What Does Different Colors of My Poop Mean?

Q:
What does different colors of my poop mean?

A:
Probably you’d notice that your poop is a different hue than normal. But what does it mean if it’s green? Still what about red, yellow, white, and black?

The following is a chart of different colors of stool and the connection to food you eat.

Stool quality What it may mean Possible dietary and other causes
Green Food may be moving through the large intestine too quickly, such as due to diarrhea. As a result, bile doesn’t have time to break down completely. Green leafy vegetables, green food coloring, such as in flavored drink mixes or ice pops, iron supplements.
Light-colored, white or clay-colored A lack of bile in stool. This may also indicate a bile duct obstruction. Certain medications, such as large doses of bismuth subsalicylate (Kaopectate, Pepto-Bismol) and other anti-diarrheal drugs.
Yellow, greasy, foul-smelling Excess fat in the stool, such as due to a malabsorption disorder, for example, celiac disease. Sometimes the protein gluten, such as in breads and cereals. It may also imply liver disease. See a doctor for evaluation.
Black Bleeding in the upper gastrointestinal tract, such as the stomach. Iron supplements, bismuth subsalicylate (Kaopectate, Pepto-Bismol), black licorice. It can also be a sign of a more serious problem: bleeding in the upper part of your digestive tract.
Bright red Bleeding in the lower intestinal tract, such as the large intestine or rectum, often from hemorrhoids. Red food coloring, beets, cranberries, tomato juice or soup, red gelatin or drink mixes. Call your doctor if you see red that’s probably not from food you ate.

If the color you see before you flush worries you, call your doctor.

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* 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.