Steatorrhea from malabsortion or IBS

Posted , 6 users are following.

Hello, I've been suffering for almost a year with stomach pain that has led to loose stools and diarrhea pretty frequently (several times a week).  I lost about 20 pounds over a couple months and I've had a colonoscopy, ultrasound, and bloodwork which all has been fine.  Within the past few months the painful diarrhea has calmed down and I've maintained weight but my stool just doesn't seem normal anymore.  

My stool is always loose/soft and floats.  It is semi-formed so not complete diarrhea but it is in several pieces and they never sink.  I would say its a type 6 because it's semi-formed and it seems like steatorrhea but the stool is not fatty or super pale looking (crayon size but little bigger).  Sometimes I will have a normal type stool that is not broken up but it usually floats as well and rarely does anything sink.

I've cut out milk from my diet and experimented with gluten free but didn't notice any changes. 

I'm wondering if this sounds like steatorrhea from a malabsortion issue and I should go back to the doctor for further testing or if this is typical of what people experience with IBS.  Sorry for all the details just not sure what to do at this point

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5 Replies

  • Posted


    I do not know what treatments you have had all I will say is your diet a problem, because of a lack of wholemeal bread and carbohydrates  like potatoes, rice etc.


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  • Posted

    Could be IBS, but keep going back to your doctor for diagnosis.
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  • Posted

    Hey TJ....Did they check your stool for parasites or any infection? As some parasites  can cause foul smelling, bulky and floating stool with diarrhea and abdominal pain and weight loss due to mal absoption....Once you exclude any infectious causes then it might be due to IBS...Well I hd that kind of stool which u describing when i had alternating diarrhea and constipation episodes of IBS...But It got better with time with right diet and exercise...I also exclude wheat but eat fibers and a lot of fruits...Check for any vitamin deficiencies...And mindful about what you eat...Just observe the feeling after eating your food...R u feeling dull or you feel energized? just lil bit of mindfulness will help you to create your own diet schedule...As everyone is different...So particular rules don't apply to everybody...It will take time but then you won't have problem in futurebiggrin

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  • Posted

    Hi there. I have the EXACT SAME SYMPTOMS as you. I saw a new gastroenterologist this week and she strongly suspects either enzyme deficiency (despite normal pancreas blood tests) OR Bile Acid Malabsorption (BAM).

    She has ordered two tests for both respectively:

    - a Fecal Fat Test

    - a SeHCAT scan.

    You do not have IBS. IBS doesn't cause malabsorption. Finally, a third of people diagnosed with "IBS" a misdiagnosed and suffer actually from BAM. According to my new GI doctor, this could very well be my case, and reading your post feels like reading about my own experience except for the weight loss, although my weight gain is water weight (probably from protein malabsorption).

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