• Saturday, December 02, 2023
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What the colour of your poop says about your health


Poop comes in a range of colours. All shades of brown and even green are considered normal. Only on a few occasions does stool colour indicate a potentially serious intestinal condition.

Poop colour is generally influenced by what you eat as well as by the amount of bile — a yellow-green fluid that digests fats — in your stool. As bile pigments travel through your gastrointestinal tract, they are chemically altered by enzymes, changing the pigments from green to brown.

Poop color that suddenly changes without an obvious reason may indicate an issue, especially if you have other unusual symptoms like pain or bleeding. Red or maroon stool as well as black or tarry stool requires immediate medical attention.

You are however advised to consult their health care provider if you’re concerned about your poop colour.

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In an articles by Mayo Clinic, a nonprofit American academic medical center focused on integrated health care, education, and research explains how your stool colour may mean and possible dietary causes.

This implies that the 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 flavoured drink mixes or ice pops, iron supplements, Mayo Clinics explains.

Light-colored, white or clay-colored

This indicates a lack of bile in stool: This may 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 : this shows an excess fat in the stool, such as due to a malabsorption disorder, for example, celiac disease. Sometimes the protein is gluten, such as in breads and cereals. 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.

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.