I went to the hospital with a complaint of oily diarrhea for which I was becoming so uncomfortable. The doctor told me what I am suffering from is called Keriorrhea! i was like ….. What?!!! What in heavens name is that?
He went further to explain that Keriorrhea (oily diarrhea, oily orange diarrhea, anal leakage, orange oily leakage) is the production of greasy, orange-colored stools which results from the consumption of indigestible wax esters found in oil fish and escolar and that its different from Steatorrhea (or steatorrhoea) which is the presence of excess fat in feces. In Steatorrhea, Stools may be bulky and difficult to flush, have a pale and oily appearance and can be especially foul-smelling!
To further make me understand keriorrhea, he told me that the condition is as a result of the accumulation of non-digestible wax esters in the rectum by eating these fish species causes leaks in the rectum in the form of an orange or greenish brown oil, but without significant loss of water. This physiological response is referred to as Keriorrhea, which is variously described as “oily diarrhea,” “oily orange diarrhea” or “orange fat filtration” by media and bloggers on the Internet. Keriorrhea epidemics have been reported several times on every continent.
The victims complained of additional symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramps and diarrhea. He said to me ” You are probably suffering from anxiety or panic because you have Keriorrhea”, and i was really anxious! And I kept asking “is keriorrhea dangerous?”
I later learned that it could be difficult to deal with Keriorrhea but It is important to know that there are several different causes for oily diarrhea that range from serious to the not so serious. The most common causes of orange oil in stool, i came across were as follows: (this may answer your question “what food causes keriorrhea?”)
- Medication-There are several different types of medication that can bring on Keriorrhea. From weight loss pills to certain medications that treat stomach and pancreas conditions taking these meds can bring this on. In addition, to having oily diarrhea you may find that you also have oily spotting, complete bowel incontinence, higher fecal urgency and an increased frequency in the number of times of defecation. Many times the doctor can simply change the type of medication that the patient is on and the oily diarrhea is reduced or eliminated.
- Food-It may be a surprise that many incidences of oily diarrhea are food related. This is especially true for people who have a high consumption of fish. In addition, to being oily, patients with food-related oily diarrhea may also found that their diarrhea is waxy and orange. The medical name for this is keriorrhea. The most common types of fish to cause this is the oil fish and Escolar. These fish are most often caught when someone is tuna fishing. The high wax content within the fish builds up in the person eating it and eventually brings on Keriorrhea.
- Medical conditions-This is often the reason for the most serious cases of oily diarrhea. Some of the conditions that can bring on oily diarrhea include but are not limited to cystic fibrosis, Celiac disease, inflammatory bowel disease, acute or chronic pancreatitis, and pancreatic cancer. All of these are serious and sometimes life-threatening conditions. Because of this, anyone who is experiencing Keriorrhea should seek out a medical evaluation right away.
Because of the embarrassing nature of this problem many people are shy and even ashamed to talk about this with their doctor. This is a serious mistake. You should never let your emotions determine if you seek out medical care. As with any other medical issue the sooner your doctor can reach a diagnosis the sooner you can begin treatment that will resolve not only the underlying issue but oily diarrhea that is causing bowel incontinence.
Keriorrhea is diagnosed based on clinical history and symptoms. No diagnostic tests are necessary.
Keriorrhea is a self-limiting, benign condition and no treatment in required, however you have to still see your physician just like i did.