White film which forms on top of the stool, as opposed to clumps of mucus within the stool, sounds a lot like steatorrhea, or fat in the stools. Other symptoms of steatorrhea may include abdominal pain
or cramping, stools which are bulky or float on top of the toilet water, or stools that have a foul smell to them. There are several causes of steatorrhea. Infections with some parasites, such as Giardia, can cause intermittent bloating and steatorrhea. Also any damage to the pancreas can lead to pancreatic insufficiency. Since the pancreas is important in the digestion of fat, this shows up as fat in the feces. Causes of pancreatic insufficiency include cystic fibrosis
, gall stones, alcohol, certain medications, and other cause of repeated episodes of pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas). As always the diagnosis and the management of your particular condition will require a physical examination by your personal physician. Setting up an office visit with your primary care doctor
is highly recommended.