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Abnormal colored stool: Stool Color Changes and Chart: What Does It Mean?

What Do Different Poop Colors Mean?

Written by Hope Cristol

  • What Do Different Stool Colors Mean?
  • Normal Poop Color
  • Green Poop
  • Yellow Poop
  • White, Pale, or Clay-Colored Poop
  • Black Poop
  • Red or Reddish Poop
  • Orange Poop
  • When to Get Help for Poop Color Changes
  • More

Different stool colors can mean different things, mostly depending on what you’ve eaten.

You’d probably notice if your poop is a different hue than normal. But what does it mean if it’s green? What about red, yellow, white, or black? Or orange?

Most of the time, minor changes in the color of your waste are due to diet. After all, we don’t eat the same thing at every meal, every day. But sometimes a color change can signal a minor health issue. In rare cases, it means something serious is wrong in your digestive system.

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

Poop is normally brown. The color is the result of what you eat and how much bile is in your stool.

Bile is a fluid your liver makes to digest fats. It starts out as a yellowish green color. But as the pigments that give bile its color travel through your digestive system, they go through chemical changes and turn brown.

Your poop can sometimes have a slightly greenish hue, or even be a more vivid green. Most of the time, green or greenish poop is normal.

Is your diet causing green poop?

Think back on what you’ve been eating. These foods and supplements can cause your poop to be green:

  • Green veggies, like spinach or kale
  • Green food coloring, such as in drink mixes or ice pops
  • Iron supplements

Other causes of green poop

If you have green diarrhea, the color of your food may not be to blame. It’s likely that your meal moved through your gut too quickly, so the fat-digesting bile didn’t have time to turn brown.

There may be times when your poop looks more yellow than brown.

This shade is also normal for many people. It’s common for babies, especially those who breastfeed. But if you have yellow poop that looks greasy and smells very bad, it may have too much fat. That could be a sign your body isn’t digesting food properly.

Is your diet causing yellow poop?

Indirectly, your diet could cause yellow poop. If you have celiac disease, your body can’t handle a protein called gluten, which is in wheat, barley, and rye. If you have the condition and eat foods that have gluten, like many breads, pastas, and cookies, your intestines won’t work as they should. So, if you’re eating those foods, and your poop is yellow, it may be time to see a doctor.

Other causes of yellow poop

There may be other causes of yellow poop that’s greasy and smelly. If it happens to you often, tell your doctor.

Sometimes, poop may not have much color at all.

Is your diet causing pale poop?

If your poop is pale, it’s not likely directly due to a food. But medicines for diarrhea like bismuth subsalicylate (Kaopectate, Pepto-Bismol) can sometimes cause pale or clay-colored poop. So can barium, a chalky liquid you drink before you get X-rays of the upper part of your digestive tract.

Other causes of pale poop

A more serious cause is a lack of bile in your stool. (Remember, bile gives poop its brown color.) Your body makes bile in the liver, stores it in the gallbladder, and releases it into your small intestine to help digest your food. If there’s not enough of it to give your poop its typical brown color, it could be a sign of a problem along the way.

Liver disease, such as hepatitis, can keep bile from getting into your body waste. So can a blockage in the tubes (called ducts) that carry bile. This can happen because of:

  • Gallstones
  • A tumor
  • A condition you’re born with called biliary atresia

 

Babies’ poop is black for the first few days after they’re born. Otherwise, it may be because you ate something very dark-colored or took a medicine or supplement that causes black poop. But this color can be a sign of a more serious problem: bleeding in the upper part of your digestive tract.

Is your diet causing black poop?

Foods and supplements that turn poop black include:

  • Black licorice
  • Blueberries
  • Iron supplements

Medicines that have bismuth subsalicylate (Kaopectate, Pepto-Bismol) can also cause very dark stools.

Other causes of black poop

Poop that looks like tar is often a sign of bleeding in the digestive tract. Some causes include:

  • Bleeding from stomach ulcers
  • Bleeding sores in your esophagus from acid reflux
  • Bleeding from noncancerous tumors in the upper GI tract
  • Cancer

If you don’t think black poop came from what you ate, you need to talk to your doctor.

If you see red or reddish poop in the toilet, don’t be alarmed right away. First ask yourself if you’ve had red foods lately.

Is your diet causing red or reddish poop?

Several foods can change the color of your stool to a pink or reddish color:

  • Beets
  • Tomato soup
  • Gelatin dessert
  • Red drinks

Other causes of red or reddish poop

If you don’t think your diet is the cause, the red you see may be blood. And if it’s bright red, the blood likely comes from the lower part of your digestive tract. Common causes include:

  • Noncancerous tumors
  • Cancer
  • Inflammation in the colon, called colitis
  • Growths called polyps in your colon
  • Conditions caused by small sacs in the wall of the colon, called diverticular disease
  • Hemorrhoids

Call your doctor if you see red that’s probably not from food you ate.

Poop can often come out the color of the food that went in, especially if you have diarrhea. If your poop has an orange hue, it’s most likely due to some orange foods.

Is your diet causing orange poop?

Foods that have beta-carotene can turn your poop orange, such as:

  • Carrots
  • Winter squash
  • Pumpkin
  • Sweet potatoes

Foods with orange coloring, such as sodas, candy, or gelatin dessert, can also give your poop an orange color.

Also, antibiotics and antacids that have aluminum hydroxide in them can make your stool orange.

Other causes of orange poop

Rarely, poop can be orange if you have a problem with your liver that causes it to make less bile than normal, or a blockage that keeps bile from leaving the liver and entering your system. But usually, if this is the case, your poop will be pale or clay-colored.

Most of the time, poop that’s a different color from what you’re used to isn’t something to worry about. It’s rare for it to be a sign of a serious condition in your digestive system. But if it’s white, bright red, or black, and you don’t think it’s from something you ate, call your doctor.

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What Do Different Poop Colors Mean?

Written by Hope Cristol

  • What Do Different Stool Colors Mean?
  • Normal Poop Color
  • Green Poop
  • Yellow Poop
  • White, Pale, or Clay-Colored Poop
  • Black Poop
  • Red or Reddish Poop
  • Orange Poop
  • When to Get Help for Poop Color Changes
  • More

Different stool colors can mean different things, mostly depending on what you’ve eaten.

You’d probably notice if your poop is a different hue than normal. But what does it mean if it’s green? What about red, yellow, white, or black? Or orange?

Most of the time, minor changes in the color of your waste are due to diet. After all, we don’t eat the same thing at every meal, every day. But sometimes a color change can signal a minor health issue. In rare cases, it means something serious is wrong in your digestive system.

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

Poop is normally brown. The color is the result of what you eat and how much bile is in your stool.

Bile is a fluid your liver makes to digest fats. It starts out as a yellowish green color. But as the pigments that give bile its color travel through your digestive system, they go through chemical changes and turn brown.

Your poop can sometimes have a slightly greenish hue, or even be a more vivid green. Most of the time, green or greenish poop is normal.

Is your diet causing green poop?

Think back on what you’ve been eating. These foods and supplements can cause your poop to be green:

  • Green veggies, like spinach or kale
  • Green food coloring, such as in drink mixes or ice pops
  • Iron supplements

Other causes of green poop

If you have green diarrhea, the color of your food may not be to blame. It’s likely that your meal moved through your gut too quickly, so the fat-digesting bile didn’t have time to turn brown.

There may be times when your poop looks more yellow than brown.

This shade is also normal for many people. It’s common for babies, especially those who breastfeed. But if you have yellow poop that looks greasy and smells very bad, it may have too much fat. That could be a sign your body isn’t digesting food properly.

Is your diet causing yellow poop?

Indirectly, your diet could cause yellow poop. If you have celiac disease, your body can’t handle a protein called gluten, which is in wheat, barley, and rye. If you have the condition and eat foods that have gluten, like many breads, pastas, and cookies, your intestines won’t work as they should. So, if you’re eating those foods, and your poop is yellow, it may be time to see a doctor.

Other causes of yellow poop

There may be other causes of yellow poop that’s greasy and smelly. If it happens to you often, tell your doctor.

Sometimes, poop may not have much color at all.

Is your diet causing pale poop?

If your poop is pale, it’s not likely directly due to a food. But medicines for diarrhea like bismuth subsalicylate (Kaopectate, Pepto-Bismol) can sometimes cause pale or clay-colored poop. So can barium, a chalky liquid you drink before you get X-rays of the upper part of your digestive tract.

Other causes of pale poop

A more serious cause is a lack of bile in your stool. (Remember, bile gives poop its brown color.) Your body makes bile in the liver, stores it in the gallbladder, and releases it into your small intestine to help digest your food. If there’s not enough of it to give your poop its typical brown color, it could be a sign of a problem along the way.

Liver disease, such as hepatitis, can keep bile from getting into your body waste. So can a blockage in the tubes (called ducts) that carry bile. This can happen because of:

  • Gallstones
  • A tumor
  • A condition you’re born with called biliary atresia

 

Babies’ poop is black for the first few days after they’re born. Otherwise, it may be because you ate something very dark-colored or took a medicine or supplement that causes black poop. But this color can be a sign of a more serious problem: bleeding in the upper part of your digestive tract.

Is your diet causing black poop?

Foods and supplements that turn poop black include:

  • Black licorice
  • Blueberries
  • Iron supplements

Medicines that have bismuth subsalicylate (Kaopectate, Pepto-Bismol) can also cause very dark stools.

Other causes of black poop

Poop that looks like tar is often a sign of bleeding in the digestive tract. Some causes include:

  • Bleeding from stomach ulcers
  • Bleeding sores in your esophagus from acid reflux
  • Bleeding from noncancerous tumors in the upper GI tract
  • Cancer

If you don’t think black poop came from what you ate, you need to talk to your doctor.

If you see red or reddish poop in the toilet, don’t be alarmed right away. First ask yourself if you’ve had red foods lately.

Is your diet causing red or reddish poop?

Several foods can change the color of your stool to a pink or reddish color:

  • Beets
  • Tomato soup
  • Gelatin dessert
  • Red drinks

Other causes of red or reddish poop

If you don’t think your diet is the cause, the red you see may be blood. And if it’s bright red, the blood likely comes from the lower part of your digestive tract. Common causes include:

  • Noncancerous tumors
  • Cancer
  • Inflammation in the colon, called colitis
  • Growths called polyps in your colon
  • Conditions caused by small sacs in the wall of the colon, called diverticular disease
  • Hemorrhoids

Call your doctor if you see red that’s probably not from food you ate.

Poop can often come out the color of the food that went in, especially if you have diarrhea. If your poop has an orange hue, it’s most likely due to some orange foods.

Is your diet causing orange poop?

Foods that have beta-carotene can turn your poop orange, such as:

  • Carrots
  • Winter squash
  • Pumpkin
  • Sweet potatoes

Foods with orange coloring, such as sodas, candy, or gelatin dessert, can also give your poop an orange color.

Also, antibiotics and antacids that have aluminum hydroxide in them can make your stool orange.

Other causes of orange poop

Rarely, poop can be orange if you have a problem with your liver that causes it to make less bile than normal, or a blockage that keeps bile from leaving the liver and entering your system. But usually, if this is the case, your poop will be pale or clay-colored.

Most of the time, poop that’s a different color from what you’re used to isn’t something to worry about. It’s rare for it to be a sign of a serious condition in your digestive system. But if it’s white, bright red, or black, and you don’t think it’s from something you ate, call your doctor.

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Chair in babies: norm and deviations

Infant chair norms

What should be the child’s chair? This is one of the most common questions parents ask. Babies of different ages and on different feedings have peculiarities in the frequency and consistency of the stool. Let’s look at this issue in more detail.

In children from birth to 4 months, stool frequency is considered normal if there are from 1 to 7 acts of defecation per day, from 4 months to 2 years – from 1 to 3. On breastfeeding, the frequency of bowel movements is from 2 to 6-7 times, on artificial feeding – from 1 to 4 times a day.

For breast-fed babies, the stool is normally light yellow, homogeneous, mushy with a sour smell, while in children on artificial feeding, the stool is darker and denser. A small amount of indigestible lumps of food is acceptable. The green color of the stool is a variant of the norm if it does not contain pathological impurities in the form of mucus and blood.

Stool options in the presence of various diseases in a child

Consider stool options that can be a manifestation of various diseases in a baby. In the presence of such changes, you should contact a specialist to clarify the nature of the violations and select appropriate methods of therapy.

In view of the immaturity of enzyme systems, most newborns often have transient (temporary) lactase deficiency. Stool in this condition is quickened up to 8-10 times a day, it is liquid, frothy with a large water spot and sour smell. In this case, the baby can throw the breast or nipple in the presence of appetite, be restless during feeding. This condition is being corrected by a pediatrician.

The presence in the stool of a copious amount of mucus, a streak of blood, rapid or, on the contrary, rare emptying when a rash appears on the skin of a baby, may be symptoms of a food allergy to cow’s milk protein. This is mainly observed in children of the first year of life and also is corrected by the pediatrician.

Absence of stool in the first 48 hours after birth and then profuse, greasy (poorly washed off from the potty), shiny, fetid stool in the absence of weight gain – is also a reason to consult a specialist in order to exclude a genetic disease – cystic fibrosis.

In the presence of liquefied, frequent and abundant stools (polyfecal matter) and an increase in the volume of the abdomen with a decrease in body weight or no weight gain, observed 4-8 weeks after the introduction of gluten-containing foods (semolina, oatmeal, wheat porridge, crackers, drying, cookies , vermicelli) it is necessary to exclude celiac disease in the baby by contacting a pediatrician or a gastroenterologist.

Diarrhea, discoloration (dark green, black, etc.), the appearance of pathological impurities in the stool in the form of mucus, blood, pus – the most common manifestation of intestinal infection. All this may be accompanied by fever, vomiting, loss of appetite, while the baby becomes lethargic and restless. Intestinal infections are dangerous with serious complications, therefore, with such symptoms, you should immediately consult a doctor.

If the child shows anxiety, cries, and blood is visible in the stool in the form of “raspberry jelly” – this is a reason for an emergency visit to the surgeon, in order to exclude an emergency pathology.

A decrease in the frequency of stool, a change in its character (dense consistency, an increase in volume, or like a “sheep”, possibly with streaks of blood), as well as the absence of self-emptying for more than 3 days, speaks of constipation , which are organic and functional . The causes of constipation can be different, in this regard, you should not self-medicate them.

Remember, changes in the nature and frequency of stools require medical advice. It is he who will prescribe the necessary examination, if necessary, hospitalization may be required for an in-depth examination in order to correct the condition in a timely manner.

Panacea – medical center in Lipetsk

Gastroenterologist – a narrow specialist in the diagnosis and treatment of diseases of the gastrointestinal tract. Primary diagnosis is carried out by pediatricians and therapists. A gastroenterologist in Lipetsk treats all diseases associated with the digestive system.

On this page you will find out where a highly qualified gastroenterologist takes in Lipetsk and how to prepare for a consultation with this doctor.

Prices for services

Consultation of a gastroenterologist Suvorchenkova O.V. 3000 ₽
Consultation of a gastroenterologist Pestrikov V.G. primary/repeated 1500/1200 ₽

Gastroenterology: what it treats and how it works

The digestive system plays a huge role in human life. Ecology, malnutrition, addictions significantly affect it. The negative impact is manifested by the occurrence of diseases of the gastrointestinal tract. In recent years, statistics show disappointing results for disorders of the digestive system. The situation is even more aggravated due to the fact that most people, when the first symptoms appear, do not turn to a specialist, but try to solve this problem on their own. Self-medication often does not have a positive effect and the disease becomes dangerous chronic form, which causes health complications. Gastroenterology is a diagnostics, effective methods of treatment of diseases of the gastrointestinal tract. What diseases does a gastroenterologist treat? How is the appointment with a gastroenterologist?

Features of a gastroenterological consultation

An appointment with a gastroenterologist begins with an oral questioning of the patient. The gastroenterologist listens carefully to the patient’s complaints, and also clarifies the features of his lifestyle. This is necessary in order to get an idea of ​​the risk factors that could cause indigestion. These include heredity, diet, stress, features of professional activity, etc.

The most common reasons for visiting a gastroenterologist are:

  • Pain in the abdomen, feeling of discomfort;
  • Vomiting, heartburn, nausea and belching;
  • Frequent bloating, flatulence;
  • Stool disorders, diarrhoea, constipation;
  • Rumbling in the abdomen;
  • Abnormal stool color, black, white, green;
  • Bleeding from the rectum;
  • Pain and itching in the rectum;
  • Obesity and overweight;
  • Loss of appetite, disturbance and pain when swallowing;
  • Dry mouth, swollen or coated tongue.

The second step is a physical examination of the patient. The doctor palpates his abdomen to clarify the nature and location of the pain. If necessary, blood, urine and stool tests are prescribed.

Research methods of the gastrointestinal tract

To clarify the diagnosis, the following instrumental diagnostic methods can be prescribed:

  • Endoscopic examination – visualization of the internal structures of the gastrointestinal tract using a special instrument (endoscope).
  • Daily pH-metry – long-term measurement of acidity in different parts of the gastrointestinal tract.
  • Manometry – a method for determining the contractile activity of the esophagus.
  • Ultrasound examination of the stomach and intestines – a way to visualize the internal structures of the gastrointestinal tract. This research method in Lipetsk is carried out exclusively in our clinic and is a highly informative and painless way to diagnose gastrointestinal diseases.
  • Biopsy – taking a sample of tissue from the esophagus, stomach or duodenum for histological analysis.
  • Diagnostic imaging tests – X-ray with contrast, CT and MRI.

What diseases does a gastroenterologist treat?

Gastroenterologist in Lipetsk treats all diseases associated with the digestive system. Here are the main ones:

  1. Diseases of the stomach. Manifested by acute pain in the abdomen, heartburn, frequent belching, weight loss, loss of appetite and other symptoms. This includes stomach ulcers, polyps, gastritis, oncology.
  2. Diseases of the gallbladder. Manifested by swelling and furrowing of the tongue, rumbling and bloating, pain in the side. This includes biliary dyskinesia, cholecystitis.
  3. Diseases of the pancreas. It is manifested by symptoms: rumbling and bloating, pain in the hypochondrium, in the abdomen, obesity. This includes pancreatitis, pancreatic cancer.
  4. Diseases of the intestines.