- With Mayo Clinic gastroenterologist
Michael F. Picco, M.D.read biographyclose window
Michael F. Picco, M.D.Michael F. Picco, M.D.
Dr. Michael Picco has been with Mayo Clinic since 1999. He is board certified in internal medicine and gastroenterology. Dr. Picco is an assistant professor of medicine at College of Medicine, Mayo Clinic, and a consultant in gastroenterology at Mayo Clinic in Florida.
He has authored numerous publications in the area of gastroenterology, including original research, editorials and textbook chapters. He works with a team of gastroenterologists that takes care of complex gastrointestinal conditions and has a particular interest in diarrheal illnesses and inflammatory bowel diseases (ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease). He is also active in medical education in training new gastroenterologist and internists.
"Mayo Clinic's website is an invaluable resource for patients and their families," Dr. Picco said. "Informed patients are better able to participate in their own health care. A patient's participation is vital to the treatment of his or her disease. I hope to assist in helping patients understand their digestive problems and current treatments that are offered. This will allow for better communication between patients, their physicians and other health care professionals."
Dr. Picco serves as a reviewer of new research for several medical journals in the area of gastroenterology and is an active member of the American Gastroenterological Association, American College of Gastroenterology and the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America. He serves on numerous committees that address physician training, research and clinical practice in gastroenterology, both at Mayo Clinic and at the national level.
"Patients need to know about their disease, what to expect, the latest treatments and side effects so that they can make informed decisions about their health care. Gastrointestinal disease affects not only patients but also their families. My goal is to assure that our website provides accurate, reliable information and resources for patients. We must always provide the latest, most cutting-edge information to assist patients in dealing with their medical problems," Dr. Picco said.
White stool: Should I be concerned?
What would cause a person to have white stool? Should I be concerned?
from Michael F. Picco, M.D.
White stool is not normal and should be evaluated promptly by a doctor. White stool is caused by a lack of bile, which may indicate a serious underlying problem.
Bile is a digestive fluid produced by the liver and stored in the gallbladder. Stool gets its normal brownish color from bile, which is excreted from the liver into the small intestine during the digestive process. If the liver doesn't produce bile or if bile is obstructed from leaving the liver, stool will be light colored or white.
Liver diseases, such as hepatitis and cirrhosis, can cause white stool. In some cases, the problem lies not in the liver but in the tube (duct) that delivers the bile to the intestines. This tube can be squeezed shut or blocked — for example, by a tumor or a gallstone — which prevents the bile from entering the intestines. Some babies are born with constricted bile ducts.
- Pincus MR, et al. Evaluation of liver function. In: McPherson RA, et al. Henry's Clinical Diagnosis and Management by Laboratory Methods. 22nd ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2011. http://www.mdconsult.com/das/book/body/208746819-6/0/1393/0.html. Accessed Sept. 26, 2011.
- Liacouras CA. Normal digestive tract phenomena. In: Kliegman RM, et al. Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics. 19th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2011. http://www.mdconsult.com/das/book/body/208746819-6/0/1608/0.html. Accessed Sept. 26, 2011.
- Stools: Unusual color. American Academy of Pediatrics. http://www.healthychildren.org/English/tips-tools/Symptom-Checker/Pages/Stools-Unusual-Color.aspx. Accessed Sept. 26, 2011.