White specks in stool may occur due to mild causes or severe underlying condition. White discoloration of stool which occurs just one time can be ignored. However, if it occurs on a frequent basis or is chronic, then patients need to visit a doctor for proper diagnosis and relevant treatment.
Causes of white specks in stool
White specks in stool usually occur due to the below listed causes:
• Intake of certain medicines can cause white specks in stool. For example, capsules of some kinds of antibiotics such as erythromycin can result in whitish lumps in stool. Also, antacids containing aluminum hydroxide may cause the stool to get eliminated with pale white specks.
• Deficient levels of bile can cause white specks in stool. The occurrence of bile juice in stool is what gives it the normal brownish color. Bile is manufactured by the liver and later released into the gallbladder for storage. It is then passed into the intestines to help the absorption of fat as well as varied digestive processes.
Any kind of anomaly that hampers the functions of the gallbladder, such as growth of tumors, cholecystitis, as well as obstructions in the bile duct caused by gallstones, etc., can hamper the normal passage of bile into the digestive system, thereby causing the released of whitish stool during bowel movements.
Also, any kind of abnormality with the liver, including liver conditions like cirrhosis, hepatitis, etc., may hamper the process of bile production by the liver, eventually resulting in white specks in stool.
It may be noted that deficient fat absorption due to bile deficiency can also cause the elimination of fatty globules along with stool. The fatty globules appear as white specks in feces.
• Mucoid stools may also elicit white specks on them. Mucus which gets eliminated along with stool is released by the inner wall of the intestines as a response to any kind of underlying inflammation, allergic reaction, or infection. Excess amounts of mucus in stool can make it appear whitish. It can thus be considered as a symptom of inflammation or irritation of the bowels.
Inflammation of the intestines and subsequent irritation of the intestinal mucus lining can occur due to varied underlying diseases such as irritable bowel disease/IBS, colitis, and Crohn’s disease, etc. Eventually, patients may suffer from poor digestion, which may then result in bowel movement disturbances, nutritional deficits, loss of weight, weakness of the muscles, and headaches.
• White specks or clumps in stool may also be a manifestation of clumps of fungi. It is most commonly found to occur in people with weakened or compromised immune system as in those affected by HIV/AIDS, and/or those who have undergone treatments like chemotherapy or radiation therapy, etc.
The white specks in stool are usually an indication of the presence of dead candida cells in them. The condition may be accompanied by digestive issues as well as inflammation of the bowels.
• Infections by parasites like tapeworm and other kinds of worms as well as giardia may also result in elimination of stools with white specks on them. The whitish lumps may be the parasites itself enclosed in a layer of inflammatory mucous. Additional symptoms experienced by patients include abdominal pain, nutritional deficits, and varied digestive issues.
• An underlying case of steatorrhea may also cause oily and pale stools with white specks. Steatorrhea is a condition marked by poor or absent digestion of fat; it is eliminated from the body, as is, along with the stool. Such stool may also emit a putrid odor.
Anything that hampers the process of fat digestion by the body can result in steatorrhea. Individuals with gluten sensitivity or intolerance may suffer from allergic reactions after mistakenly consuming foods with gluten content. Such reactions are marked by inflammation of the mucus lining of the intestines. This can then interfere with the process of fat absorption as well as other nutrients by the intestines, eventually resulting in their removal as white specks in stool.
Varied conditions, including hepatitis, pancreatitis, and/or cholecystitis may also trigger a case of steatorrhea along with malabsorption of fats.
• Occurrence of white colored particles or specks in stool may also be a sign of leftover undigested food particles. These may be anything, including the capsule casing of certain medicines, seeds, etc.
• People with lactose intolerance may experience the elimination of stool with white specks after consuming milk, dairy products, or food with lactose content.
Lactose intolerance is a condition marked by nil ability to digest lactose-containing foods like cheese, butter, milk, and other milk products. Eventually, these foods get removed from the body, as is, with stool and appear as whitish lumps.
Treatment of white specks in stool is dependent on diagnosing the underlying cause, via a stool test and other methods, and the severity of the associated symptoms.
In most cases, white specks in stool is treated via medications, lifestyle changes, intake of a healthy and balanced diet, and regular exercising.
A liver transplant may be needed if there is severe liver damage.