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Steatorrhoea: increase fat content in stool.


Overview:
Steatorrhoea is a condition in which fat content of the stool is abnormally increased (normally it is less than 5 gram/day).
It can be a sign of malabsorption. It’s due to your body either isn’t absorbing nutrients properly or isn’t making the enzymes which digest fats or bile needed to digest food effectively.


 Symptoms:
If you have steatorrhea, your stools will be fluid or semi-fluid bulky, pale, foul-smelling and usually offensive stools. They tend to float because of higher gas content. The stools also may be covered in a greasy film. You may be observe drops of oil may be seen in the water inside the toilet bowl.
Stool volume may reach 500-1000 ml/day (normally100-200ml/day).
Others symptoms include:
·     weight loss.
·     abdominal cramps.
·     Gas.
·     Indigestion.
·     Diarrhea.

Causes:
1-Deficiency of the enzyme Pancreatic Lipase:
In this case steatorrhoea is due to defective digestion of lipids and is characterized by:
 a) Presence of undigested fat in stool.
 b) There is no loss of fat soluble vitamins in the stool as these vitamins need no digestion.
Causes of deficiency of pancreatic secretion:
a- Obstruction in Pancreatic duct.        
b- Acute or chronic pancreatitis.
2-Deficiency of Bile Salts:
It is due to defective absorption of lipids and is characterized by:
a- Presence of digested fat in the stool.
b- Loss of fat soluble vitamins.
Causes of deficiency of bile salts:
a- Liver disease: liver is the organ which secretes bile.
b- Bile duct obstruction: by a tumor or stone.
3-Unhealthy Intestinal Mucosa:
As occurs in coeliac disease in children and Sprue in adults. Diseased intestinal mucosa prevent absorption of digested fat, the digested fat appears in stool.

Diagnosis:
If you observe the symptoms mentioned above, you should consult your doctor.
You should review your medical history and symptoms, your doctor will likely order two common tests for steatorrhea. qualitative test for quantity of fecal fat, and the other is a quantitative test of fecal fat.
Qualitative test: Qualitative test done under microscope measures the number of fat globules in the stool sample. Normal levels must be fewer than 50 neutral fat globules and fewer than 100 fatty acid fat globules.
Quantitative test: You must collect stool samples over a period of two to four days. Then all the samples are examined to determine the total amount of fat in each day’s stool.
Normal test results would be 2 to 7 grams per 24 hours for adults, with amount of fats less than 20 percent of the solid stool sample. For an infant, it should be less 1 gram per 24 hours. For bottle-fed babies, fat should make up 30 to 50 percent of the stool sample. For breastfed babies, a normal result is more like 10 to 40 percent.
Other tests:
Doctor may order other tests to make a accurate diagnosis. For example, if you have that symptoms after eating wheat, your doctor can do specific tests to check if you have celiac disease. The same is true for lactose intolerance and other potential causes.

Treatment:
We can treat steatorrhea by treating the cause or causes of this condition.
Avoid eating the food which enhance the disease, for example If you’re lactose intolerant, you have to avoid milk products or perhaps eat them in very small amount. That will depend on the severity of your lactose intolerance.
For celiac disease, avoid eating wheat products and other foods that contain gluten will be your most effective treatment.


Steatorrhoea: increase fat content in stool. Reviewed by Tpdsm on September 22, 2017 Rating: 5

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