Table of Contents
- Stool color, texture, and form changes facts
- What are symptoms of stool color changes?
- What does it mean when your stool color changes in color, texture, or form?
- What is the color of normal stool?
- What are the causes of stool color, texture, and form changes?
- Green stools
- Yellow, greasy, and foul smelling stool
- Bright red stools
- Black tarry stools
- Light-colored white or clay-colored stools
- Maroon stools
- Mucous in the stool
- Drugs that change stool color
- Stool that floats
- Changes in the size and shape of stool
- What kind of doctor treats stool color changes?
- How is the cause of stool color changes diagnosed?
- When should I contact my doctor about stool color or texture changes?
- Stool color chart
Rectal Bleeding (Blood in Stool, Hematochezia)
Causes of Blood in Stool
Blood in the stool can be bright red, maroon in color, black and tarry, or occult (not visible to the naked eye). Causes of blood in stool range from harmless, annoying conditions of the gastrointestinal tract such as hemorrhoids to serious conditions such as cancer.
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Stool color, texture, and form changes facts
- The normal stool (poop, feces) usually is light to dark brown.
- Although changes in stool color or texture may be normal, most changes should be evaluated.
- The symptoms associated with stool color changes, if any, are the symptoms of the underlying cause of the change, for example, foods, drinks, conditions, or illnesses such as
- Changes in stool color may be due to diarrhea; bleeding in the intestine; diseases of the intestines, liver, or pancreas; and medications
- Green stool or poop is a common stool color change. It may be due to bile pigment in the stool because diarrhea moves food too quickly thorough the intestine so the chemical can't break down, or the green color may be due to certain foods like green, leafy vegetables or green food coloring.
- Red or black colored stool may be a sign of bleeding in the GI tract (from the esophagus, stomach, small intestine or colon) and should not be ignored.
- When stool color changes, what tests need to be done depend upon depends upon what cause is suspected for the stool color change. For example, gastrointestinal (GI) endoscopy may be required to evaluate red or black stools if bleeding is suspected.
- The treatment for stool color changes is to treat the underlying cause.
Longo DL. et al. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine. McGraw-Hill Professional. 18th edition. 2011.
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