May 1, 2016

Stool Color, Changes in Color, Texture, and Form

What is the color of normal stool?

Stool (feces, poop) color is most commonly brown. When stool color changes, a person, parent, or caregiver often becomes concerned. The presence of the bilirubin in the bile (a breakdown product of the hemoglobin in red blood cells that are normally destroyed after a useful life of several weeks) is generally responsible for stool color. Bilirubin concentration can vary the color of stool from light yellow to almost black. Changes in the chemical structure of the bilirubin can cause stool to turn green or yellow. Yellow stool also may occur if stool is dilute or there is a reduction in the amount of bilirubin that is produced by the liver. Bacteria and digestive enzymes in the intestine can act on the bilirubin and change its color. Most stool-to-stool changes in color have little meaning. However, some changes, particularly if the changes are consistent over time and not present in only one stool may mean something needs to be investigated. Continue Reading

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Reviewed on 4/13/2016