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Yellow output

Fri Apr 30, 2021 8:36 am
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Hello everyone,

I realize that having a discussion about stool color is not very elevated but I'm posting here so that it might help others.

I have an ileostomy for about 5 weeks now. I've noticed that the output is often very yellow (think american mustard), suggesting a high concentration of bilirubin in my stools. Some darker food will make it more brown.

I don't eat curry that much. I really don't think that yellow pigments come from something I eat.

I don't seem to have jaundice, my eyes are not yellow so the bilirubin blood level seems to be ok (although I have never tested it). My concern is that I might have some sort of liver problem (bilirubin is produced in the liver). Recently been diagnosed and operated for a colorectal cancer, I fear that the cancer has spread to the liver and that yellow stools might be a symptom.

However, I know that bilirubin is usually transformed in the colon, which is now bypassed. So maybe what I see is "normal". I understand also that some people might have higher production of bilirubin without being a reason for concern.

Before bothering my doctor with it, anybody else seen something similar?

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Fri Apr 30, 2021 10:02 am

Qrious:  I can only provide a simplistic, non-medical reply.  I've had an ileostomy my entire adult life.  My stool color has always been effected by what I eat.  It runs the gamut from dark to light regularly, as there's not too much that I don't eat.  I have had mustard-colored output, tho' I can't think now what food preceded it.  With your complicated medical history, as you relate, my reply here probably isn't too helpful and certainly not to be considered determinative. 

Fri Apr 30, 2021 7:30 pm

Hi Qrious,

  Yellow stool isn't typically a symptom of high biliruben.  It's a sign of lack of bile salts......which is also related to the liver.  While on TPN after being short gutted my biliruben went thru the roof, along with my other liver numbers.  My output never got yellow.  The thing you said that made my eyes bulge was "before bothering your doctor....".  The only reason your doctor exists is to take care of you and the other patients.  You're not "bothering" your Doc.  If you let things get worse you're Doc's gonna be pissed because you didn't "bother" him sooner, and now his job is a lot more difficult.  Never forget that Doctors are there to see to your well being.  They have folks on call if they don't want to be bothered, but you are entitled to their attention 24/7 unless they tell you otherwise.  Go get that checked out ASAP.......you don't want to mess with your liver.  It's one of the few things you literally can't live without.  

regards,

bob

 

Sat May 01, 2021 12:38 pm

I agree with Bob, please call and make an appt with your doctor. Have him do labs to include a LFT as well. Not to scare you, but  Don't play around with this AND in the small chance this has spread to your liver, I would request a PET scan. May have to do a CT scan first per Insurance requirements. A resection for a small liver issue is way better than a BIG one. May be a simple solution, but either way, it would relieve your worries! 
Puppyluv

Sat May 01, 2021 1:11 pm

Thanks for your answers. Yes of course I'm seeing my oncologist monday Don't worry, I WILL bother him with that.

The previous CT scan were normal. I did a PET scan thursday. Will ask for a liver fonction blood test based, if it was not already included in last week's blood test. Plan B: ask my family doctor.

Bottom line, I understand that yellow output is not normal and I will see with the doctor if this is alarming.

Sat May 01, 2021 4:14 pm
Qrious wrote:

Thanks for your answers. Yes of course I'm seeing my oncologist monday Don't worry, I WILL bother him with that.

The previous CT scan were normal. I did a PET scan thursday. Will ask for a liver fonction blood test based, if it was not already included in last week's blood test. Plan B: ask my family doctor.

Bottom line, I understand that yellow output is not normal and I will see with the doctor if this is alarming.


Sounds as if you have a handle on it and have a head start on the test that will confirm or deny most serious issues! 
i am sure if you Oncologist did your labs, a LFT was Included.

It could be as simple as stomach virus or maybe an Infection. Your white blood count would be elevated if it is an Infection and that will be Included In your routine labs as well.  So I am guessing you will be getting the PET scan and lab results when you go to the Dr. on Monday! Should solve your mystery. Hoping for the best results! 
Pup

MBT
Sat May 01, 2021 8:19 pm

Yes to all the above about liver function tests, CTs, and PET scans!

Did you have any upper small bowel resected? If so, that can lead to a more yellow to orange-colored ileostomy output.

Sat May 01, 2021 8:26 pm
MBT wrote:

Did you have any upper small bowel resected? If so, that can lead to a more yellow to orange-colored ileostomy output.


No, my small bowel has not been resected.

Past Member
Sat May 01, 2021 9:35 pm

I've had an ileostomy for 12+ years and almost every morning my output is yellow/orange and odourless (and sometimes frothy), I have always assumed it was just bile. 

It's similar in consistency to what I used to cough and vomit up every morning prior to surgery (had Crohn's disease for several years) so I just figured at least now the bile is heading in the right direction.

I have normal blood tests every year and never had any problems with liver function (or anything else for that matter).  

By all means have full blood work done to put your mind at ease.  

Tue May 04, 2021 2:39 pm

Follow up:

My PET scan is good. Nothing special.

Blood test (including liver fonction): normal 

Doctor reaction : don't worry

Having yellow output is not necessarily alarming. 

Tue May 04, 2021 3:00 pm
Qrious wrote:

Follow up:

My PET scan is good. Nothing special.

Blood test (including liver fonction): normal 

Doctor reaction : don't worry

Having yellow output is not necessarily alarming. 


So glad to hear that all tests turned out well! The relief of knowing this is so worth it! 
Pup

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