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Jennifer Jimenez

Undigested foods?

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I’m getting worried because my stools are yellowish and oily. I’ve gotten an abdominal ultrasound and checked my pancreas and liver levels and everything came out normal. I’ve been gluten free for two weeks, and I’ve gotten glutened twice. I’ve been taking colostrum and it has been helping with my stomach. Some days I get normal colored stools. I’m starting to worry that it may be a more serious problem like gallbladder, liver, or pancreas.

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I think I addressed this before but undigested food and oily stools are signs your not breaking down the foods, many times with celiac and our intestines damaged and digestion hampered we see the pale oily stools.  The oily foods point to a enzyme issue with lipase, pancreas, or that the PH of your stomach is not acidic enough to break it down. It could also be your passing too quickly as your body is trying to purge something from your stools before it has time to digest.
I think I posted a link to a enzyme thread earlier in your other post.

I would first start off with digestive enzymes as the simplest method, I found silverfern to be great, or if you want just the base ones Jarrow sells one that is with porcine derived pancreas enzymes. I started on them and they are basically the same stuff they give someone with pancreas issues via RX. I just found I needed something a bit more comprehensive.

Keep a food diary, and go to a whole food base diet. See if you notice certain foods causing changes in the stool. Ceratin foods can be used to thicken up stool like and firm it up like coconut flour used in shakes or in baked goods (I have a good flat bread base). The potassium in it helps dry out the stools while the fiber adds mass. Another fun trick to find the transit time of your meals is to eat beets one meal then wait and see how long it takes to have a red beet dyed stool so you can judge how fast your food is passing through the system and help you find correspondence in the food diary.

 

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I certainly would have your gallbladder checked out if you have not. Most people don't realize that gall stones are not the only problem you can have with your gall bladder. The gallbladder can also just quit producing bile (or sufficient quantities of it) which would, like stones blocking the duct, result in problems with digesting fats. But there wouldn't be the acute pain that you would experience with stones blocking the duct.

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6 hours ago, Jennifer Jimenez said:

I’m getting worried because my stools are yellowish and oily.

 

3 hours ago, trents said:

I certainly would have your gallbladder checked out if you have not.

 

4 hours ago, Ennis_TX said:

The oily foods point to a enzyme issue with lipase, pancreas, or that the PH of your stomach is not acidic enough to break it down.

JenniferJ,

Ennis_Tx and Trents have given you good advice.

The HIDA test usually test for gall bladder function.

Here is an article that explains your symptom's well from the MD health site.

http://www.md-health.com/Yellow-Stools.html

quoting

Causes of Yellow Stools

1. Bile-salts Related Causes

Your stool may become yellow due to the absence or reduction of bile salts."

and the oily stools explains your undigested food issues.

"Steatorrhea. This condition causes your stool to contain an abnormally high level of fat, causing yellow stools. Those that suffer from celiac disease, inflammation of the pancreas or pancreatitis can develop this condition. If you have steatorrhea food will move too quickly through the digestive system, so the body will not be able to absorb the nutrients from the food properly before it is expelled."

But I would also have your stomach acid pH checked as Ennis_tx said.

"Or that the PH of your stomach is not acidic enough to break it down."

Bile Salts work in tandem with the Stomach's strong pH and if they pH is not strong enough then you might experience steatorrhea (fatty stools) because your fats are not being emulisfied (think soapy bubbles) in the duodenum (first part of Small Intestine) that allows for absorption in/with the Small Intestine's Villi a little further down the GI tract (further south in this analogy).

quoting the body wisdom site on the digestion being a north south process.

https://bodywisdomnutrition.com/digestion-a-north-to-south-process/

"Then the pancreas secretes enzymes to further break things down, and the gall bladder secretes bile to emulsify the fats so they will be the proper size to be absorbed. At this point the food is almost totally digested and is ready to be absorbed."

If this emulsifying step of fats is not accomplished properly then oily (excess fats) and yellow stools (if bile salts are reduced) results in the failure of the GI system to naturally, healthfully digest fats.

The key thing to take out of this is the Digestive process is "System" and when one part o the system is not working the other parts will be stressed.

And having low Stomach Acid stresses the parts of the GI tract (system), pancreas, gall bladder etc. further south (down stream) of the stomach.

A strong pH in your stomach makes it a virtuous cycle or else your biofeedback system breaks down and foods go through undigested and fats unabsorbed. .. . as you have noticed in your stools.

You can test this by taking powdered stomach acid (BetaineHCL) capsules to see if it improves your digestion (steatorrhea (fatty) and (yellow stools)).

Some mucus in your stools is normal but when it is in excess (visabially) for weeks at a time it should alert you to the fact parts of your GI system is not performing optimally.

Here is a good over view of how some mucus (film on your stool) is normal and when to be worried from the 25 doctors website.

https://www.25doctors.com/learn/mucus-in-stool

Notice first three uses of mucus in your stool is positive and productive.

1) Lubrication 2) Protection 3) Defense

So don't be alarmed but you are right to be concerned.

See this link/ article that explains how to take BetaineHCL to see if taking replacement stomach acid can help your oily and yellow stools.

https://www.chatelaine.com/health/diet/bloated-low-stomach-acid-may-be-the-cause/

I would only suggest (differently of) starting with 3 or 4 capsules (instead of one) with at least a glass of water to activate the stomach you have just taken to improve digestion and NEVER take it on a empty stomach.  Then go up or down capsule as needed.

***** this is not medical advice but I hope it is helpful.

I had low stomach acid and taking BetaineHCL capsules helped improved my digestion.

If you are not now taking PPI's many people find this method helpful.

Here is a case study about it.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4991651/

See figure 1

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4991651/figure/f1-49-53/?report=objectonly

after 6 months of supplementation with BetaineHCL capsules the patient in the case study got better from her GI problems.

More stomach acid helped her not less as you often hear on commercials for PPIs (we need to reduce our stomach acid with PPIs).

If our stomach acid was (really/already) too strong to begin with then just the act of eating food would lower our stomach acid.

And why you should never take BetaineHCL on an empty stomach. . .. but should you ever get too much stomach acid just eat more food . ..it will dilute it naturally to a normal healthy level. . . . in most people.

Again I hope this is helpful but ******** its is not medical advice.

I summarized many of these ideas in my posterboy blog post on my story of having low stomach acid misdiagnosed

https://www.celiac.com/blogs/entry/2106-is-ncgs-andor-celiac-disease-really-low-stomach-acid-misdiagnosed/

but I still have too often explain each case individually because we are all a little different and each persons issues has a little different case/trigger often.

What helped me   . .. may not help you but I find it helps many of the people willing to try it.

And gall bladder issues is/are an associated complication of low stomach acid.

As is GERD (medical term for Heartburn) and bloating.. . which you might also be  having especially if you are eating a lot of CARBS in your diet/meals.

See above link from chatelaine website about how treating your really low stomach acid can help bloating and distension.

Provided here again for easy reference if you read over it before.

https://www.chatelaine.com/health/diet/bloated-low-stomach-acid-may-be-the-cause/

Again I hope this is helpful and good luck on your continued journey.

2 Timothy 2:7 Consider what I say; and the Lord give thee understanding in all things.

Posterboy by the Grace of God

 

 

 

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On 7/9/2018 at 2:17 PM, Ennis_TX said:

Sounds like it could be a digestive enzyme issue or a weak stomach acid issues. HCL pill like the ones by doctors best or bluebonnet will make your acid stronger to break down foods, while enzymes like those by silverfern could help, a less complete enzyme pill like Jarrows might work for you. Avoid enzymes with calcium, and antiacids. Keep a food diary for now, and go to a simpler diet. I found Cooking foods to mush made them easier to break down a bit. I go with soft omelettes (mix in almond milk to keep them moist and use a microwave cooker), nut meal porridge, and some meats like fish and crab I found easier to digest and cook them til they are super soft. If you want to try red meat again, try a leaner grass fed cut, cut it into small pieces and boil it for 2-3 hours (stew meat it) makes a wonderful broth also and a good soup/chili start while making it almost melt in your mouth. Personally I had to give up meats in all but the smallest amounts because I could not digest them well, and have to avoid eating pork period. But I have a messed up pancreas (gluten ataxia related with nerve damage affecting my spinal cord at the T7) effected my ability to digest meats, and I am prone to extreme blood sugar spikes if I touch carbs (carbs also flare another condition I have)
https://www.celiac.com/forums/topic/119919-digestive-enzymes/

 

They checked my gallbladder through ultrasound 

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17 hours ago, Jennifer Jimenez said:

They checked my gallbladder through ultrasound 

The ultrasound checks for stones.  A HIDA scan will check for functionality.   Mine GB was removed because it was not functioning and was infected.  Do not rule out GB issues until you have had a HIDA scan.  But if you are celiac, a gluten free diet may help your GB to function better.  Just my own personal theory.  

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On 7/11/2018 at 10:59 AM, Jennifer Jimenez said:

I’m getting worried because my stools are yellowish and oily. I’ve gotten an abdominal ultrasound and checked my pancreas and liver levels and everything came out normal. I’ve been gluten free for two weeks, and I’ve gotten glutened twice. I’ve been taking colostrum and it has been helping with my stomach. Some days I get normal colored stools. I’m starting to worry that it may be a more serious problem like gallbladder, liver, or pancreas.

Personally, I think you need to give yourself time to heal before you start panicking. My GI doctor told me that it can take a long time to feel normal. Like, it took me about 8 months. I still have weirdness sometimes and I'm 1.5 years into this. I didn't have my GB checked, as my doctor felt that my issues were from my Celiac, and it can take a really long time to heal. My numbers were normal at 1 year. 

You can probably search my history on here and find me posting repeatedly about my frustrations and fears about not feeling better quickly enough. It takes time. If you've been glutened twice in two weeks it doesn't surprise me at all that you're having this issue. I would be more concerned if you'd healed, felt good for a long time, and then started having this happen without being glutened. That would point more to another issue, or a GB issue. Two weeks is nothing in terms of healing time - ESPECIALLY if you've consumed gluten.

If your liver numbers are normal, I wouldn't worry about your liver. Often, GB issues can cause an increase in liver enzymes. My mom had a liver transplant when I was 9 (21 years ago) and was just in the hospital in April with liver numbers in the thousands because scar tissue in her bile ducts had caused stones to form. She doesn't have a gallbladder anymore, but the stones were technically gall stones. Once they got them out the numbers decreased substantially. She had progressively been seeing high liver numbers over the past year, and her doctor believes that this was a problem that just happened to come to a head in April. FYI, my mom has never had oily yellow stools when her liver was in turmoil. I know that can happen, but it never happened to her. My dad has had pancreatitis several times (alcoholic) and his symptom was severe pain. Severe. I have several friends and relatives who've had GB issues (seems like everyone I know has had that) and they've all said that it made them really nauseous after they'd eat. My aunt thought she had an ulcer because everything made her nauseous. When you can't digest fats you get nauseous. My mom can't eat peanut butter without feeling sick, because she doesn't have her GB.

I think your issue is that you have damaged small intestines and it's going to take time to heal them. You small intestines do most of your digesting. I can't tell you how many times I obsessed over what was in the toilet. Just give it time.

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Two weeks is early for healing. You could try eating twice as many half sized meals at least 2 hours apart.

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Hopefully, your whole body will work on healing.  My nutritionist has shared with me that yellow stool has to do with the body not breaking down fat well.  One can give their body a break by eating wild.  See Teri Cochrane (nutritionist) book "The Wildetarian Diet". Yet, As others have said though, with more healing time, perhaps this will improve on its own. 

There are also supplements that help break down fat such as digestive enzymes, choline and inositol, and phosphatidylserine which someone might like to try IF they have a longterm problem with this.  I have been in previous discussions on undigested food and supplements and have had it solved by now.  

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JenniferJ,

Just a word about digestive enzymes.

Here is an excellent thread about it started by Ennis_Tx

These should help with your fat absorption.

I am glad your gall bladder tested out well.

I was trying to be conservative and mention it in case you hadn't thought about it.

Pancreatin is a common digestive aide that helps with fat malabsorption.

Take Pancreatin with BetaineHCL usually works syngergestically (well together).

Most digestive enzymes only work around a pH of 4.0 or less unless they are specifically designed to work over a wide pH range.

Ennist_Tx covers this will in his thread.

You will have to test a little to see what works.

You can try the BetaineHCL first without digestive enzymes for a week . ... then add the Pancreatin and BetaineHCL for the next week to see if your excess mucus/fat in the stool goes away.

But them working together should get your desired results or at least I think it would be worth a try.

Since the BetaineHCL can lower the pH to a strength strong enough to activate most digestive enzymes like the Pancreatin (if you decide to try it).

Again I hope this is helpful but this in medical advice.

And I think Fbmb has given you good advice don't be too worried.

Most GB problems do have severe pain as one of their symptoms so it is probably not that.

When I read yellow (I heard Pale) as if almost ashen (white) and overreacted. .  which is the typical color for stools and GB problems.

Sorry I overreacted.

But try the Pancreatin and BetaineHCl together they should help your fat(s)/mucus in your stool issue.  If the pH is not strong enough to activate your own digestive enzymes naturally.

I have taken BetaineHCL but don't take it now.

Good luck on your continued journey.

Posterboy by the grace of God,

 

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