Pale floating stool

on 2/7/21 4:25 pm, edited 2/7/21 4:27 pm
RNY on 04/12/17

I can't believe I have to post about my stools again.

The last few weeks I have had pale (more pale every day) floating, bulky stool. I used to have constant loose stool up until November and then started having frequent constipation. Recently it's been normal consistency just pale and floating.

From what I had read it has to do with malabsorption of fat.

I also have had continuous left upper quadrant pain for a while. Under my left ribs.

I went to the ER to be checked for pancreatitis a few weeks ago. And my ct came back clear.

I am almost four years post RNY and struggle keeping weight on. I am 128 right now and my goal has been to get to 135 for months and I just keep pushing to even maintain where I am.

My GI doctor referred me to a special learning hospital where they can do more for me. They are doing a bacteria breath test (no clue when becaaaaause of covid), blood work and a stool sample. They think something is wrong with my pancreas and it isn't breaking down fat appropriately. My fear right now is pancreas cancer. And I'm terrified.

The breath test is for SIBO to check potentially for that.

Did anyone else this far out have these issues? My urine is normal colored. Pale yellow. I don't have jaundice. I am weak and fatigued all the time. I'm sedentary. I do have some hair loss. I just want to see if someone has anything similar so I can get the C word out of my head and try to live my life without crying. Especially since testing and everything is super delayed because of the pandemic.

Thank you.

on 2/8/21 6:41 am - Putnam, CT
Revision on 02/04/15

A few things come to mind. What does your food intake look like? Are you eating more fat by chance? That can cause floating/pale stools.

Vitamin B12 deficiency can cause pale stools. How are your labs? I wonder if you may be anemic since you are weak and fatigued.

Also how is your gallbladder (is you still have it). I know when my gallbladder was full of sludge and not working correctly my stools were pale. Once I got it out things went back to normal.

I understand your concern with cancer, but there definitely are other things that can cause your stools to be different.

Dr. Sanchez Lapband 9/12/2003
hw305/revision w280/cw197/gw150

Revision from Lap Band to Bypass on 2/4/2015 by Dr. Pohl


on 2/8/21 9:26 am
RNY on 04/12/17

I, unfortunately.. fortunately? Don't have a gallbladder anymore.

And that makes me feel more scared about this.

I cut fats out the last few days to see if it changed anything and it hasn't.

I'm barely eating because I'm scared of what my stools will look like. I can't even function. I just cry all day long.

I eat gluten free toast. I eat crackers. I drink premier protein.

on 2/8/21 9:34 am - Putnam, CT
Revision on 02/04/15

Then I would be hounding the doctor to get you in to the specialist. Covid is no excuse. I know people who have had surgeries since the middle of the Summer. Find another doctor if you have to. Best of luck to you.

Dr. Sanchez Lapband 9/12/2003
hw305/revision w280/cw197/gw150

Revision from Lap Band to Bypass on 2/4/2015 by Dr. Pohl


on 2/8/21 9:55 am
RNY on 04/12/17

I am seeing a specialist. My GI doctor referred me to an even more specialized gi doctor but it's still all a waiting game. I called today and left a message for the doctor to call me back. I'm supposed to do labs again but the soonest appt is Thursday. Supposed to do a stool test. Also a breath test for bacteria.

My ct came back clear.

I know you didn't mean to make it sound this way but your response made me feel like maybe it is the c word now and I'm freaking out hahaha

on 2/8/21 6:53 am

I completely agree with ladygodiva! I was going to mention your gallbladder as well, because some rny patients have gallbladder issues after surgery and the pale stools is a definite indicator. Also, as she said, what you eat. I know that I had very pale stools up until about my 5-6 yr post op. They are normal now but do tend to get pale if I eat too much fat or have early dumpling syndrome.

I totally understand being worried about cancer, but there are so many other things this could be, since you have had wls. I was once screened for EPI due to some abdominal pain I was experiencing and of course the pale and greasy stools I had. Maybe you should look into this (I will post a link below for an outline of what it is) _ppd_ggl_EPI_DA_2020_epi_symptoms_Exact_USCREO200282&&gclid= Cj0KCQiA34OBBhCcARIsAG32uvNuNt0tJPY8IKTJakEV69DJTH1JFKvov123 9cL9y321niY9RMbeW34aArQeEALw_wcB

I do hope you get some answers, I know things like this are worrisome.

on 2/8/21 9:30 am
RNY on 04/12/17

May I ask what your abdominal pain was like?

Mine is upper left quadrant under my left ribs.

What is screening for EPI like?

Is it a bad disease?

on 2/8/21 10:53 am

The pain was like gas pains, at times. It came and went, but there was a time that it was a constant pain that led me to see the dr. This is what led to the testing for EPI because the pains were like gas. The epi is tested via your feces. They will have you do two tests. One is an immediate sample for testing and the other is a follow-up after being on a specific diet for several days. My dr. didn't seem too concerned when he first thought that might be my issue, he said that most times they can give you the pills that have the enzymes in them that our pancreas is not making and that was it. Since mine was negative, I never asked any other questions. It was interesting because of the suggestions my dr. gave me to help alleviate the pain I was having was exactly what they tell us as wls patients. Eat small meals, limit fat, drink plenty of fluids as it helps digestion, keep a food diary for about a month and track pain daily to see if foods triggered it.

on 2/20/21 10:19 pm - Garland, TX

Sounds more like our DS stools (i.e. "floaters"). Does RNY even have a mal-absorptive component to it?

Lord, also reminds me of our "DS potstickers" (if you don't know already, don't ask )

Frank talk about the DS / "All I ever wanted to be was thin, like that Rolling Stones dude ... "

HW/461 LW/251 GW187 CW/298 (yep, a DS semi-failure - it happens :-( )

on 2/21/21 12:05 am
RNY on 04/12/17

Yes RNY causes malabsorption.

It's one reason people turn to sleeve a lot.

More chance of exocrine pancreatic insufficiency and sibo after gastric bypass specifically.

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