Friday, February 06, 2009 gottago, Community Member, asks

Q: what is meant by "clay colored" or "pale" stools?

I have light brown, or light yellowish brown, very loose stools, and have had for a long time.


I read that I should be concerned about "clay colored" or "pale" stools.  Consider me ignorant, but what color is clay?  Gray?  Very Light brown?  Reddish brown?


Same for "pale" - do they mean pale brown or pale like white or gray?


All the sites seem to copy each other and all use this phrasing as if it is univerally understood. 

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Answers (1)
Elizabeth Roberts, Health Guide
2/ 6/09 4:52pm

Hello gottago,


For the sake of answering your question about your symptom - yellowish brown stool - let's ignore what you're reading on other sites.


A yellowish color in stool could indicate that you are passing along bile in your stool - from what I know this is usually not a big problem. However, if this, or the very loose stools, are new symptoms for you then you should consult with your doctor who will most likely have you do a stool sample test to be sure all is a-okay.


It's always a good idea to talk to your doctor when you have any significant changes in your BMs, especially if you have IBD - Inflammatory Bowel Disease.


Good luck to you,


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By gottago, Community Member— Last Modified: 03/07/12, First Published: 02/06/09