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Greasy Orange Rectal Leakage

Certain fish accumulate waxy substances within their bodies that can present an unpleasant surprise to consumers.

October 11, 2010 |
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Speaking of toilets, last year there was a review of fish-induced keriorrhea. I had to look that one up myself: It turns out there are bunch of fish that store large amounts of waxy substances in their bodies, and if we eat them the accumulation of the indigestible wax in our rectums through consumption of these fish engenders rectal discharges or leakage of orange or brownish-green oil. Keriorrhea is greasy orange anal leakage. (Keri is the greek word for wax).
The scientists were even nice enough to include a picture, though, sadly not in color. Also highlighted, the potential for embarrassment from stained clothing arising from the unanticipated passage of oil as an aerosol with flatulence. So much potential for embarrassment there have even been demonstrations demanding immediate government actions against the quote unquote “fish-induced keriorrhea epidemic.”

To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring watch the above video. This is just an approximation of the audio contributed by veganmontreal.

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Dr. Michael Greger

Doctor's Note

Please feel free to post any ask-the-doctor type questions here in the comments section and I’d be happy to try to answer them. And check out the other videos on fish. Also, there are 1,686 other subjects covered in the rest of my videos--please feel free to explore them as well!

For some context, please check out my associated blog posts: Bowel movements: the scoop on poop and Best Treatment for Constipation

If you haven't yet, you can subscribe to my videos for free by clicking here.

  • Michael Greger M.D.

    Please feel free to post any ask-the-doctor type questions here in the comments section and I’d be happy to try to answer them. And check out the other videos on fish. Also, there are 1,449 other subjects covered in the rest of my videos–please feel free to explore them as well!

    • Nicole G.

      Hi Michael-I’m vegan but have very little rectal sensation and have been diagnosed with pelvic floor dysfunction (resulting in constipation). Might you have any idea as to the underlying effects of my condition. Also, might you know of what I can do to manage it? I feel as if I have tried everything. Thank you. I so appreciate the work you do!

      • Dr. Connie Sanchez, N.D.

        The pelvic floor is made up of a group of muscles which support the the organs (i.e., bladder, uterus, rectum) in the pelvis like a hammock or a sling. These muscles may become weakened as a result of being overweight, menopause, and/or having children. Exercises known as Kegel’s may be performed to learn how to gain better control (contraction & relaxation) of these muscles. Techniques such as biofeedback have also been shown to be beneficial. Maintaining a high fiber diet, such as a whole food, plant-based diet, is also very important in keeping the stool soft for easier elimination.

  • mrkevinlei

    This happened to me once after eating a lot of salmon sashimi. I was a bit worried at first, but I guess I wasn’t the only one. One thing that prevented this from occurring again was eating varieties of sushi that contained starches (ie. rice) instead of just the pure fish (sashimi).

    • Geoffrey Levens

      I’ve eaten pretty large amounts of salmon, red snapper, etc maybe close to 3/4 lb at one meal and never had that problem (nor any other time!). that large an amount though was always cooked. Raw, sushi/sashimi always smaller portions. Maybe mostly from some types of fish not commonly seen in the US?

  • Michael Greger M.D.

    Also be sure to check out my associated blog post Bowel Movements: The Scoop on Poop!

  • Fidel Castrati

    What do the demonstrators propose the government do? They’d be better off holding up “Go Vegan” signs.