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Children's Health

White stool

11/20/2009

Question:

my grandson stayed overnight this morning when he woke up he had a large white formed stool. he is his normal active self, has not taken any medication. Should we be concerned?

Answer:

Thank you very much for the question. I am sure that you must be concerned. Stool color and consistency can vary based on the types of foods eaten by the individual. Also, various types of viral and bacterial infections can lead to changes in stool color. However, there are some stool colors that do raise concerns about an underlying condition. Often, black tar-like stools can indicate a bleed somewhere along the gastrointestinal tract. Stools that are white (acholic) can indicate some type of obstruction in the network of ducts that carry bile from the liver to the small intestines. The fact that he is his normal active self is a very good sign. But I recommend that you contact your grandson's physician at some point to discuss your concerns.

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Response by:

Stephen E Wilson, MD, MSc Stephen E Wilson, MD, MSc
Assistant Professor of Clinical Medicine
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati