Yellow Balls in Stool: Should You be Concerned?

Suddenly finding strange yellow balls in stool? Can’t find a logical explanation? Don’t worry, if you’ve searched for it online, you’ve probably seen loads of posts from people having the same problem aka, yellow corn like objects in stool.

Little yellow balls in stool might appear for many different reasons. So finding the exact cause is extremely difficult. But there are a few explanations that are more likely to be the cause.

In this article, you’ll find the most likely causes of finding yellow balls in your stool. Sometimes the most puzzling questions can have the simplest answers.

So let’s get into it.

What Are They?

To understand the story of how yellow balls end up in the stool, First, it’s important to understand what stool exactly is. Let me tell you one thing before you dig in: the journey of stool is simply stunning!

Story of Stool

The stool is the byproduct of digestion. Whatever you get gets digested in the human digestive tract. Whatever can’t be processed or absorbed by the body, is excreted as refuse.

So as you probably can tell already, stool can be extremely variable. Since whatever we eat becomes stool, it means the stool changes based on what we eat. Not only this, various other factors govern the condition of stool. These include age, condition of the gut, nutritional state, condition of the environment, diseases, effect of medication, etc.

yellow balls in stool

The stool of two persons taking the same food or medication won’t be the same. Again, the stools of the same person a day apart will be different. However, yellow pea sized balls in stool will be the same.

So, it’s clear that stool can be easily influenced by the condition of the body. For this reason in medicine, it is an important diagnostic tool to get an idea of how the body is working.

Yellow Balls in Stool

There is an extensive number of factors that affect the condition of stool. The appearance of yellow balls in poop could be the result of any number of them. It is difficult to find the exact cause as each case may present different findings.

Factors like health, food habits, medication, etc or a combination of them may cause yellow balls in stool. The trigger for it may vary from case to case and person to person.

If you find yellow balls in your stool, the best course of action is to talk to your doctor. It’s impossible to tell for sure what’s causing the problem without proper laboratory examinations. If there is a problem, your doctor will get you tested and find the best course of treatment.

Even though you might not find the exact cause without proper tests, you can still get an idea about what might cause them. In this article, I have listed the most probable causes of yellow balls in stool.

So let’s check out the reasons behind the pea sized yellow balls in stool.

What Are The Causes of Yellow Balls In Stool

As mentioned before, the exact cause of yellow balls appearing in stool can vary. But a few common causes warrant attention.

The most common of these causes is IBS or Irritable Bowel Syndrome. IBS is known to cause alterations in the stool. Along with IBS, other potential causes might be leftover undigested food particles, remnants of undissolved medications, etc.

Let’s take a closer look at these probable causes:

Undigested Food

Many people describe the round yellow balls in stool as yellowish chickpeas or corn-sized particles. That’s because most of the time, they are.

Foods containing a high amount of fiber may pass through the digestive system completely intact. This is because they are made of cellulose. It is a biological component of plant fiber that our digestive system can’t break down. Chickpeas with their husks intact or unchewed corn are covered with a fibrous cellulose layer. So they pass through the digestive tract and appear in the stool.

As they might be slightly altered by the enzymes during digestion, they might have a soft, semi-solid appearance. So people may become confused by them.

IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome)

IBS is a common gastrointestinal problem faced by almost 20% of adults. It is a group of symptoms that usually are triggered by some specific foods or drinks. The symptoms of IBS include cramping, abdominal pain, gas, constipation, or diarrhea. These symptoms typically go away after a bowel movement.

IBS can cause changes in the size and consistency of stool. It also may cause mucus to mix with undigested food particles and pass to the stool. This can often be seen as lumps or mucus yellow balls in stool.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eKLqFnAmK6c

Undissolved Meds

Medications like capsules are designed to dissolve in the gut. The outer shell is disintegrated and the drug inside is released for absorption by the body.

But sometimes, this process is hampered. Drugs may not be properly dissolved if the acidity of the stomach is reduced. Problems like IBS may also prevent pills from being dissolved. These pills may then pass relatively intact into the stool.

You might find the shell of these pills in the stool as yellow balls.

Intestinal Parasites

Another common problem that might lead to finding tiny yellow balls in stool is intestinal parasites. One of the common parasites is Ascaris lumbricoides or the roundworm. The disease caused by the infection of Ascaris lumbricoides is called Ascariasis.

If left unchecked, these parasites may multiply in large numbers inside the intestines. The ova of these worms may then pass through the gut into the stool. In this case, tiny eggs may be seen in the stool. In severe cases, adult roundworms may also be seen.

So, these are some of the common reasons why people see yellow balls in stool. If you are looking to find an answer, these are good places to start.

Always inform your doctor about any gastrointestinal issues. If you have continuous constipation or diarrhea, seek emergency medical attention. Never try to self-medicate or look for treatments on your own.

Your doctor knows what is best for you. So follow their advice.

Now that we’ve talked about yellow balls in stool. I think the next logical question is what makes stool yellow in the first place? As it turns out, there might be several reasons behind that too.

Why Does Stool Turn Yellow?

Your stool might turn yellow for a lot of different reasons. Most of them are harmless. So just because your stool is yellow doesn’t mean that something is wrong. What causes yellow balls in poop will surprise you sometime.

So let’s take a look at the ways that stool can turn yellow:

Food

Certain foods that contain a lot of colored pigments or yellow food coloring may turn your stool yellow. High fat and protein diet may also turn the color of stool yellow. It indicated fat balls in stool.

Stress

Stress and anxiety have many physical and biochemical effects on the body. Excess stress leads to indigestion and gastric problems. This may lead to yellow-colored stool.

Celiac Disease

People with celiac disease suffer from gluten intolerance. Taking gluten causes an immune reaction that attacks the small intestines. This leads to reduced nutrient absorption and yellow stool.

Liver Disease

The liver is responsible for producing bile required for the digestion of fats and lipids. If the liver is affected by any disease, the production of bile is hampered and this leads to yellow stool.

Pancreatic Disease

The pancreas is responsible for producing many of the important digestive enzymes in the body. If the pancreas is diseased, the digestion of food is also affected. Undigested fats and lipids in the stool can turn it yellow.

Giardiasis

It is a parasitic infection caused by a microscopic organism called Giardia lamblia. It is commonly spread by contaminated water and by direct contact with an infected individual. Its symptoms include diarrhea which is commonly colored yellow.

When to See a Doctor

In most cases, yellow balls in stool are a common occurrence. It is not considered to be a health concern. However, it is also important to know which conditions are serious and when to seek help.

If you observe the following, visit a doctor as soon as possible:

Black Stool

If your stool is black, that means there has been bleeding in the upper gastrointestinal tract like esophagus, stomach, duodenum, etc.

yellow balls in stool

Blood Red stool

If your stool is bright red, it indicates bleeding in the lower GIT. And if you see it, immediately call the doctor. Blood in the stool can be something serious inside your GIT.

Frothy Floating Stools

If your stools are pale, oily, frothy, and floating, that means there is excess fat present in the stool. This is called steatorrhea. This indicated reduced absorption of fats in the GIT. It may be caused by malabsorption syndromes, pancreatic, or liver diseases.

Loose Watery Frequent Stool

Watery stool with frequent bowel movements is indicative of diarrhea. It is a very common gastrointestinal problem. It might be caused by food poisoning, infection by bacteria, indigestion, lactose intolerance, IBS, etc.

FAQs

What causes yellow balls in stool?

The exact cause behind it is difficult to pinpoint. It might be caused by IBS, undigested food, medication, etc. Sometimes, your food habit and medications can also generate small yellow and small black floating balls in stool.

Why is my poop yellow and foul-smelling?

If your stool is yellow, frothy, and foul-smelling, then you have steatorrhea. It is caused by fat not being absorbed properly by the gut. And those fat balls in stool are causing all the issues like foul odor and yellow lumps.

What should I do if I have yellow balls in the stool?

Normally, a yellow ball in the stool is no cause for concern. But if you are facing other symptoms like cramps, abdominal pain, diarrhea, or constipation, consult your doctor.

To Sum Up

Yellow balls in stool are nothing to worry about. Chances are they will pass on their own. But if you face any other GIT-related complications or symptoms, take advice from your doctor.

To prevent GIT problems, learn to take care of yourself. Eat a balanced diet with lots of fiber. Avoid smoking or drinking. Sleep early and get enough rest. Keep your fit and active, it goes a long way to ensure the health and longevity of your gut.

As a doctor in the making, I feel fascinated by the advancements and expansion of medical science. This fuels my passion for trying to follow a health-conscious lifestyle. I love writing and sharing thoughts and ideas with the people I care about. If my work can reach out and help people to enjoy a healthy, happy life it will be an honor for me. Muhtasim Munir MBBS (3rd year) Armed Forces Medical College

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