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The Causes of Orange Oily Stools

Stool can be confusing. It has a number of different colors and consistencies which can be misleading for many. Where most of these changes are actually not harmful, some changes can be due to something sinister and needs proper medical attention. A unique type of stool is when you defecate orange oil like feces. It can be alarming to see such bright and greasy stool which can set your mind off thinking about all the things that could be wrong with your body. To help you figure out the cause of this unique problem, here are some common things that can make your stool orange and oily. You can go through all of them to find the reason why your stool may have taken on this different appearance.

Diet pills

Certain diet pills act by impairing the ability of your gut to absorb fat. When the body is unable to receive any fats, it presumes they are not being digested, which results in the massive release of bile salts into the gut. These bile salts, together with the unabsorbed fat results in the orange oily feces.

Eating fish

Certain fish like escolar fish have large amounts of wax store in their bodies. This wax cannot be digested by humans and so is eliminated in feces. The wax can give your stool that orange oily color, so if you have recently eaten excessive amounts of this kind of fish, it may be the culprit.

Eating foods with lots of orange colorings


It can be caused by foods such as artificial fruit juices, jellies, and sodas. These foods contain preservatives and colorings, which cannot be digested by the human gut. This is why the body removes it in the feces as an orange oily stool.

Excessive intake of vitamin A

Ingesting Vitamin A either in supplement form or as carotenes in spinach, thyme and turnip greens. This is because carotenes have a yellow-red color and excessive amounts can give your stool that orange oily consistency.

Surgical removal of the gut


If you have had a jejunectomy, in order to lose weight or for health reasons, it results in the inability to absorb fats. This causes the liver to make excessive bile salts to try and absorb more fat. The fat is simply excreted as oily stools and the bile salts give it the orange color.

Ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease

These are inflammations of the gut. They result in the decreased ability of the gut to absorb fats and other nutrients. The lack of fat in the body drives bile salt production, however, that does little to absorb the fat from the gut. Also, these inflammations make the gut hyperactive, which results in rapid movement of the food through the gut. The food isn’t given enough time to be digested and absorbed. Hence, the fat and bile salts appear in the stool as orange oily feces.

Cystic fibrosis

Cystic fibrosis is a congenital disease which affects the glands of the body. The pancreas can be affected which results in blockage of the secretion of important enzymes needed to digest the fat. No enzymes mean the fats are not digested and are excreted from the body in the feces. Of course, the body produces a compensatory rise in the level of bile salts. These two things together result in orange oily stools.

Considering the many causes of orange oily stools, their appearance may be a reason for alarm. Although many conditions causing orange oily stools are harmless, you should consult your physician at any cost. Any disease caught early has a better chance of being treated completely than if caught late. So, if it’s orange oily stools you are suffering from, the above causes will surely help you find the most likely reason for this unusual event.

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