Does Anxiety Cause Yellow Stools

Does Anxiety Cause Yellow Stools?

Taking notice of your bowel movements is very important. In the same way that taking a blood sample gives the medical doctor information about your health, the waste gives any human information about the inside of their body. Looking at a stool is not just about color, but also about shape, size, texture, weight, consistency, the presence of mucus, blood or foreign objects.

What Can A Yellow Stool Mean?

A yellow stool is a pale stool. This means that there is a decreased bile output as bile gives color to a stool.

A pale color of a bowel movement can indicate gallstones, gastro esophageal reflux disease (GERD), cholecystitis, giardia parasitic infection, hepatitis, chronic pancreatitis, cirrhosis, and celiac disease. Each of these diseases is serious enough to warrant immediate attention by a medical professional.

However, a yellow stool may also indicate someone who has taken too many antacids, has undigested fat in the stool, had developed a bacterial or viral infection, the presence of parasites,  and/or an individual who is passing food through the digestive tract too quickly. These are far less urgent, but still require professional interventions.

Finally, foods or medicines, like having had a barium enema test, can discolor the stool. In any case, having a medical professional determine the cause is anxiety is vital to your well-being.1,2,3

What About Anxiety and Yellow Stools?

Those with anxiety disorders are often passing food through the digestive tract too quickly. As a result, their stool will be lacking bile (for color) and will appear yellow. Our digestive tract is far more likely to expose our emotional state than our face. Like the singing bird that suddenly falls of the perch and dies (birds look perfectly healthy as a survival method and then finally fall over dead), we can hide our facial expressions, but not how our gut is reacting to our emotions.

How Do I Cure A Yellow Stool?

A yellow stool is often an indication of generalized anxiety. Anxiety can cause irritable bowel syndrome. One issue is emotional and the other is physical. The emotional imbalance is causing the bodily discomfort. It really is “all in your head” until the effects run into your gut. If this occurred once a year, don’t be concerned. Nevertheless, if this is a problem that has reoccurred more frequently, then a positive change needs to occur.

The best and longest lasting change is a result of working with a professional. Typically, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is the most effective long-range means to overcoming anxiety disorders. Once the problems causing the yellow stools are addressed, then the bowel becomes normal again. After the crisis level has been calmed, then several alternative healthcare options, including homeopathic, naturopathic, meditation, movement therapy, dance therapy, art therapy, massage or acupuncture may be a good means of “up-keep.” Even home remedies are possible as a part of a maintenance program. Relaxation techniques include dedication to a hobby, listening to soothing music, self-hypnosis or meditation.


Do not assume there is nothing to be concerned about; a yellow stool is like a caution light in a traffic intersection. Be prepared to stop, look, listen, and proceed with care.


  1. de Kort, Sander; Kruimel, Joanna W.; Sels, Jean P.; Arts, Ilja C.W.; Schaper, Nicolaas C.; Masclee, Ad A.M., 2012. Gastrointestinal symptoms in diabetes mellitus, and their relation to anxiety and depression. Diabetes Research & Clinical Practice. May2012, Vol. 96 Issue 2, p248-255.
  2. London, Cathleen. Tired of the Monthly Bloating and Irritability? Total Health. Nov2005, Vol. 27 Issue 5, p20-20.
  3. Harvard, 2010. Stress and the sensitive gut. Harvard Mental Health Letter. Aug2010, Vol. 27 Issue 2, p6-6.

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