is trying to work the way it should and it just can't (low or high ejection fraction). The pain is coming from it trying so darn hard to do what it needs and not being able to.

    If you do end up going forward with getting it removed, be assured that the surgery is so incredibly straightforward and easy that there is nothing to be worried about. Good luck with everything!!

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