Normal color of the stool of feces is varying shades of brown. A chemical called bilirubin causes the brown color for the bowel. Any difference in the concentration of bilirubin can cause variation in the color of bowel movement ranging from light yellow to black. Sometimes your stool can become green or greenish yellow in color. If the stool becomes very thin and watery its color can turn light yellow to dark yellow. The food you eat can also cause change in color of the bowel. Bacteria and other enzymes of the abdomen can also change the color of bilirubin.
Some Of The Causes/Factors and Conditions Of Yellow Bowel Movement Are Discussed Below :
Any infection in the food particles can turn the stool thin and watery causing diarrhea changing the stool color to pale yellow. Here the food passes through the small intestine quickly leaving no time for the bacteria to act on the food particles. The food may not be fully absorbed and broken down in such cases causing diarrhea.
Reflux disease is a chronic problem that does not allow the food to remain the intestine for long. People with this condition can get yellow bowel movement.
- Cholestasis :
This condition can block the normal flow of bile into the intestine. Owing to reduced bile supply and bilirubin the stool can become light yellow. People living with cholestasis are prone to develop itchy skin (excess of bile salts in the skin) and dark smelling urine (bile salts in the urine). Cholestasis can occur due to problems in the liver like hepatitis, cirrhosis or liver cancer. Any problem in the gallbladder like gallstone, tumor and inflammation of gallbladder can reduce the normal secretion of bile which in turn can cause yellow bowel movement. Conditions like pancreatitis and cyst in the pancreas can also obstruct the bile flow causing yellow stool.
- Tumor :
Presence of abdominal tumor can affect the bile flow to the intestine causing yellow bowel movement.
- Reduced Fat Digestion :
If the fat particles in the food are not absorbed fully it can turn the stool into yellow.
Yellow Bowel Movement Symptoms :
- Some of the common symptoms that are related with yellow stool are abdominal cramps, foul smelling stools, a feeling of fullness, bloated sensation, diarrhea, indigestion, changes in the consistency of stool and nausea.
- Some other serious symptoms like fatigue, bone pain, itchy skin, loss of weight (without trying), weakness and yellow coloration of skin can also occur with yellow stool. In such condition, you need to check with your GP promptly.
Bile Related Diseases :
Yellow bowel movement can be caused by biliary cirrhosis, narrowing of bile duct, formation of cancer in the bile ducts and hepatitis infection.
Intestinal Problems :
Celiac disease, cystic fibrosis and parasitic infections in the intestine can cause yellow bowel movement.
What Happens If You Do Not Take Treatment For Yellow Stool?
If the underlying cause is serious it can cause potential complications. The red blood cell levels can become very low causing anemia. Consistent yellow stool movement can cause electrolytic imbalance if the cause is diarrhea. In case of infections it can spread to nearby organs. Poor absorption can cause loss of weight and growth problems in children.
- Treatment is entirely based on the causative factor. For chronic diarrhea you can try OTC products like loperamide hydrochloride or Bismuth subsalicylate. Try having a drink of apple cider vinegar.
- Changing the diet into soft blanch diet can help in managing diarrhea. You can have only vegetable soups for a couple of days to arrest diarrhea.
- Make sure that you are not dehydrating due to continuous diarrhea. Drink plenty of fluids to maintain the electrolyte balance.
- If nothing works out for you, it is wise to check with your doctor.