Your stool tells a lot about your health, and finding white spots or white bits in stool is usually not normal and requires further investigation. You may ignore those white things in poop if you've had them once only. You should, however, go see your doctor if you're noticing them regularly. Here are some of common reasons why you may be finding white balls in stool.
Possible Causes of White Balls in Stool
Lack of Bile
Your stool looks brown because it contains bile juice, which is produced by your liver and helps encourage proper digestion of fat in your diet. Any change in stool color may mean a problem in the liver that affects bile production. This could happen due to a disease like cirrhosis, hepatitis, etc. Sometimes, your liver itself is fine, but your gallbladder cannot release enough bile due to a disease like cholecystitis. This will again cause whitish stools.
Use of Medications
You may notice white balls in stool when you're using certain medications. Antacids that may have aluminum hydroxide can sometimes change the color of your stools – you will notice pale stools in this case. In some cases, the white balls you notice in your stool are capsules of certain antibiotics that you take.
The inner lining of your intestines produces mucus due to an allergy, infection, or inflammation. Excessive mucus may change the color of your stool and make it look whitish. This may happen due to conditions such as Crohn's disease, IBS, colitis, etc. All these conditions irritate the lining of the intestines, making it difficult for you to digest food properly, which in turn will lead to disturbed bowel movements, nutritional deficiencies, weight loss, muscle weakness, and headaches.
Parasite such as worms may appear as white lumps in your stool. If that's the reason behind white balls in stools, you may also experience issues like nutritional deficiency, digestive problems, and abdominal pain. This could also be due to Giardia infection, an intestinal infection caused by parasite found in unsafe water. The infection also shows other symptoms such as bloating, cramps, bouts of water diarrhea, and nausea.
Clumps of Fungi
You may notice white balls or spots in your stool due to clumps of fungi. This usually happens when your immune system isn't working properly – you may experience this after chemotherapy, radiotherapy, or in a condition like AIDS. Those white spots you see may sometimes be dead candida cells.
Pale, Oily Stools
Your body may not be able to digest fat properly due to a condition called steatorrhea. It means the body will pass fat to your stool, making it look oily. You may also notice pale, oily stools if you're sensitive to gluten and eat something that contains it. This will irritate your mucus lining, which in turn will make proper absorption of fat and other nutrients difficult.
Other Causes of White Balls in Stool
In addition to the causes mentioned already, there may be some other reasons why you're noticing white balls in stool. For instance:
You're lactose intolerant. If that is the case, you will notice white specks in your stool after eating dairy products such as milk, butter, cheese. Your body cannot digest these foods and poop everything out as it is.
Your digestive system isn't working properly. Poor digestion is among the top reasons why you notice white spots in your stool. This may also happen due to nutritional imbalance, constipation, diarrhea, muscle weakness, and excessive weight loss.
You have IBS. If you're suffering with a disorder called Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), which affects your colon, you may notice mucus and even white spots in stool. You will also experience other issues such as abdominal cramping or pain, gas, bloating, constipation or diarrhea.
You have too much calcium in your system. If you lift heavy weights, this could be the reason why you have excessive calcium in your system. This accumulated calcium may leave your body through your stool and look like white patches. In some cases, the calcium leaves your system through the penis – you will notice strings of calcium while urinating.
What to Do
It is obvious that white balls in stool may be the outcome of so many different situations and disorders. It is therefore important to consult with your doctor to identify the underlying cause first.
You may be experiencing the issue because of lack of bile, and this could be due to a liver disease or an issue with your gallbladder. Correcting the issue will eliminate those white balls from your stool.
Similarly, you may notice white spots due to certain medications, so your doctor will consider stopping or replacing those medications to resolve the issue.
If it is due to calcium build-up, drinking vinegar may help.
It is of immense importance to evaluate your condition first and then select a treatment option. Your doctor may also ask for certain tests to confirm what's causing trouble in your case. They may even help you make certain changes to your eating habits to correct the issue. So, never take discoloration of stool lightly – it is always a good idea to discuss it with your healthcare provider to rule out the possibility of developing a serious condition.