Why is my Poop Green?
Why is poop usually brown?
Poop is normally brown in color because a byproduct of bile. Bile aids in digestion all the way through the digestive tract. The left over byproduct is called stercobilin and makes your poop a brown color. This color is normal and suggests you are in good health.
What does green poop mean?
Green poop can mean many different things. It is more common than most people think. It can mean you have changed your diet and your body is adjusting. It can also mean that you have recently consumed a hard to digest meal and the body had to make more bile in order to move it through your system.
What causes green poop?
Green poop can be caused by many different things. It is important not to panic when you see this color. Think back about what you may have consumed over the past few days and go from there.
Some causes of green poop include:
• A lot of green vegetables in your diet.
• Iron supplements.
• Artificial coloring or food dye.
Green vegetables contain a high amount of iron and that is likely the cause. Chlorophyll is another. This component does not always break down in the digestive system. When consumed in a large quantity, the chlorophyll is flushed out of your body and can turn your poop green.
Supplements for iron deficiency will often stain the poop green. This is the color of the iron salts and is not a cause for alarm. If you have been taking an iron supplement and your poop seems to change from brown to green and back again, this is completely normal. Depending on what you have eaten, the brown color may mask the green.
Diarrhea is the body’s way of getting rid of unwanted materials. Since the elimination is so rapid, your body may not have had a chance to break down the bile. This causes the green color.
Medications like antibiotics may cause your poop to be green. Often, these can upset the natural digestion process. Use of laxatives or similar products can create the same effect as diarrhea does. Since the poop moves through the large intestine at a quick rate, bile is not broken down.
Artificial food colorings and dyes are often the culprit. Food coloring is used in a wide array of products. If you have had a large number of green popsicles, that may be the reason. You may have consumed a large amount of Kool-Aid recently. Also, around holidays like St. Patrick’s Day and Christmas, green food dye is used in large quantities for anything from green beer to Christmas tree cookies.
When to see a doctor
If you have had children, you know that the poop color is one thing the doctors always ask about. New moms also talk about it when they get together. It is usually caused by high iron content in formula.
In adults, it is sometimes an indicator of sickness or disease. It is uncommon, but sometimes the green color can be caused by digestive disorders. These include irritable bowel syndrome, Chron’s disease and celiac disease.
If your poop is green and you have already gone through the laundry list of common causes, see your doctor to determine the cause. Food poisoning can also be a reason for green poop and if it lasts too long it may be an indicator of a larger problem. Another reason to contact your doctor is if the green color coincides with any abdominal pain, reflux or marked decrease of appetite.
Treatment for green poop
If you consume a large amount of iron rich vegetables, drink a lot of water and exercise regularly. Stop consuming fatty foods and those with large amounts of food coloring. Reduce the amount of your iron supplements if your doctor allows it. Rule out any digestive diseases and treat them accordingly.