White Diarrhea: Symptoms, Causes, In Child, Adult, Treatment

What is white diarrhea? What are the symptoms and causes of white diarrhea in children and adults? Is it normal to have mucus in stool? This post will provide in details about this condition including treatment.

This condition can be a symptom of either buildup of bile or an autoimmune disorder. You should be concerned because it could mean something is seriously wrong. Seek immediate medical help to rule out the possibility of life threatening problem especially in toddlers or babies.

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Black Specks in stool

White Specks in Stool

White Diarrhea Symptoms

White Diarrhea Symptoms

What is white diarrhea?

The stool in many cases is usually brown in color. But that may vary at times depending on some presence of food pigments. If you have a diarrhea that is white in color, it is sign that there is buildup of bile. It could also mean, you have an autoimmune disorder. What the cause is, you should seek medical help.

What diarrhea can be described as the passing of white and pale stool. This can be an indication of an underlying health condition. You should be concerned if your child is experiencing this condition. We shall look at the symptoms and causes in the post. Before that lets look at the types of white diarrhea.

Types of white diarrhea

Your child or you as an adult may suffer from any of the type of white diarrhea. The types are categorized into two types:

Acute: this is considered a short term type where it may not be life threatening

Chronic: considered long term and can be linked with a certain medical conditions such as autoimmune disorder.

White Diarrhea symptoms

What are the signs of white diarrhea in both children and adult? You may experience the following symptoms:

  • White, loose and watery diarrhea
  • Abdominal pain or cramps
  • Bloating or flatulence
  • Indigestion
  • Fever
  • Weakness
  • Nausea
  • Dehydration

The above symptoms can be found in acute or chronic type of white diarrhea. Seek medical help to determine the underlying cause for effective treatment.

White diarrhea in baby, toddler

Generally, the stool of babies is usually different in appearance compared to the adults. The color of the stools entirely depends on the kind of food they ate last. This color can be temporal dependent on the food or permanent if there’s an infection in the intestines.

White Diarrhea in Toddlers

White Diarrhea in Toddlers

The infections will in heal on its own within a couple of days.  It could be an indication of a serious gastrointestinal or liver problem.

What causes white diarrhea in children

Here, we shall discuss the causes of white diarrhea in children. They include:

  • Blockage in the bile duct can be the reason your child is having white, loose and watery diarrhea.
  • Blockage in the liver could also be the reason why your child is having a white stool. Though the stool may not necessarily be loose.
  • If your toddler had a recent intestinal infection, this could also result in a white stool.
  • Gluten intolerance could also be the other reason for white stool in babies.

Seek medical help if your child shows the following symptoms:

  • Fever and weight loss
  • Dehydration, increased thirst
  • Decreased urination
  • Fatigue
  • Mental changes such as seizures, abdominal pain, cramp and vomiting

White diarrhea in adults

If you have a bowel movement or diarrhea, it is normally brown in color. This is because of indigestion of bile salts. If these salts which are stored in your gallbladder are reduced or totally absent it can result in change in the color of your stool or your diarrhea appear whitish.

What causes white diarrhea in adults

Just like in babies, white diarrhea could be acute or chronic. The following are the causes:

1. Obstruction of bile from the liver

If bile is not allowed to freely flow from liver, it could cause diarrhea. This could also mean a number of medical conditions in the liver such as hepatitis, cirrhosis, fatty liver, etc. you may experience symptoms such as vomiting, nausea, jaundice or pain.

2. Less bile

Bile determines the color of the stool. The process of excretion of bile from the liver into the bowel is called cholestasis. If the level of bile in the bowel system is less, this could cause a white diarrhea.

3. Obstruction in the bile duct

Your stool will fail to get its normal brown color if there’s an obstruction in the bile duct. Some of the symptoms you may experience include: cramping pains in the upper right abdomen, inflammation, etc.

4. Pancreatitis

The other cause of white stool could be pancreatitis.  An inflammation in the pancreas due to excessive alcohol consumption or viral infection can result into pancreatitis. The symptoms include nausea, low appetite and pain in the middle and upper abdomen.

5. Pancreatic cancer

Cancer of the pancreas could result into white diarrhea. The condition can results in problems of bile formation thereby passing loose, watery and white diarrhea.

6. Chemicals

Chemicals especially found in certain medicines and supplements can cause a change in color of stool. Antacids, excessive calcium and barium in the system can lead to white diarrhea.

You should seek medical assistance as soon as possible. These symptoms should prompt you to visit your doctor. They include: fever, weight loss, dehydration, feeling extremely thirsty, fatigue, decreased urination. Other symptoms include seizures, severe abdominal and vomiting.

Diarrhea with white mucus

A small amount of mucus in stool or diarrhea is usually nothing to worry about.  Small amount of mucus is found on the lining of the colon to keep it lubricated. But you should seek medical help if you notice an increased amount of mucus in your diarrhea. It may also be accompanied with blood spots or a change in their bowel habits.

Large amount of white mucus in your stool accompanied with diarrhea may be caused by certain intestinal infections. In addition, bloody mucus, accompanied with abdominal pain can be a symptom of a serious condition such as crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis and even colon cancer.

White stool after diarrhea

Is it normal to have white or pale stool after diarrhea? Pale or white stool are not normal. This is an indication of a problem with the drainage of bile. Your biliary system comprise of the gallbladder, liver and pancreas.

If the liver is not producing enough bile salts or there’s an obstruction of bile duct, your stool may become white or pale.

Treatment

Treating white diarrhea entirely depends on the underlying cause. Here’s how to treat:

  • Medications: Upon tests, your doctor may give antidiarrheal medications. This is stop diarrhea while another cause of medication is determined to completely heal this condition.
  • Fluids: plenty of fluids must be given to the patient at regular intervals. This is to restore the large number of fluids lost by the patient thus preventing further dehydration.
  • Food habits: you should follow a low –fat diet to treat the diarrhea. Take soft food slowly until the white diarrhea turns into stool. Try to drink lukewarm clear liquids.
  • Rest: generally, a diarrhea of any type is discomforting. Rest is important to allow the body to recover.
  • Yoghurt: drink natural yoghurt to help destroy harmful bacteria in the intestines.
  • To reduce your symptoms such as cramping, place a heating pad on your stomach

Sources and references:

https://www.livestrong.com/article/229267-what-are-the-causes-of-foul-smelling-diarrhea/

https://www.hxbenefit.com/white-diarrhea.html

https://healthool.com/white-diarrhea/

https://www.mayoclinic.org/stool-color/expert-answers/faq-20058080

https://www.mayoclinic.org/mucus-in-stool/expert-answers/faq-20058262