Steatorrhea or Excess Fat in Stool

Abdomen | Gastroenterology | Steatorrhea or Excess Fat in Stool (Symptom)


Steatorrhea represents the presence of an abnormal amount of fat in feces. An intestinal malabsorption and steatorrhea translate one meets in different diseases: exocrine pancreas insufficiency (cancer, pancreatitis), small bowel diseases (celiac disease, Crohns disease, and tropical sprue), insufficient bile (cirrhosis), biliary obstruction (calculation the common bile duct, cancer of the pancreas).

Steatorrhea is characterized by the appearance of a big chair, lighter than water, pasta, discolored, smelly, fat.


The causes of steatorrhea are the following: malabsorption; malabsorption of fats in small intestine; celiac disease liver cancer; cystic fibrosis; Zollinger-Ellison syndrome; Whipple disease; Sjogrens syndrome; allergy to dairy products; progressive intrahepatic cholestasis; pancreatic carcinoma; Crohns disease; diverticular disease; liver disease; Yorifuji Okuno syndrome; short bowel syndrome. Steatorrhea is a secondary diarrhea malabsorption, impaired lipid digestion.

Fat resorption deficit is complicated by often and relatively quickly 2-3 weeks, with deficits of resorption of fat soluble vitamins, the most obvious being Hypovitaminosis K. Hypovitaminosis K leads to the bleeding syndrome because it is involved in the synthesis coagulation factors 2, 7, 9, 10.

Digestia lipids is facilitated by bile salts, which allows dispersion lipid micelles can be further broken down by lipase. Bile salts are synthesized in the liver, then act on lipids are reabsorbed in the terminal ileum, taken by the liver, reexcrete liver into bile.

This is the enterohepatic circulation of bile salts, which may be affected in a number of diseases caused by damage to the terminal ileum, and more. Also a common cause of steatorrhea is represented by biliary obstruction, which causes decreased bile acids in the gut. Steatorrhea may be caused by a deficiency of fat absorption.

Generally, steatorrhea is accompanied by weight loss. Besides treatment of the case, a low fat diet is prescribed in all cases.