The normal stool color is brown.
However, a change in diet or the presence of some conditions can lead to a change in stool color.
When you pass a white, gray or pale stool, it might be an indication of liver or gallbladder problem. Generally, pale stools mean that the body isn’t secreting enough bile to give it the characteristic brown color.
Bile is produced in the liver and stored in the gallbladder. In addition, some drugs used in treating diarrhea can cause white stools.
When you notice the color of your stool is black and it looks coffee color, it might be as a result of what you ingested. When you take iron supplements or blood tonic, your poop maybe black.
Other causes include black licorice, black stout, and bismuth medications.
However, if you had not taken any of the above, it can be an indication of upper gastrointestinal bleeding. Blood is usually red but when it goes through the process of digestion in the gut, the action of enzymes and bacteria turn its color black.
If your stool is green, it might be due to your high consumption of green vegetables like spinach, kale or other green foods.
It can also occur in diarrhea. Food may pass through the intestines too quickly that there isn’t enough time for bacteria and enzymes to change the green color of bile to brown.
If your poop is red, it can be due to eating too many red-colored foods like beets or gastrointestinal bleeding.
Most times, it is abnormal and you should immediately see your doctor. Red or bloody stools can be caused by conditions like hemorrhoids, anal fissures, colon polyps, diverticulosis, and colorectal cancer.
Eating fruits that contain an orange pigment called beta-carotene orange can cause orange-colored stools. These fruits include carrots and winter squash.
Also, some medication like antacids and antibiotics like Rifampicin can make your poop orange.
If you notice your stool appears yellow or greasy, it means that your poop contains too much fat. This can be due to problems with absorption, bile secretion or enzyme production.
When To See Your Doctor
Even though your diet can be responsible for some poop colors, a change in the color of your stool should not last for more than a few days.
If you notice a change in your poop color that is persistent, you should consult your doctor.
You should also see your doctor if you have additional symptoms like abdominal pain, painful defecation, diarrhea, vomiting, bloody or black stools.
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