Pale or Clay-Colored Stools: Causes & Diagnosis
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What causes pale stools? 26 possible conditions

Normal stools can vary in shades of brown, mostly due to diet. Pale or clay-colored stools are not normal. If your stools are pale or clay-colored, you may have a problem with the drainage of your biliary system, which is comprised of your gallbladder,... Read more

See a list of possible causes in order from the most common to the least.

1

Yellow Skin (Jaundice)

Jaundice is yellowing of the skin and eyes and can indicate a serious problem with liver, gallbladder, or pancreas function.

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2

Alcoholic Liver Disease

Damage to the liver from excessive drinking can lead to ALD. Years of alcohol abuse cause the liver to become inflamed and swollen. This damage can also cause scarring known as cirrhosis. Cirrhosis is the final stage o...

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3

Biliary (Bile Duct) Obstruction

A biliary obstruction blocks the bile ducts, which carry bile to the small intestine for digestion and waste removal.

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4

Gallstones

Gallstones are hard deposits in the gallbladder that can eventually block the exiting bile ducts. Abdominal pain, fever, itchy skin, and jaundice are symptoms.

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5

Hepatitis

Hepatitis refers to an inflammatory condition of the liver. It's commonly caused by a viral infection, but there are other possible causes of hepatitis.

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6

Acute Pancreatitis

Acute pancreatitis is an inflammation in the pancreas, which causes pain and swelling in the upper left side of the abdomen, nausea, and burping.

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7

Cirrhosis

Cirrhosis is the severe scarring and poor function of the liver caused by long-term exposure to toxins such as alcohol or viral infections.

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8

Pancreatic Cancer

Pancreatic cancer is one of the most deadly forms of cancer and is often difficult to detect. Learn more about symptoms and treatments.

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9

Cystic Fibrosis

Cystic fibrosis causes severe damage to the respiratory and digestive systems. Learn about its symptoms, causes, diagnosis, and treatment.

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10

Thalassemia

Thalassemia is an inherited blood disorder in which the body makes an abnormal form of hemoglobin.

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11

G6PD Deficiency

G6PD deficiency is a genetic condition caused by a lack of the G6PD enzyme in the blood. Learn about G6PD deficiency symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment.

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12

Chronic Pancreatitis

Chronic, or long-term, pancreatitis is an inflammation of your pancreas that impairs your body's ability to digest food and regulate blood sugar.

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13

Acute Cholecystitis - A Fancy Term for an Inflamed Gallbladder

Acute cholecystitis is also known as inflammation of the gallbladder. The gallbladder is an organ that sits below the liver and helps your body digest fats.

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14

Breast Milk Jaundice

Breast milk jaundice is associated with breast-feeding. Learn about its symptoms, causes, diagnosis, and treatment.

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15

Drug-Induced Immune Hemolytic Anemia

Drug-induced immune hemolytic anemia is a rare blood disorder. It occurs when medication you take leads your immune system to attack your red blood cells.

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16

ABO Incompatability Reaction

This condition is considered a medical emergency. Urgent care may be required.

An ABO incompatibility reaction can occur if you receive the wrong type of blood during a blood transfusion. It's rare but serious and potentially fatal.

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17

Infectious Mononucleosis

Infectious mononucleosis, or mono, refers to a group of symptoms usually caused by the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV).

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18

Liver Cancer

Learn about liver cancer symptoms, types, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention.

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19

Sickle Cell Anemia

Red blood cells are normally shaped like discs, which allows them to travel through blood vessels. Sickle cell disease causes sickle cells to be sickle-shaped.

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20

Yellow fever

Yellow fever is a serious, potentially deadly flu-like disease spread by mosquitoes. It's characterized by a high fever and jaundice. It isn't curable.

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This feature is for informational purposes only and should not be used to diagnose.
Please consult a healthcare professional if you have health concerns.
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