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Floating stools, epigastric pain after PNEUMONIA. IBS/GALLSTONES/PANCREATITIS?

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After I recovered from pneumonia, I was diagnosed with IBS (possibly related to antibiotics) about 6 months ago. I visited a gastro-specialist who prescribed some medicines that had some affect.

However, the symptoms didn't really disappear and I went to another doctor. Symptoms fluctuate- diarreah or rather just loose stools- sometimes constipation. Irritation by acidy foods like citric acid in tomato sauce. Some epigastric pain that has most disappeared and some indigestion. Nowadays, I sometimes had floating (but formed) stools. I do not see any oil in stools, but sometimes they are difficult to wipe. (messy) I now go to the bathroom between 1-3 times a day- and fluctuation of different stool types. In general, my stools are a bit darker than usual, but not consistently. They are sometimes darker brown, but never black. Usually they are medium brown though. I go through bouts of undigested vegetable matter. The floating stools (happened about 4-6 times total) worry me most. They often have tiny gas bubbles in them, but are formed. I often have gas and stomach rumbling. Sometimes I have lower stomach pain, not localized. I am worried I have been misdiagnosed.

My doctor ordered colonoscopy, upper-endoscopy, and stool tests ( occult blood, c dif, and parasites) All were 100% OK. My doctor said floating stools and epigastric pain sometimes are nothing to worry about as I am young (32) and tests seemed okay. I sometimes am a bit fatigued, but I am also out of shape and working and studying a lot. Is it really IBS or should I be worried about gallstones, pancreaitis, celiac, or something else?

Category: Gastroenterologist, Medical

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Category: Hepatologist
 22 Doctors Online

Thanks for posting your query at
I am Dr.R.K and I am pleased to assist you.
Your case history and test reports are suggestive of irritable bowel syndrome only.
There is no need to worry.
Regarding the floating stool, it can occur when there is excess fat in stool or if there is excess gas.
Excess fat in stool can occur when there is fat malabsorption as in chronic pancreatitis or if the fat intake is more.
Excess gas can occur if the carbohydrate intake is high or if there is infection.
Get a stool test to rule out infection and estimate the stool fat content. If the test rules out infection and the stool fat is within normal range, there is no need to worry about the floating stool.
I hope that answers your question.
Let me know if I can assist you further.

Patient replied :

Does it seem likely to have Chronic Pancreaitis? This week I have had quite a few floating stools. It is usually not completely floating, but a couple of pieces do float. This combined with constipation. Would you suggest a fecal fat test or scan of gallbladder etc? I have had a stool test to rule out infection by parasite, blood, or c. dif. All were negative. As well as colonoscopy and endoscopy. All negative.

As I said earlier, floating stools are not always pathological.
If you have oily stools, then you may consider evaluation for pancreatitis.
You can start with a CT scan. If that is normal and if you are not losing weight or having any nutritional deficiency, then you can just ignore the floating stools.
Feel free to discuss further,

Dr. Ratnakar Kini
Category: Hepatologist
Fellowship - DM - TN Dr.MGR Medical UniversityResidency - TN Dr.MGR Medical University Medical School - Stanely Medical College, TN Dr.MGR Medical University
Dr. Ratnakar Kini and 4 other Medical Specialists are ready to help you

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