What Your Stool Color Says About Your Health

Published August 6, 2019 by

We all want to be those people, right? The ones who maintain the perfect diet and have the most consistent bowel movement schedule, never having to worry about anything going wrong. While it’s ideal, it’s certainly the exception to the rule. But, that doesn’t mean that you should always have abnormal stool!

If you’re seeing different abnormal colors, here are some potential causes. 

Green

Although green stool isn’t a super large cause for immediate concern, it may mean that your food is moving through your intestine a bit too fast. For example, if you’ve been experiencing diarrhea, the bile doesn’t have time to break down completely, and thus you’re seeing green. 

In addition, if you’re adding more leafy vegetables to your diet, or have consumed anything with large volumes of green food coloring, you may notice that your stool has a green tint. 

man sitting on toilet reading the newspaper

Yellow

 Yellow still often implies that you have excess fat due to an issue with absorption, such as celiac disease. You may also notice that your stool is much greasier than usual, or more foul-smelling. 

If you’re eating more gluten, found in breads and grains in cereal, you may see yellow stool as well. It’s important to contact your doctor if your stool is yellow as it will typically lead to a diagnosis of some sort. With the proper dietary restrictions you should be able to control this. 

Red

Red stool is an indicator of bleeding in the lower intestinal tract, most often associated with hemorrhoids. If you’re experiencing this, you should contact your doctor as soon as possible. 

If you’re eating a lot of red food coloring, or things like beets, tomato juice, or cranberries, you may also see a red hue. 

Black

If you’re seeing black stool, you may have bleeding in the upper gastrointestinal tract, which is associated with your stomach. Again, contact your doctor as soon as possible if you’re experiencing this. 

In addition, taking iron supplements or ingesting a lot of bismuth (Pepto Bismol) can lead to seeing a black color in your stool. 

If you’re experiencing abnormal stool, or are concerned about your bowel movements, please call GI Solutions of Illinois at (773) 631-2728 or request an appointment online today!

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