Is green poop a sign of infection?

Green poop may or may not be a sign of infection.
Green poop may or may not be a sign of infection.

Green poop may or may not be a sign of infection.

The normal color of poop is brown, due to the bile pigment present in it. Any other color (green, red, black) needs attention. Abnormal colored poop may be due to changes in food habits, medicines or underlying medical causes.

The most common causes of green stools are diets rich in green vegetables, such as spinach and kale, which can cause green stool.

Sometimes during diarrhea, the food moves through the intestine rapidly. There isn’t enough time for the bile to break it down completely. Such poop may appear greenish.

What other symptoms might occur with green stools?

The green stool may be accompanied by symptoms depending on the causes. The most common symptoms accompanying green stool are

Seek medical attention, if the following symptoms are observed

Which other diseases cause green stools?

Diseases that may cause green stools are

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What food causes green stool?

Natural or artificial foods that are green in color may cause green-colored stool. Chlorophyll present in the green vegetables is a green pigment that allows plants to conduct photosynthesis. This pigment makes the stool green. However, if you still have green poop even 2 to 3 days after eating these foods, then it is a matter of concern. Foods that cause green stools include

  • Green vegetables, such as broccoli, kale, spinach, zucchini and celery
  • Green food coloring in ice pops and candies
  • Iron supplements
  • Green herbs, basil, parsley or cilantro
  • Green fruits, such as jalapeno, avocadoes, green grapes or green apple
  • Pistachios 
  • Hemp seeds
  • Powdered green tea
  • Blueberries or blackberries
  • Red wine

Can green stool be treated at home?

Temporary change in stool color may recover on its own. As a rule of thumb, any episode of green stool stained with blood or accompanied by fever must not be treated at home. Avoid dairy products and caffeine. Make sure you drink plenty of water.

Certain low-fiber foods may help green stools associated with diarrhea

  • White rice
  • Potatoes
  • Noodles
  • Bananas
  • White bread
  • Fish
  • Lean ground beef
  • Applesauce

When should I worry about green stool?

If the color of green stools persists for more than a week and you have symptoms like fever, blood in stools or cramps that don’t get better, you must contact your physician.

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Medically Reviewed on 9/18/2020
References
Medscape Medical Reference

CDC


Cleveland Clinic


American College of Gastroenterology


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