Crohn’s disease: The colour of your poo warning you may be at risk – what to spot?

Amy Dowden opens up about her battle with Crohn's disease

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Crohn’s disease is a condition that causes inflammation of the wall of the gut. Any part of the gut can be affected. This can lead to various symptoms. Crohn’s disease is a lifelong condition with flare-ups from time to time. The flare-ups vary in frequency and severity.

A person with Crohn’s disease may notice a yellow coating on their stools.

This coating is mucus, which helps the stools pass through the intestines, and it is no cause for concern if there are no other new symptoms.

Foul smelling yellow stools may be a sign that the digestive system is not absorbing nutrients as it should. 

Malabsorption can happen due to Crohn’s disease.

If the foul smelling yellow stools are floating in the toilet bowl, this may indicate fat malabsorption specifically.

This can happen in a person with Crohn’s disease if the condition has affected their terminal ileum, the far end of the small intestine that intersects with the large intestine.

“It is important to monitor yellow stools to see whether they clear up on their own after making dietary changes,” said Medical News Today.

The health site added: “Health conditions that can cause yellow stools include liver, gallbladder, and pancreatic diseases.

“If yellow stools last for several days or happen alongside unusual symptoms, such as cramping, pain, or diarrhoea, it is important to seek medical help.”

Crohn’s disease belongs to a group of conditions known as inflammatory bowel diseases.

“Crohn’s is a very individual condition, and some people may remain well for a long time, even for many years, while others may have more frequent flare-ups,” says Crohn’s and Colitis UK charity.

It is estimated that Crohn’s disease affects about one in every 650 people in the UK.

With medication, many people with Crohn’s have mild and infrequent symptoms of diarrhoea and pain, and their illness may not affect their lives very much, adds the charity.

Other common symptoms of Crohn’s disease include:

  • Weight loss that is not intentional is another common symptom
  • Ulcers forming in the gut
  • Anaemia may occur if you lose a lot of blood
  • Mouth ulcers are common
  • Anal fissures may occur. These are painful cracks in the skin of the anus. Skin tags may also appear around the anus.

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