A healthy result should fall into the range 0.3 - 2.8 mg/g.
- Most of the fats in our diet are in the form of triglycerides. These are broken down by an efficient digestive system into smaller fragments that can then be absorbed from the small intestine.
- Elevated levels of Triglycerides in the stool may indicate lipid maldigestion.
If higher than normal levels of triglycerides are found in a stool sample it can be a sign that the digestion and/or absorption of fats is insufficient. Since both bile and the enzyme lipase, secreted by the pancreas, are required for fat digestion and absorption high faecal triglycerides may indicate inadequate secretion of these substances. This can result from problems with the liver (where bile is produced), gall bladder (which stores and secretes bile into the small intestine), or the pancreas. High faecal triglycerides can also result from low stomach acid, a high fat diet, or a fast transit time i.e. diarrhoea/frequent bowel movements. Symptoms associated with poor fat digestion and absorption include bloating, flatulence, feelings of fullness, pale and foul-smelling stools, and an "oil slick" in the toilet water after bowel movements. Treatment may include betaine HCL, digestive enzyme, and bile salt supplements along with a low fat diet and recommendations on reducing transit time e.g. stress reduction and increased fibre in the diet.
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