Stool Color - Possible Causes

People usually feel worried when they found their stool in an unusual color, however, change of stool color rarely indicates a potentially serious intestinal problem.

What color needs attention?

If your stool shows a black or bright red color, you should be careful and seek prompt medical attention. It’s because bright red or black indicate blood in your stool.

Scary but harmless

A green or green-yellow color might be scary but they usually are fine.

Green stool

It might come from the green leafy vegetable or green food coloring you’ve taken. It’s also likely that food moves through the large intestine too quickly, possibly due to diarrhea.

Light Colored – white or clay stool

Some medications, such as anti-diarrheal drugs may cause light colored stool. Anther possible cause is a bile duct obstruction, because light colored stool means there’s a lack of bile in the stool.

Yellow & Greasy stool

This color means excess fat in the stool. Sometimes it’s caused by protein gluten, sometimes it can be malabsorption disorder, e.g. celiac disease. You should call a doctor to evaluate.

Black stool

Food like iron supplement, black licorice and medication like bismuth subsalicylate may cause black poop. Black stool can also indicate bleeding from upper gastroinstetinal tract, such as stomach. As mentioned above, you need seek medical attention when the stool is black.

Bright red stool

It might comes from red food or red coloring intake. It can also be bleeding from lower intestinal tract, such as the large intestine or rectum. Sometimes it’s just bleeding from hemorrhoids. But seeking medical attention is recommended.



* The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.