What causes yellow stools / poo?


For you to be reading this it is very likely that either you, or someone you know is experiencing concerns over the fact their stools / poo have begun to appear yellow in colour. It is possible you found this article after reading my original article which was Have you examined your stools / poo lately? and one which has proven to be very popular ever since it was published. Because of the many questions my original article generates from the readers, I decided to expand on the information it contained in a series of articles covering the reasons for various stool / poo colours. Needless to say, many people are far too embarrassed to discuss their bowel movements with other people, (even if those people are in the medical profession), so much like we all do they turn to the Internet in the hope of finding answers. I hope that by researching and writing this series about the many colours stools or poo can turn, it will help people to either stop worrying, or seek further medical attention.

As is clear from the title of this article, you will be reading this to find out what causes yellow stools / poo. If you are interested in reading about any other colours of stools / poo and what they might indicate, then a series of links to the other articles can be found at the bottom of this page.

The Causes of Yellow Stools / Yellow Poo

As with most unusual coloured stools or poo there can be a number of reasons for you to have yellow stools / poo. You might also want to look at my article on Pale Coloured Stools / Poo (you can find the link at the end of this article), because the two can be very similar and you might not be 100% certain if your stools qualify as being pale, clay or beige as opposed to being yellow. This list however is focused on the reasons for yellow bowel motions.

  • Steatorrhea is a condition which may cause yellow stools due to excessively high levels of fats. Many health disorders can cause Steatorrhea, e.g.celiac disease and pancreatitis. It may also be caused by caused by foods traveling too fast through the digestive system and leaving nutrients and fats undigested, (malabsorption)
  • Gallbladder problems such as cholecystitis, gallstones,
  • Giardia, a parasite ingested through polluted water or waste products such as nappies/diapers can result in yellow diarrhea and flu like symptoms
  • Liver diseases such as cirrhosis or hepatitis can cause a reduction of bile salts resulting in yellow stools
  • Pancreatitis (an inflamed pancreas) or Pancreatic Cancer
  • GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease) is another cause of yellow stools. The symptoms of GERD include sore throat, heartburn, chest pains and chronic coughing. Avoid alcohol, chocolate, peppermint, coffee and fatty foods
  • Gilbert's Syndrome is a condition is characterised by jaundice and hyperbilirubinemia when too much bilirubin is present in the circulating blood. The good news is this condition is completely benign.

Disclaimer: Please remember this article is intended only as a guideline. If you are concerned about the fact your stools / poo appear to have become yellow in colour, then I would strongly advise you make an appointment with your Doctor in order to give you a professional medical diagnosis, as opposed to relying on Internet based information.

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Comments 11 comments

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soniacharan 5 years ago from Mumbai,INDIA

useful and full of knowledge...


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mistyhorizon2003 5 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands) Author

Thanks soniacharan, glad you liked it :)

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Hubertsvoice 5 years ago

My father had ulcerated pancrease with the same collor of poo. Thank you for stirring up more poop.

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mistyhorizon2003 5 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands) Author

You are welcome Hubert, and thanks for commenting :)

geniva 5 years ago

my poop was white for 2 days and then changed to light brown, should I be concerned?

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mistyhorizon2003 5 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands) Author

I would suggest you read my article on pale coloured stools / poo as this explains the reasons for this in more detail for you.


eli 4 years ago

hello! this is very useful. thank you!

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mistyhorizon2003 4 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands) Author

Glad to be of help eli :)

Neo 4 years ago

I am healthy person, athlete, fit and in shape. I stop eating anything that is meats and fish and my shit turns yellow for some odd reason. I eating anything with low fat. I don't think i have anything to worry about but must surprise to know the colour changed when i change my diet.

swai james 4 years ago

nice article because it has helped me a lot

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mistyhorizon2003 4 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands) Author

Glad to hear it, and thanks swai james :)

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