- What Is
- Stool Color Chart
- When to See a Doctor
What does green stool mean?
- Eating green veggies such as spinach and kale
- Ingesting green food coloring
- Taking iron supplements
Stool color chart
|Color||Potential Cause||What to Do|
|Black||Gastrointestinal (GI) bleeding||It's an emergency|
|Black||Iron, bismuth||Cannot assume this to be the reason for the stool color|
|Maroon||GI bleeding||This is an emergency|
|Red||Hemorrhoids||Consult a physician|
|Red||Inflammatory bowel disease||Consult a physician|
|Red||Infection, diverticular bleed||Consult a physician|
|Red||Tumor, rapid upper GI bleeding||Consult a physician|
|Green||A diet high in green vegetables||Consult a physician|
|Green||Associated with diarrhea||Consult a physician|
|Green||Normal color||Consult a physician|
|Yellow||Diseases of the pancreas||Consult a physician|
|Yellow||Celiac disease, cystic fibrosis||Consult a physician|
|Yellow||Giardia infection||Consult a physician|
|Clay, pale yellow or white||Liver or biliary disease||Lack of bile in the stool|
Which foods can change the color of stools?
Foods can play a major role in changing the color of stools, which include
- Green leafy vegetables such as spinach and kale (green)
- Green food coloring used in drinks or ice pops (green)
- Iron supplements (green or black)
- Gluten-rich foods such as wheat, barley or rye (yellow)
- Bread, pasta and cookies (yellow)
- Barium (black)
- Black licorice (black)
- Blueberries (black)
- Beets (red)
- Tomato soup (red)
- Gelatin dessert (red or orange)
- Red drinks (red)
- Carrots (orange)
- Winter squash (orange)
- Pumpkin (orange)
- Sweet potatoes (orange)
- Sodas (orange)
- Candy (orange)
What causes a color change in the stools?
Some common causes of color change in the stools include
- Bleeding in the stomach (tar-colored stools)
- Bleeding in the lower parts of the intestines or colon (maroon-colored stools)
- Bismuth-containing medications (black stools)
- Tumor (red-colored stools)
- Piles (bright red blood in stools)
- Aluminum hydroxide containing antacids or antibiotics (yellowish-white stools)
- Iron pills (black stools)
- Pancreatic cancer (bright yellow stools)
- High fat foods (bright yellow stools)
- Weight loss medications
- Pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas)
- Diarrhea (green stools)
- Celiac disease (gluten intolerance)
- Cystic fibrosis (inherited life-threatening condition that damages the lungs and digestive system)
What are the symptoms associated with stool color changes?
Symptoms associated with the stool color may be due to an underlying condition. In many cases, there may be no symptoms at all. Accompanying symptoms include the following
When should I seek medical care for stool color changes?
Additionally, contact a physician if you observe the following symptoms
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