June 27, 2016

Stool Color, Changes in Color, Texture, and Form

Stool color, texture, and form changes facts

  • The normal stool (poop, feces) usually is light to dark brown.
  • Although changes in stool color or texture may be normal, most changes should be evaluated.
  • The symptoms associated with stool color changes, if any, are the symptoms of the underlying cause of the change, for example, foods, drinks, conditions, or illnesses such as
    • diet (beets, diets rich in green vegetables, licorice),
  • Changes in stool color may be due to diarrhea; bleeding in the intestine; diseases of the intestines, liver, or pancreas; and medications
  • Green stool or poop is a common stool color change. It may be due to bile pigment in the stool because diarrhea moves food too quickly thorough the intestine so the chemical can't break down, or the green color may be due to certain foods like green, leafy vegetables or green food coloring.
  • Red or black colored stool may be a sign of bleeding in the GI tract (from the esophagus, stomach, small intestine or colon) and should not be ignored.
  • When stool color changes, what tests need to be done depend upon depends upon what cause is suspected for the stool color change. For example, gastrointestinal (GI) endoscopy may be required to evaluate red or black stools if bleeding is suspected.
  • The treatment for stool color changes is to treat the underlying cause. Continue Reading
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Reviewed on 4/13/2016