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Definition Return to top
Stools that are pale, or clay- or putty-colored may result from problems in the biliary system (the drainage system of the gallbladder, liver, and pancreas).
Considerations Return to top
The liver releases bile salts into the stool, giving it a normal brown color. You may have clay-colored stools if you have a liver infection or if the flow of bile out of the liver is blocked.
Yellow skin (jaundice) often accompanies clay-colored stools due to build up of the bile chemicals in the body.
Causes Return to top
Possible causes for clay-colored stools may include:
There may be other causes not listed here.
When to Contact a Medical Professional Return to top
Call your health care provider if your stools vary from the normal brown color.
What to Expect at Your Office Visit Return to top
The doctor will perform a physical exam and ask questions about your medical history and symptoms. Questions may include:
Tests that may be done include: