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Alba_MD, Doctor
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 36
Experience:  Licensed MD, Family Medicine Internship, Undersea/Dive Medicine Trained
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I have noticed the past few days I have small spots in my

Customer Question

I have noticed the past few days I have small white spots in my feces. My feces is the normal brown color. I ate some grated cheese and looks exactly like that! I noticed a few weeks ago that I had string cheese and it looked like I didn't digest it. These are the two times I have noticed this. The small white spots are perfectly round. I feel ok, no fever, no vomiting, no diarrhea. I did notice this after eating cheese and after eating ground meat. I really hope I can get a straight answer. I can't find anything at all online! I am really scared. Everyone says parasites but it only happens when I have white cheese... I don't know, I am just upset. Thanks!
Submitted: 9 years ago.
Category: Health
Expert:  Alba_MD replied 9 years ago.
Are you lactose intolerant?
Customer: replied 9 years ago.
I was told that I am lactose intolerant. When I drink milk, I am extremely flatulent and I get diarrhea from milk and ice cream too. I really thought honestly that it was the grated cheese I had with my pasta but it happened two days later? Thanks for asking that question.
Expert:  Alba_MD replied 9 years ago.
How often do you typically have bowel movements? Thank you for your patience.
Expert:  Alba_MD replied 9 years ago.
Frankly, it can take food 24 hours of more to show up on the other end after you've eaten. It sounds as though you are indeed lactose intolerant. While that can accelerate the passage of milk products through your system, it also just means that...however long or short it takes to pass...those products aren't going to be digested. So, if you had grated cheese mixed with something else that takes longer to digest, it's possible that you'd have, essentially, cheese floating around in your GI tract for a couple of days. If you are only experiencing this after eating cheese, then you can be assured that the white spots are not parasites. As a test, don't eat cheese for a week...or more, if you really want to convince yourself. If you don't have any white spots in your bowel movements, then it's most likely the cheese. Hope that helps.
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Customer: replied 9 years ago.
This morning, I just had diarrhea and when I wiped I noticed two of the small perfectly round white specs. I removed it with a Q-tip. They were stuck together and when I pressed against them, they were very hard. When I was able to squish them, they was a matter in them. I did notice some of the white specs free floating in the water and some in attached to the stool.

Wouldn't I have a fever and other symptoms if it were a tapeworm or parasite? I have lost a lot of weight this year with cutting my portions in half and drinking a lot of bottled water.

My job does not provide health insurance and I am confused on what to do. I had kidney stones earlier this year but they have been taken care of at this point. Thanks for any advise!
Expert:  Alba_MD replied 9 years ago.
How big are these white specks? You wouldn't necessarily have a fever or other symptoms if you had a parasite. Parasite eggs are also not usually visible in the stool via the naked eye. Did you eat cheese again recently?
Customer: replied 9 years ago.
Sorry it took me so long to respond. The specks are perfectly round and all the same size, they are small. They are not big at all. I just passed another bowel movement and I noticed a few of them again. They are on the outside of the stool and when the stool breaks they can be seen inside, somewhat buried deeply inside the stool. I must say that it is not like the entire piece of stool is covered but they are definitely noticeable.

I have not had cheese the past few days as an experiment. I really and honestly don't feel sickly. I know you mentioned no fever is necessary with parasites but I do lead a healthy life. I don't walk around barefoot, I don't eat unprocessed meats, I am just really confused and upset.

What would treatment be for a parasite? I am paranoid to take new medications because I am on so many as of right now. I read so many things online the past few days. Liver issues, tapeworm, hookworm.. good grief so many things everywhere. I never drink alcohol, I do not use recreational drugs, I do smoke cigarettes and plan to quit very soon. Stress with everyday life and especially this, I have been smoking more than I usually do.

I would appreciate any advise, thank you so much for responding.
Expert:  Alba_MD replied 9 years ago.
To treat a parasitic infection, your doctor would use something like albendazole or praziquantel, or niclosamide, depending on the tapeworm. IF that were the case and you were put on medication, it would be a very short course...only a few days at the most. What medications are you taking? And has anything changed in your medication regimen in the last couple weeks? It could have to do with the medications you're taking, if you've had anything change in them recently.

The only to find out if you have a parasitic infection is to have your doctor examine a sample of your stool or the white specks. If they are as you describe and you were my patient, I would have you bring a sample in for closer examination. It's nearly impossible to tell you what it is when I can't see it. Without other symptoms, you have some wiggle room to decide your own course of action: choose to wait and see if it resolves on it's own, or have your doctor look at it and/or submit it for stool testing (stool ova & parasites). You're not going to feel completely settled until you know for sure what's coming out of your body OR until it stops.