- Diseases, Disorders & Conditions
White specks in stool
There are many individuals who suffer from presence of white specks in stool. It is not an uncommon condition, and most patients observe white specks in stool during an early morning bowel movement. The stool color may change for a variety of reasons. White specks in stool can arise due to simple causes such as intake of medications or certain foods, or due to the underlying presence of serious diseases.
The stool may elicit a clay-like pale color due to reduction or lack of bile salts which in turn may be caused by pre-existing liver conditions such as hepatitis or cirrhosis. The stool may have a variety of colors, some of which may arise due to mild causes while others may be due to life-threatening disease requiring immediate medical attention. It is therefore essential for all patients to consult a doctor whenever they see white specks in stool.
The normal color of stool is typically brownish due to the digestive process of the bile salts. The bile salts are agents of digestion that are produced by the liver and stocked in gallbladder.It is possible for stool to become discolored or form white specks when bile is unable to reach and react with stool. This is an indication of some kind of anomaly in the digestive system, which is either preventing the liver from producing sufficient amounts of bile, or causing some sort of obstruction for the passage of bile into the small intestine. Both situations are abnormal and have to be immediately checked by a doctor.
In most cases, the color of stool generally changes due to eating habits, intake of medicines, and the quantity of bile produced by the liver. White specks in stool is rarely caused due to the presence of some severe intestinal disorder. It is however important to note that all cases of white specks in stool have to be considered as ‘not normal’ and have to be reported to a doctor for proper diagnosis and relevant treatment.
The reasons for white stools or stools with white specks are varied and range from mild to dangerous. Certain drugs used to treat indigestion, diarrhea, and heartburn can lead to elimination of stools with white specks. If they are not caused by use of these drugs, then it is possible that the patient is suffering from a serious condition.
Symptoms of white specks in stool
The symptoms that accompany white specks in stool tend to vary as per the cause.
Patients may not experience any additional symptoms, or they may suffer from digestive problems, heartburn, headaches, weakness, fatigue, and other symptoms associated with the underlying disease.
Causes of white specks in stool
White specks in stool can be caused due to a number of varied reasons. The actual cause can only be determined after a complete diagnosis of the patient. Stool and stool culture is examined in a laboratory for the cause of white specks in stool. The diagnostic procedures will also help verify the occurrence of larvae or eggs in the stool, which may have resulted in white-specked appearance of stool.
Some of the common causes of white specks in stool are listed below:
The process of fat digestion is greatly affected by the presence of liver and gall bladder conditions. Hence, it is possible for fatty globules to appear as white specks in stool.
An underlying case of parasitic infestation or infection in the intestines.
Any disease which causes bowel inflammation. Irritable Bowel Syndrome or IBS is a prime example. These diseases can also cause irritation and inflammation of the mucosal lining.
Intolerance to lactose which is a condition characterized by an inability to process or digest different dairy products like milk, cheese, butter, etc. is another common cause of elimination of white specks in stool. When individuals with lactose intolerance consume milk products it remains undigested and gets eliminated in stool. The undigested dairy particles appear as white specks in stool.
Imbalanced or deficient nutritional intake, constipation, diarrhea, loss of weight, poor digestion, and muscular weakness can also result in removal of stools with white specks. One of the most prevalent causes of white spots or specks occurring in stool is bad or irregular digestion.
Elimination of batches of fungi along with the stool can also look like white specks. It is a condition that is often observed in individuals with a poor or impaired immune system. For example, in AIDS patients, or in people who have undergone treatments like chemotherapy, radiation therapy, etc.
Any kind of obstruction in the bile duct, which may arise due to a gallstone or tumor, can also result in evacuation of white specks in stool.
Different kinds of matter which remain undigested in the body such as seeds, capsule covers, or other forms of eatables may also be eliminated as whitish stools from the body.
Treatment of white specks in stool
Treatment of white specks in stool can only be determined after a diagnosis of the causative factors. The doctor will opt for a treatment method and the kind of medications only after finding out the cause.
For example, the doctor may prescribe alternative medications if a specific one causes white specks in stool.