The color of stool is usually brown due to the digestion that is facilitated by bile salt made by the liver. The bile salts are normally stored in the gall bladder and whenever they are insufficient amounts of the juice reaching the stomach, then the color changes to white. In most cases, the insufficiency is brought about blockage of the bile from reaching the intestines or o the other hand, the liver may be secreting less of the juice.
The color, consistency and even the frequency of your bowel movements communicates a lot about the general health of your body. The appearance of white specks in stool is a clear manifestation of something about your health. It is a rare condition but it mostly occurs in the morning. It is not usually a normal occurrence and when it occurs, you should not take it for granted.
It is likely that you will assume this occurrence, simply because of the difference in environments and the different types of foods that we eat. You should take it as your responsibility to visit the doctor as soon as possible because it might mean something which is a health complication.
The occurrences of the specks can be due to mild or severe underlying causes. The condition can easily be ignored but if occurs on a frequent basis or chronic case, then you should visit the doctor who should carry out a proper diagnosis and then prescribe the proper medication to handle the condition.
The early diagnosis of the condition is the first and best way to get to the curing of the underlying condition. It is greatly essential to get professional consultation on the matter because it could be a very dangerous condition which should not be taken lightly.
Diagnostic procedures helps to examine everything in the stool, ranging from the presence of eggs or larvae of some parasites in the stool. There are batches of fungi which are likely to be eliminated alongside stool and a diagnostic procedure is able to distinguish all these.
There are some symptoms of white specks in stool that you could scout out for. They include:
- digestive problems
And other symptoms associated with the underlying disease condition of the body.
What causes white spots in stool?
The causes of white specks in stool could range from various medications that you take from time to time, the types of food that you eat, the type of lifestyle that you undergo as well as changes in the body physiology which varies as time goes by.
The things you eat daily really determine the color of the stool to some extent. The reasons why the specks occur in stool or stool appears white at times may be equally serious. Some medications used in conditions like;
may result in white specks in stool. The lack of bile as mentioned above is however the major reason for the occurrence of this particular condition.
The failure of body’s immune system to work well could lead to infestation of the body by microorganisms like fungi that could in the long run lead to specks during the elimination of stool. Excess of calcium is also a likely cause of this condition. The various causes outlined below give an eye opener of what should keep an eye on, in case you spot white specks during defecation.
1. Candida yeast
Candida albicans forms part and parcel of the normal body’s gut flora. It plays a valuable role in keeping check and watch over the various body pathogenic bacterial populations of the body, mainly by eliminating them.
Any moment there is a disruption of the population of the beneficial bacteria, there an opportunity for candida fungus to turn its mycelial form and cause the leaky gut syndrome and several other symptoms. The development of this condition leads to candida showing up stool (yeast in stool). This provides an opportunity for early diagnosis and treatment.
Therefore, the existence of white specks in stool could be the 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. There are various symptoms that could point out then in the long run open your eyes that the condition is as a result of over-manifestation of candida yeast in the body:
- There is constipation
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Bad breath
The presence of large quantities of candida fungus in stool is evidenced by the presence of mucus substance with a milky or cream like color and consistency within such candida stool. In addition, the fecal matter laced with candida yeast may appear like the strings of parmesan cheese with a cheese-like discharge being among the major symptoms of vaginal infection as well.
There is also a likelihood of appearance of a gel-like form along with glistering, clear and then slimy consistency. Therefore, there is a possibility that you could look at the stool and be able to point out the condition.
According to NH Choices, constipation is a common condition that affects people of all ages. It can mean that you are not passing stools regularly or you’re unable to completely empty your bowel. Constipation can also cause your stools to be hard and lumpy, as well as unusually large or small.
The severity of constipation varies from person to person. Many people only experience constipation for a short time, but for others, constipation can be a long-term (chronic) condition that causes significant pain and discomfort and affects quality of life.
It is often very difficult to identify the exact cause of constipation. However, there are a number of things that contribute to the condition and they include:
- Side effects of certain medications
- Not eating enough fiber, such as fruit, vegetables and cereals
- Not drinking enough fluids
- Ignoring the urge to pass stools
- Anxiety or depression
- A change in your routine or lifestyle, such as a change in your eating habits
When the body does not function well to digest food, then there is a possibility of poor absorption of food. Thereafter, there a likelihood of constipation which is a times brought about by nutritional imbalance. Anything that interferes with digestion and therefore leads to problem which is constipation which in the long run comes out as white specks in stool.
Conditions such as IBS, Cohn’s disease, colitis and others need to be considered. The mucous lining of the intestines are irritated in these conditions. So digestion becomes poor, thereby leading to the following;
- nutritional deficiencies
- disturbed bowel movements
- muscle weakness
- weight loss
If you have Irritable Bowel Syndrome that affects the colon you are likely have mucus and white balls in stool accompanied by other symptoms such as;
- abdominal cramps.
Mucus is an inflammatory exudate. It is secreted by the inner lining of your intestines as response to an infection or an allergy or even an inflammation. Too much production of mucus makes the stool to change color and look whitish. This is a clear indicator that your intestines are irritated and inflamed.
4. Parasites and little white specks in stool
Parasite such as giardia or worms such as tapeworm may result in stools having white lumps. These lumps could be the infective bugs covered with inflammatory exudate. The patient usually has digestive problems, nutritional deficiency and pain in the abdomen.
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.
5. White specks in poop after antibiotics
Sometimes capsules of certain antibiotics, like erythromycin, may appear in the stool as a whitish lump. Mucoid stools are other possible causes of white specs in stool. An allergy, inflammation or infection may cause the inner lining of the intestines to produce excess mucus. The excess mucus produced with stool causes the white specks.
The following mechanism explains the mystery behind how antibiotics lead to white specks observed in stool: If your case is brought about by the use of certain antibiotics, then it is a clear communication to you that you have become more predisposed to yeast overgrowth in your digestive system.
The stronger the antibiotic, and the more frequently you take an antibiotic, will all increase the chance that you have a yeast problem in your gut. So, if you are seeing strange whitish material in your poop and you recently were taking antibiotics, your stool could be clearly indicating that there is a lot of yeast inside your body.
There was some study that was done to demonstrate the ability of antibiotics to make you more susceptible to yeast overgrowth. The study was published in Infection and Immunity [13.6 (1976): 1761-1770]. The research in this study involved giving rats’ some antibiotics and corticosteroids and then inoculating them with Candida albicans.
The stools of the rats were then examined for the presence of Candida yeast. The study found that rats who had been given cortisone or antibiotics were both colonized by Candida equally as well. Rats who received both antibiotics and cortisone were colonized even more than those who only received one of these drugs. So there is a clear link between Candida persistence and growth in the digestive system and using antibiotics or corticosteroids.
6. White spots in stool after gallbladder removal
Gallbladder removal surgery, also known as a cholecystectomy, is a very common procedure. The gallbladder is a small, pouch-like organ in the upper right part of your tummy. It stores bile, a fluid produced by the liver that helps break down fatty foods.
Surgery to remove the gallbladder is usually carried out if you have painful gallstones. These are small stones that can form in the gallbladder as a result of an imbalance in the substances that make up bile. Gallstones often cause no symptoms and you may not realize you have them, but occasionally they can block the flow of bile and irritate the gallbladder (acute cholecystitis) or pancreas (acute pancreatitis).
The gall bladder is charged with the responsibility of storing and releasing bile juice which is secreted by the liver. The inability of this organ to release this stool coloring pigment only means pale stool and in most cases white stool.
The absence of the gall bladder all indicates that the bile juice secreted by the liver has no place to be kept temporarily before it is released to the intestines to complete the digestion. There will be presence of very high amounts of fats and cholesterol. The stool is void of the pigments that are found in bile responsible for the color.
7. Celiac disease
This is a common genetic disorder that affects the small intestine and the body’s ability to digest and absorb nutrients. Celiac disease can be serious, and if left untreated, can result in such conditions as;
- vitamin and mineral deficiencies
- small intestine cancer
Celiac disease is far more common than once believed and affects more than two million people in the U.S. According to the National Institutes of Health. Celiac disease is also known as celiac sprue or gluten-sensitive enteropathy.
In celiac disease, the lining of the small intestine is damaged by the body’s own immune system after a person eats a food containing gluten. Gluten is a protein found in certain grains, such as;
When partially digested foods containing gluten reach the small intestine, an abnormal reaction occurs in the intestinal lining. The lining is made of many villi, small finger-like bumps, which flatten out when exposed to gluten. This decreases the amount of surface area of the small intestine that is available to digest and absorb nutrients.
The common symptoms of celiac disease vary between individuals and amount of gluten that is consumed. Some people may have no symptoms at all compared to others. Symptoms can affect the digestive tract as well as other parts of the body. They can include:
- excessive gas
- abdominal bloating
- bone pain
- weight loss
And result in serious complications.
As a result of the disease, you are likely to spot some white specks or balls of some kind in your stool. This is usually as a result of a lot of damage caused to the gastrointestinal lining. The digestive system is unable to perform its normal functions efficiently, yet at times the digestion is incomplete.
Celiac disease can affect anyone, but it commonly runs in families and in populations with other genetic disorders, such as Turner syndrome and Down syndrome. People with certain other conditions, such as;
- type 1 diabetes
- autoimmune thyroid disease
- autoimmune liver disease
- rheumatoid arthritis
Microscopic colitis are also at risk for developing celiac disease. It is most often seen in people of northern European descent.
The most common type of cancer that affects the integrity of the digestive tract is the colon cancer. Bowel cancer presents in various symptoms such as;
- feeling of discomfort
- grumbling guts
- bleeding from the anus
- mucus with stools
- loss of weight
The whole system can be affected by the cancer in a chronic case. As a result, there is lack of proper digestion and as a consequence, there is passage out of food that has not been properly digested. The mucus that is also passed out during this condition cases is largely responsible for the color change encountered.
In other cases, there are incidences when the function of the gall bladder is hampered by a tumor. This leads to hampered release of bile juice into the intestines to facilitate the coloration of stool that is a normal occurrence.
On the other hand, a tumor in the liver indicated that the organ will not be able to secrete normal amounts of bile juice. This follows the destruction of hepatocytes by cancerous cells. The functions of the liver are therefore hampered.
Treatment for white seed-like dots in poop
The successful treatment of specks in stool follows a clear diagnostic procedure that is able to pin down the specific cause. This is done by the use of various stool tests that are available in a standard laboratory in the hospital.
In most cases, the specks in stool are treated using medications that do away with the condition, lifestyle changes, intake of a healthy and balanced diet as well as regular and consistent exercising from time to time.
On the extreme cases where the hepatocytes are chronically damaged, the doctor may prescribe carrying out of a liver transplant. This is a very expensive procedure that requires a lot of resources. However, if it is done successfully, then the liver is easily restored to its normal function and the secretion of the bile acid goes on as usual.
The cases that are brought about the body reaction to certain medications can be easily dealt with as the doctor may propose the stoppage of the medication use. This helps to reduce the severity and the damaging effects of the medication.
The remedies for the various causes of white specks in stool can be both natural and those prescribed by the medical practitioner.
In order to treat candida albicans infection in your gut, you can take antifungal herbal teas and mix in a few drops of edible essential oils along with this treatment plan. Making sure you reintroduce helpful probiotic bacteria to the gut after you eliminate the yeast is essential.
Apart from that, lactic acid bacteria, like Lactobacillus acidophilus, is a great choice to use in your probiotic treatment. If you do not bring back the helpful bacteria, you will have a very hard time keeping Candida at bay. The same is true for vaginal infections, you need to put probiotic pills in the vagina after you get rid of the yeast to keep it safe from future yeast infections.
Alternatively, the use of some form of antifungal treatment orally, you will start to eliminate the yeast. Adding in a Candida diet (low in sugar and carbohydrates) is also going to be important. The yeast will be killed by the antifungals and starved by the low sugar diet. Within a short time you should see a radically reduced amount of Candida in the gut. A healthy individual has around 50% of their stools dry weight comprised of bacteria (Stephen, Cummings; 1980).
References and Sources