Yellow Stool in Adults

Causes of Floating Poop

Your stool is about 75 percent water. According to a presentation at the Tenth International Symposium on Recent Advances in Environmental Health Research, the staying active ingredients consist of:

  • bilirubin
  • fat
  • protein
  • undigested food
  • mineral salts
  • bacteria
  • mucus from the digestive system

Stool Facts

  1. It’s frequently normal for stool to change color.
  2. In some cases, yellow stool may be an outcome of liver conditions, diet modifications, or stress.
  3. If yellow stool persists for a number of days, or if it is accompanied by other symptoms, you must contact your doctor.

What gives stool its color?

Bilirubin and bile offer poop its normal brown color. Bilirubin is a byproduct of your red cell. It’s produced in the liver and then moves to the gallbladder, where it combines with bile. From there, most of the bilirubin passes into your intestinal tracts where it’s broken down by bacteria and disposed of in your feces or urine.

Why Is My Stool Yellow?

It’s regular for your stool to alter color. After all, you likely have a varied diet and modifications in your diet effect your stool. But yellow stool, sometimes called pale stool, can likewise suggest a number of health problems.

Liver and gallbladder disorders

Cirrhosis of the liver and liver disease reduce or remove bile salts that help the body absorb food and absorb nutrients. Gallstones or sludge in the gallbladder minimize the amount of bile that reaches your intestines. Not just may this cause pain, however it can likewise turn your stool yellow.

Disorders that affect the pancreas

Chronic pancreatitis, pancreatic cancer, an obstruction in the pancreatic duct, or cystic fibrosis can likewise turn your stool yellow. These conditions avoid your pancreas from providing enough of the enzymes your intestines have to digest food. Undigested fat can offer the stool a yellow, oily appearance, triggering it to drift or appear frothy.

Celiac disease

Gluten is a protein discovered in wheat, rye, and barley. If you have celiac disease and eat gluten, your body’s immune system responds by attacking and harming the tissues of your small intestine. When this happens, your intestines aren’t able to absorb the nutrients your body requirements. Celiac disease typically runs in households.

According to the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness, more than 300 symptoms are associated with celiac disease. This can make it tough to detect the disease. Among the most common symptoms are:

  • diarrhea and/or constipation
  • queasiness
  • bloating
  • tiredness
  • headache
  • skin rash
  • loss of bone density
  • depression

Although there is no cure for celiac disease, it can be alleviated efficiently by getting rid of gluten from your diet.

Gilbert’s syndrome

Gilbert’s syndrome is a hereditary liver disorder defined by durations when bilirubin levels are too high. The United States National Library of Medicine reports that Gilbert’s syndrome impacts 3 to 7 percent of Americans. Symptoms of the disorder, mostly moderate jaundice, are so mild that lots of people have no idea they have it. Gilbert’s syndrome is typically left without treatment.


Giardiasis is an infection of the digestive tract by a microscopic parasite called giardia. You get giardiasis by ingesting giardia cysts. These are normally ingested with your food or water. Symptoms of giardiasis consist of:

  • foul-smelling diarrhea that is typically yellow
  • stomach cramps
  • queasiness
  • headache
  • low-grade fever
  • weight-loss

Giardiasis is identified by testing a stool sample. Although some people do not require treatment, many are given antibiotics. Giardiasis often lasts numerous weeks. It might end up being chronic, though this is rare.

Giardiasis is a typical disorder worldwide. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, giardiasis is the most widespread digestive parasitic infection in the United States.


Part of your body’s reaction to stress and anxiety might be to accelerate the digestion procedure. This restricts the volume of nutrients your body can soak up, and might cause diarrhea and yellow stool.


Your stool can be yellow since of your diet. Some causes of this are eating foods high in food coloring, carrots, or sweet potatoes. It may also be from particular gluten items or a diet high in fats.

Yellow stool in older adults

If you are older and have yellow stool, it may suggest another health condition. These can include:

  • diarrhea
  • GERD
  • cholestasis
  • pancreatic, liver, or gallbladder disease
  • abdominal growth

Complications of yellow stool in adults

Some of the complications of without treatment yellow stool consist of low red blood counts, dehydration, poor nutrition, growth difficulty in children, and the potential of spreading out cancers or infections.

Some symptoms are cautioning signs of a digestive track problem:

  • diarrhea
  • queasiness and vomiting
  • indigestion and gas
  • significantly bad-smelling stool
  • swelling and bloating in the abdomen
  • cramping in the abdomen

Other complications that might accompany yellow stool are: jaundice, fever and fatigue, skin itching, and bone or joint pain.

When to see your doctor

If your stool turns yellow, it’s most often due to changes in your diet. If it persists for several days, or if it is accompanied by other symptoms, you may wish to contact your doctor.

You should see your doctor if your yellow stool is accompanied by any of the following:

  • passing out
  • lack of awareness
  • confusion or mental changes
  • fever
  • vomiting
  • abdominal pain
  • problem breathing
  • pus-filled stool
  • absence of urine

Last modified: August 9, 2016


The Author

Reyus Mammadli

As a healthy lifestyle advisor I try to guide individuals in becoming more aware of living well and healthy through a series of proactive and preventive measures, disease prevention steps, recovery after illness or medical procedures.

Education: Bachelor Degree of Medical Equipment and Electronics.

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