Health Care

9 Common Causes Of Greasy Fatty Stool


Find your stool oily and greasy? This could be due to the prevalence of fat. We mean there is some problem with fat assimilation in the gut. This cannot be ignored as it is a symptom of some underlying problem, be it benign or serious. It is always better to speak to a doctor and get the condition investigated so that you can take appropriate treatment to live a healthy, long life.

Causes Of Greasy Fatty Stool:

1. Gallbladder Problems:

Disease conditions affecting the gallbladder, such as gallstones, cholangitis, cholecystitis, gallbladder cancer, etc, might hamper the release of bile juice into the intestine and eventually hinder the absorption of fat. When there is malabsorption of fat, vitamins and nutrients from the intestinal passage, it results in yellow, greasy stool.

Gallbladder Problems

2. GI Disorders:

Any problem affecting the intestinal lining affects the assimilation of nutrients including fats. Conditions such as Celiac disease, Crohn’s disease, Whipple’s disease, etc affect the small intestine and damage the villi, which are responsible for effective absorption of nutrients. When fat is not absorbed effectively in the intestine, it is excreted along with stool making the stool fatty and greasy.

GI Disorders

3. Gut Transit Time:

The time taken for transporting the food through the intestine is important for proper digestion and assimilation. But changes in the transit time, increase or decrease in the transit time, might result in malabsorption. Excessive excretion of fat causes greasy stool.

Gut Transit Time

4. Fatty Food:

When one consumes too much fatty food such as potatoes, cheese, fried food, spicy and oily food, they introduce high amounts of fat into the body. When there is excess fat, especially bad cholesterol, it is passed out making the stool fatty, sticky and greasy.

Fatty Food

5. Medication:

Intake of certain drugs such as laxatives and weight loss medications can interfere with bowel motility, block enzymes that break down fat and affect the normal assimilation when taken for a long time. This causes the dietary fat to be passed out resulting in fatty stool.


6. Pancreatic Problems:

Pancreas secrete necessary digestive enzymes, lipases that breakdown fat. When conditions such as pancreatitis, pancreatic exocrine insufficiency, pancreatic cancer, cystic fibrosis or pancreas surgery hamper the production and release of the enzyme, it results in fat excretion along with stool and results in fatty, greasy stool.

Pancreatic Problems

7. Allergy Or Food Intolerance:

Allergy or food intolerance could be the reasons for greasy, pale and oily stools. Food intolerances such as fructose intolerance and lactose intolerance can affect the way the food is absorbed by the digestive system. This results in oily and bulky stools or can also cause watery stool. In this condition, the person may suffer from abdominal discomfort, excess gas and bloating.

Allergy Or Food Intolerance

8. Mineral And Vitamin Deficiency:

Usually iron deficiency or vitamin B12 deficiency can be caused due to other underlying diseases such as Crohn’s or Celiac disease. Some people with this kind of deficiency can suffer from oily or greasy stools. Also, anemia caused due to lack of B12 vitamin can result in greasy stool. It is necessary to consult your doctor, who will establish if malabsorption is the result of iron or vitamin B12 deficiency through a blood test.

Mineral And Vitamin Deficiency

9. Liver Disease:

If your liver or the bile duct is damaged or blocked then you might experience greasy stool that is frothy and pale as well. Bile produced by the liver helps in absorbing fat from the food we eat, so liver is also closely associated with our digestive system and any issue with the production of bile will lead to fatty and bulky stools.

Liver Disease


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