Steatorrhea essentially means you are excreting fatty stools. And excessive fat in your feces causes them to give off a foul odor. This health condition arises because a digestive problem is affecting your body’s ability to absorb fats appropriately.
Frequently, abnormal fat absorption is caused by insufficient bile or digestive enzymes being produced during the process of digestion. Therefore, steatorrhea could indicate a problem with your gallbladder, liver or pancreas. Yet, there’s other causes for fatty stools as well, for instance intestinal damage.
Some of the underlying causes of fatty stools include:
- liver damage
- Celiac disease
- biliary cancer
- cystic fibrosis
- biliary stricture
- villi impairment
- Crohn’s disease
- Whipple disease
- pancreatic cancer
- chronic pancreatitis
- short bowel syndrome
- radiation caused enteritis
- chronic excessive alcohol use
Most often steatorrhea is a symptom of malabsorption caused by pancreatic insufficiency. Also, the appearance of these stools can occur after consuming indigestible fats or be a drug side effect of taking Orlistat, which is a used to assist in weight loss.
Fatty stools treatment involves finding and treating the health condition causing this symptom. Pancreatic enzymes may be prescribed to supplement pancreatic insufficiency. Also, reducing your consumption of high in fats food and alcohol are dietary modifications that can sometimes help with steatorrhea type bowel movements.