Bad stool colors: Stool Color Changes and Chart: What Does It Mean?
What Do Different Poop Colors Mean?
What Do Different Stool Colors Mean?
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.
Normal Poop Color
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.
White, Pale, or Clay-Colored Poop
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:
- 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
- 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:
If you don’t think black poop came from what you ate, you need to talk to your doctor.
Red or Reddish Poop
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:
- 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
- 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
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:
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.
When to Get Help for Poop Color Changes
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.
Stool color: When to worry
Stool comes in a range of colors. All shades of brown and even green are considered normal. Only rarely does stool color indicate a potentially serious intestinal condition.
Stool color 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.
Consult your doctor if you’re concerned about your stool color. If your stool is bright red or black — which may indicate the presence of blood — seek prompt medical attention.
|Stool quality||What it may mean||Possible dietary causes|
|Green||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 flavored drink mixes or ice pops, iron supplements.|
|Light-colored, white or clay-colored||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||Excess fat in the stool, such as due to a malabsorption disorder, for example, celiac disease.||Sometimes the protein 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.|
Oct. 10, 2020
- Suneja M, et al., eds. The abdomen, perineum, anus, and rectosigmoid. In: DeGowin’s Diagnostic Examination. 11th ed. McGraw Hill; 2020. https://accessmedicine.mhmedical.com. Accessed Sept. 28, 2020.
- Feldman M, et al., eds. Gastrointestinal bleeding. In: Sleisenger and Fordtran’s Gastrointestinal and Liver Disease: Pathophysiology, Diagnosis, Management. 11th ed. Elsevier; 2021.https://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Sept. 28, 2020.
- What is celiac disease? Celiac Disease Foundation. https://celiac.org/about-celiac-disease/what-is-celiac-disease/. Accessed Sept. 28, 2020.
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White stool: Should I be concerned?
What would cause a person to have white stool? Should I be concerned?
Answer From Elizabeth Rajan, M. D.
White stool isn’t normal and should be evaluated promptly by a doctor. White or clay-like stool is caused by a lack of bile, which may indicate a serious underlying problem.
Bile is a digestive fluid produced by the liver and stored in the gallbladder. Stool gets its normal brownish color from bile, which is excreted into the small intestine during the digestive process. If the liver doesn’t produce bile or if bile is obstructed from leaving the liver, stool will be light colored or white.
Often the problem occurs in the tube (duct) that delivers the bile to the small intestine. This tube can be squeezed shut or blocked — for example, by a tumor or a gallstone — which prevents the bile from entering the small intestine. You may also experience abdominal pain, fever, nausea, itching and jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes). Some babies are born with constricted bile ducts, a condition known as biliary atresia.
Liver diseases, such as hepatitis and cirrhosis, also can sometimes cause white stool. Barium, a white substance used for X-rays of the digestive tract and certain medications that contain aluminum hydroxide, for example antacids, can also turn the stool white.
Elizabeth Rajan, M.D.
Nov. 05, 2019
- Saxena R. Liver diseases of childhood. In: Practical Hepatic Pathology: A Diagnostic Approach. 2nd ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Elsevier; 2018. https://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Oct. 17, 2019.
- Bennett JE, et al., eds. Hepatitis A virus. In: Mandell, Douglas, and Bennett’s Principles and Practice of Infectious Diseases. 9th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Elsevier; 2020. https://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Oct. 17, 2019.
- Neonatal jaundice. American College of Gastroenterology. https://gi.org/topics/neonatal-jaundice/. Accessed Oct. 17, 2019.
- X-ray (radiography): Upper GI tract. American College of Radiology. https://www.radiologyinfo. org/en/info.cfm?pg=uppergi#experience. Accessed Oct. 17, 2019.
- Feces color finding. IBM Micromedex. https://www.micromedexsolutions.com. Accessed Oct. 17, 2019.
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Appearance, color, and what is normal
Poop, also known as stool or feces, is a normal part of the digestive process. Poop consists of waste products that are being eliminated from the body. It may include undigested food particles, bacteria, salts, and other substances.
Sometimes, poop can vary in its color, texture, amount, and odor. These differences can be worrying, but usually, these changes are not significant and will resolve in a day or two. Other times, however, changes in poop indicate a more serious condition.
Keep reading to discover more about the different types of poop, including what is and is not normal.
Fast facts on types of poop:
- Poop can come in different shapes, colors, and smells.
- A person should pass a normal, healthy poop easily and with minimal strain.
- Anyone who has blood in their stool should seek urgent medical attention.
Normal poop is generally:
- Medium to dark brown: This is because it contains a pigment called bilirubin, which forms when red blood cells break down.
- Strong-smelling: Bacteria in excrement emit gases that contain the unpleasant odor associated with poop.
- Pain-free to pass: A healthy bowel movement should be painless and require minimal strain.
- Soft to firm in texture: Poop that is passed in one single piece or a few smaller pieces is typically considered to be a sign of a healthy bowel. The long, sausage-like shape of poop is due to the shape of the intestines.
- Passed once or twice daily: Most people pass stool once a day, although others may poop every other day or up to three times daily. At a minimum, a person should pass stool three times a week.
- Consistent in its characteristics: A healthy poop varies from person to person. However, a person should monitor any changes in the smell, firmness, frequency, or color of poop as it can indicate there is a problem.
Image credit: Kylet, 2011.
Devised by doctors in the Bristol Royal Infirmary, England, and based on the bowel movements of nearly 2,000 people, the Bristol stool chart characterizes the different types of poop as shown above.
Types 1 and 2 indicate constipation, types 3 and 4 are considered healthy stool, while types 5 to 7 suggest diarrhea and urgency.
While brown poop is considered the “normal” color of poop, some greenish-brown hues may also be acceptable.
Poop can be other colors too, such as:
Stools that are black, especially if they have the appearance of coffee grounds, suggest gastrointestinal bleeding. Substances such as iron supplements, black licorice, black stout, and bismuth medications also cause black poop.
If stools are white, gray, or pale, a person may have an issue with the liver or gallbladder as pale stools suggest a lack of bile. Some anti-diarrhea medications cause white stools.
Spinach, kale, or other green foods can cause green poop. However, green-colored stool may be a sign that there is too much bile and not enough bilirubin in the poop.
Share on PinterestWhile normal poop is usually brown, other colors are possible, including black or white.
Poop that is red-colored may be the result of gastrointestinal bleeding. Small amounts of blood in the stool can indicate hemorrhoids.
Eating beets or red berries, or drinking beet or tomato juice, also turns poop red. Once these foods have passed through the digestive tract, poop should become brown again.
Consuming many orange-colored foods, which are rich in a pigment called beta-carotene, causes orange stool.
Carrots, sweet potatoes, and winter squash are among the many foods that contain this pigment.
However, blocked bile ducts or certain medications including some antacids and the antibiotic rifampin can cause orange poop.
If stool appears yellow or is greasy-looking, it suggests the poop contains too much fat. This may be the result of absorption issues, or difficulty producing enzymes or bile.
Most people will experience variations in stool color at some stage. Usually, this is down to diet or some other minor cause. However, anyone who experiences changes in poop color that last for 2 or more weeks or has red or black stool should see their doctor.
How long should a poop take?
At most, it should take no more than 10 to 15 minutes to pass stool.
People that take longer than this may have constipation, hemorrhoids, or another condition.
The following situations may suggest a digestive issue:
- pooping too often (more than three times daily)
- not pooping often enough (less than three times a week)
- excessive straining when pooping.
- poop that is colored red, black, green, yellow, or white
- greasy, fatty stools
- pain when pooping
- blood in the stool
- bleeding while passing stool
- watery poop (diarrhea)
- very hard, dry poop that is difficult to pass
People experiencing any of these types of poop should see a doctor.
Share on PinterestExcessive caffeine consumption may cause abnormal poop. Staying hydrated can prevent constipation.
Abnormal poop can have many causes, ranging from minor to severe. Causes can include:
Digestive conditions, such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), can be triggered or exacerbated by stress. In some people, it can manifest as diarrhea and in others as constipation.
Not drinking enough water and other fluids can lead to constipation, as stool requires moisture to be able to move through the digestive tract. Too much caffeine and alcohol can contribute to dehydration.
Lack of dietary fiber
Fiber acts as a binding substance to give stool its form. It also helps poop to move smoothly through the digestive tract. A diet that is low in fiber-rich foods, such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and pulses, can lead to bowel problems.
Food intolerances and allergies
People with an intolerance or allergy to certain foods can often experience diarrhea, constipation, or other traits of abnormal poop when they consume a problematic food.
For example, people with lactose intolerance often experience diarrhea if they have dairy, while those with celiac disease will have an adverse reaction to gluten.
Certain conditions can cause constipation, diarrhea, or other poop abnormalities. Examples of such conditions include:
See a doctor if changes to poop persist for 2 or more weeks.
Seek immediate medical treatment if the stool is bright red, black, or resembles coffee grounds. This suggests blood loss, which could become a medical emergency if left untreated.
How to ensure healthy bowels
To ensure healthy bowel function and healthy poops, follow the tips below:
- Eat enough fiber: Aim to get the recommended minimum daily amount of fiber, which is 25 grams (g) for women and 38 g for men under 50 years old; women over 50 should aim for 21 g while men over 50 should consume 30 g daily.
- Drink plenty of water: A reasonable amount is about 8 glasses (64 ounces) per day. It is especially important to stay hydrated when consuming more fiber.
- Take probiotics. These beneficial bacteria can be found in capsule form, although some yogurts and drinks can also provide probiotics. Probiotics have been found to aid in relief from constipation, as well as infectious diarrhea.
- Try magnesium: Magnesium hydroxide is often used to treat constipation. It is safe for most people, although it is not recommended for people with renal insufficiency.
- Exercise: Staying physically active can encourage normal bowel function and can alleviate constipation. It also relieves stress, a common cause of abnormal poops.
A well-functioning digestive system is essential for health and wellbeing. It also suggests that a person is eating a balanced diet balanced diet.
Poop abnormalities that persist can lead to complications. For example, ongoing diarrhea can result in nutritional deficiencies while constipation can cause bowel obstructions.
Normal poop tends to be brown, soft to firm in texture, and easy to pass. If someone experiences changes in poop, they should monitor the changes and consult a doctor if the issue does not resolve within 2 weeks.
To encourage a normal bowel function, a person should eat a fiber-rich diet, take regular exercise, try to reduce stress, and drink lots of water to stay hydrated.
Why is my poop green? Stool colors explained
Poop can turn green for a number of reasons, these include eating a lot of high-chlorophyll plants, like spinach or kale, taking a course of antibiotics, or a bacterial infection. Although rarely a cause for concern, changes in poop color should be explored.
Poop is generally brown, but, at times, it can turn green, red, black, yellow, or anything in between. Many of these color changes do not signal a medical condition, but some can be a sign of something more serious.
This article discusses poop color, what it means, and when to speak with a doctor.
Fast facts on poop color
- Certain foods and drinks can have significant effect on poop color
- Poop can turn green due to diarrhea
- Long-term changes to poop color should be examined by a doctor
Share on PinterestDoes green poop indicate illness? There are many reasons why stool can change color.
What makes poop green? Green stool is usually the result of a high quantity of leafy, green vegetables in someone’s diet. Specifically, it is the chlorophyll in the plant that produces the green color. Alternatively, children might have green stool after attending a birthday party where they ate artificially colored frosting.
Diet-based reasons for green poop are by far the most common, but there are others; people who do not eat a lot of greens or food coloring should be wary, as green poop can have a more serious cause.
Bile pigment – stool may be green due to bile pigment in the stool. If food moves too quickly through the intestine, bile pigment can’t break down sufficiently. One potential cause of this is diarrhea.
Antibiotics – a course of antibiotics changes the types of bacteria present in the gut. Because bacteria influence the normal color of poop, a change in bacteria may mean a change in stool color, often to green.
Certain medical procedures – for instance, if a bone marrow transplant is rejected, it can cause graft versus host disease. One of the consequences of this condition is diarrhea and green stool.
Parasites and bacteria – certain pathogens can cause poop to turn green, including the Salmonella bacterium, Giardia (a water-based parasite), and norovirus. These unwelcome guests can cause the guts to work faster than normal, impacting stool color.
People who think their green stool is not the result of a diet rich in vegetables or green food coloring should discuss it with their doctor.
The normal color of stool should be a light to dark brown. A substance from red blood cells called bilirubin gets broken down and ends up in the intestines. Bacteria then break it up and turn it brown.
So, what does it means when the color of poop suddenly changes, and what are some of the possible causes?
Changes in diet can produce varying stool colors; this is the most common cause. Eating beets, green vegetables (because of the high chlorophyll content), or licorice can significantly change the color of stool. Drinking Guinness or drinks that contain heavy dye such as Kool-Aid can have a similar effect.
There are, however, more serious causes of non-brown stool color which should be dealt with immediately if discovered.
Here is a brief list of potential illnesses that may change the color of stool:
- Tears in the lining of the anus
- Gallbladder disease
- Celiac disease
- Ulcerative colitis – a condition where the top layer of the large intestine lining is inflamed
- Crohn’s disease – a condition where all of the large intestine can become inflamed
- Diverticular disease – a condition where pouches form in the intestine
- Infections – bacteria and parasites can change stool color; for instance, Salmonella and Giardia can both lead to green stools
- Piles (hemorrhoids)
- Bleeding in the gut
It is difficult to consistently relate a precise color to each illness. However, there are some general characteristics that can serve as a guide.
- Reddish stool – can be caused by bleeding in the lower gut or rectum.
- Yellowish, greasy, smelly stool – can indicate an infection in the small intestine. It could also be a sign of excess fat in the stool due to a malabsorption disorder, celiac disease for instance.
- White, light, or clay-colored – this can indicate a lack of bile in the body, possibly from a blocked bile duct. Certain medications can also cause this discoloration, such as bismuth subsalicylate (e.g. Pepto-Bismol) and other anti-diarrheal medication.
- Black or dark brown – could indicate bleeding in the upper digestive tract, for instance, the stomach. Alternatively, it could be caused by iron supplements or bismuth subsalicylate.
- Bright red – bleeding in the lower digestive tract (rectum, for instance) or, commonly, hemorrhoids. Alternatively, it may be due to red food coloring, cranberries, beets, tomato-based products, red gelatin, or drinks with red food coloring.
- Green – eating large quantities of green dye, green vegetables; a course of antibiotics, or a bacterial infection.
It is important that people see a doctor if any discoloration persists instead of trying to work it out for themselves.
It is important to know what to look out for regarding the more serious causes of stool discoloration. These can include conditions such as diverticulitis, Crohn’s disease, and cancer, which usually manifest with bleeding from the anus.
Important symptoms to look out for include:
- Dark, tarry stools
- Large amounts of blood passed from the rectum
- Blood in the toilet bowl
- Itchy anus
- Swollen blood vessels in the rectum
- Small tears in the skin of the anus
- An urge to keep passing stools even when the bowel is empty
- A small channel developing between the end of the bowel and the skin of the anus
As well as any traces of blood in the stool, or general bleeding from the anus, pay attention to any other symptoms linked with stool discoloration. These include light-headedness, dizziness, nausea, or vomiting, especially if vomit contains blood as well.
People should seek the advice of a doctor immediately if any of these symptoms persist. Common causes of rectal bleeding include:
- Piles (hemorrhoids)
- Tears in the lining of the anus
- Anal fistula – a small channel that develops between the end of the bowel and the skin of the anus
- Angiodysplasia – swollen blood vessels in the gut
- Gastroenteritis – inflammation of the gut
- Diverticular disease
- Bowel cancer (colon or rectal cancer)
Less common causes of rectal bleeding include:
It is worth having a quick look at stool before flushing it away. Stool is a very good indicator of whether the digestive system is working properly. If there are any illnesses occurring in the body such as those mentioned above, stool may give a clue.
According to the Bristol Stool Chart, there are seven shapes and formations that characterize our stool. Each one denotes something about a person’s diet or body.
The Bristol Stool Chart
- Type 1: Separate, hard lumps, like nuts (that are often hard to pass)
- Type 2: Sausage-shaped but lumpy
- Type 3: Sausage-shaped but with cracks on the surface
- Type 4: Sausage- or snake-like, smooth and soft
- Type 5: Soft blobs with clear-cut edges (easy to pass)
- Type 6: Fluffy pieces with ragged edges, mushy
- Type 7: Watery, no solid pieces (entirely liquid)
As a general rule, type 3 or 4 is the ideal stool as it is easy to pass without being too watery. Type 1 or 2 means that a person is probably constipated. Type 5, 6, or 7 indicates that a person probably has diarrhea.
This chart helps doctors identify problems, as well as measure the time it takes for food to pass through the digestive system. The shape and form of stool may also help doctors to make a correct diagnosis.
The most important thing to do to regulate stool color is to eat healthily. As discussed earlier, the ideal stool color is light to dark brown. Some people who have a high quantity of greens in their diet may pass poop that has a green color too.
Having green poop isn’t usually a cause for concern. However, it is important for people to keep an eye on both the color and the texture of their stool. Anyone who is concerned about the color of their stool should discuss it with their doctor.
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Healthy and Unhealthy Stool: Poop Colors Explained
Although you may not pay much attention to your stools, looking at them regularly can help you pick up on variations in color, shape, and texture that are typical for you and persistent changes that should be investigated.
Here’s a description of some of the different types of poop, from stool that is yellow, green, pale, dark, or red to poop that is pebble-shaped or accompanied by mucus. Keep in mind that you should always talk to your doctor about new or concerning symptoms.
Verywell / Gary Ferster
Yellow Stool or Diarrhea
Having yellow poop may simply mean that you’ve been eating foods high in sweet potatoes, carrots, turmeric, or yellow food coloring. In addition, people with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and those taking medication for GERD sometimes have yellow poop.
If the onset is recent, yellow stool can also be a sign of an intestinal infection, particularly if it’s accompanied by diarrhea, fever, flu-like symptoms, and stomach cramps. Giardiasis, a small intestine infection caused by the parasite Giardia lamblia, can also lead to yellow stool or diarrhea.
In some cases, yellow poop may signal the presence of excess fat in the stool, a condition that may be caused by anything that disrupts the intestinal lining (such as celiac disease) or disorders affecting the pancreas, liver, or gallbladder. This type of stool (or diarrhea) usually looks greasy and may be foul-smelling, frothy, or float in the toilet bowl.
Seeing green stool in the toilet bowl can be alarming, but there are some common reasons why it occurs. Eating lots of leafy vegetables like kale or spinach can give stool a greenish color, but it’s normal and shouldn’t stop you from getting your fill of these antioxidant-rich foods. Food coloring, including green, purple, and blue dye, and iron supplements can also turn feces an emerald color.
Besides the obvious foods and dyes, any food, supplement, or condition that speeds up intestinal activity can also lead to green stool. Recent changes in your diet can also do it. In women, green stool is more likely to occur at certain times during pregnancy.
Stool That Sinks Quickly
Although normal stool shape and frequency varies widely from person to person, if your stool quickly sinks, you may not be getting enough fluids or fiber in your diet. This stool is often dark because it stays in the intestines longer.
Occasionally having a stool that floats is often nothing to be concerned about. Most commonly, floating stool happens when you have increased gas that mixes into the stool, causing it to float. It can be caused by anything from carbonated drinks, beans, and sugary foods to conditions like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
If you notice that your stool floats consistently, it could also be a sign that you’re not absorbing fat properly. Called steatorrhea, this type of stool often has an odor, sticks to the side of the bowl, or is difficult to flush away.
Stool that comes out in small pieces rather than long and smooth is sometimes called pebble or pellet stool. Fiber forms a gel in the intestines when it is fermented by bacteria in the colon and combined with water. If there is a lack of fiber holding stool together, it may be shaped like small pebbles.
Upping your intake of fiber may help, by slowly increasing your intake to the recommended 20 to 35 grams daily. Foods like brown rice, quinoa, flaxseeds, beans, and pears are just some of the foods that can help.
Loose stool lasting a couple of days or less is common and usually isn’t serious. It can be triggered by recent changes in your diet, too much fructose (a sugar found in honey and many soft drinks and processed foods), and many different foods, supplements, and medication.
While eating something that upsets your digestive system can result in loose stools, another common cause is a gastrointestinal infection (sometimes known as the “stomach flu”).
If your bowel movements are dry, difficult to pass, or infrequent (occurring less than three times a week), you may have constipation. While certain medications and conditions can result in constipation, for many people, it’s a lack of dietary fiber. Legumes and raspberries are just some of the foods that can help constipation. In some cases, natural remedies may also help.
If constipation is ongoing (lasting over two weeks) or if it’s accompanied by symptoms like nausea, vomiting, pain in your abdomen, you should see your healthcare provider.
Mucus in Stool
Although mucus is commonly found in stool, you normally don’t notice it because it tends to be clear. A thick, jellylike substance, mucus lubricates your intestines (protecting them from stomach acid, bacteria, viruses, or fungi) and makes bowel movements slippery and easy to pass.
If you start seeing mucus in your stool or notice that the mucus is white or yellow, mention it to your healthcare provider at your next visit. While it doesn’t necessarily mean that something is wrong, you want to report any change in bowel habits to your doctor. In some cases, it could indicate inflammation or irritation in the intestinal wall and signal an underlying health issue.
Excessive straining when you are on the toilet can result in a stool that is long and thin. Bearing down causes the anal sphincter to contract and narrows the opening of the anus. Stool that is squeezed through the narrowed opening is thin.
Consistently thin stools, however, could signal a medical problem. Any condition that obstructs the bowels, such as benign rectal polyps, hemorrhoids, prostate enlargement, or cancer of the colon, rectum or prostate could cause pencil-thin stool.
You should see your healthcare provider if you regularly notice that you have a pencil-thin stool.
Bile salts in the intestines give stool its characteristic brown color. Stool that is light-colored (either pale, white, grey, or clay-colored) could indicate a lack of bile in stool. A blockage of the bile ducts from gallstones or a condition affecting your gallbladder, liver, pancreas, or liver can cause decreased bile output.
If you notice that your stools are white, clay-colored, or chalky grey, you should see your doctor. Pale or light-colored stool may also be shiny or greasy, floating, and foul-smelling, due to undigested fat in the stool.
Certain medications such as bismuth subsalicylate (Pepto-Bismol®, Kaopectate®) or anti-diarrheal drugs may also result in a light-colored stool. Stool may become temporarily pale after a barium enema test.
Undigested Food in Stool
Seeing undigested food in your stool on occasion typically isn’t anything to worry about. Certain plant foods such as corn and grape skins, for instance, often appear in recognizable pieces in stool because we lack the enzymes needed to digest certain components of plant cell walls.
Eating more slowly and chewing each bite thoroughly can help. If you see undigested food in your stool regularly, however, and it’s accompanied by other changes in your bowel habits like diarrhea or stomach cramps, it’s a good idea to bring it up with your healthcare provider.
Bright Red Stool
Bright red stool can be caused by beets, cranberries, or tomato juice or soup, or red food coloring (e.g. red or grape Kool-Aid or other drink mixes, gelatin, ice pops, red candy, red frosting, and red licorice). Red medicines such as amoxicillin may also turn stool red.
If there is blood in stool, the color depends on where it is in the digestive tract. Blood from the upper part of the gastrointestinal tract, such as the stomach or esophagus, will look dark by the time it exits the body as a bowel movement.
Blood that is bright red, on the other hand, is more likely to come from bleeding in the lower gastrointestinal tract, such as the large intestine or rectum, due to conditions such as arteriovenous malformations, hemorrhoids, anal fissures, ulcerative colitis, diverticulosis, or colon cancer.
Blood in stool doesn’t always appear bright red. Blood may be also present in stool but not visible, called “occult” blood. Tests such as the fecal occult blood test may be used to detect hidden blood in the stool.
Black or Dark Stool
Certain foods, supplements, and medications can temporarily turn stool black, such as:
- Bismuth subsalicylate (Pepto-Bismol, Kaopectate)
- Iron supplements
- Activated charcoal supplements
- Dark foods such as black licorice, blueberries, Oreo cookies, blackberries, grape juice, or blueberries
Stool can also appear darker with constipation. Dark green stool from bile that hasn’t had time to break down may look black in certain lighting.
Stool that is almost black, dark, or tar-like with a thick consistency may indicate bleeding in the upper part of the gastrointestinal tract, such as the stomach or esophagus. Medical conditions that can cause dark, tar-like stool include duodenal or gastric ulcers, esophageal varices, Mallory-Weiss tear, and gastritis.
If you experience black stool and it is not from food or supplements, you should see your doctor as soon as possible.
When to See Your Doctor
While it’s normal for bowel movements to vary from day to day depending on a number of factors including what you eat and drink, they should generally be formed and some shade of brown. Stools should leave the body with little straining or discomfort, have a toothpaste-like consistency, and look more like a banana than a pencil. You shouldn’t see mucus or blood.
Be sure to see your doctor right away if your stool is bright red, black, or pale, consistently thin or pencil-like, loose or watery, accompanied by mucus or pus, or if you have additional symptoms like abdominal pain.
A Word From Verywell
Most day-to-day variations in the appearance of your stool have to do with what you eat or drink. While the biggest concerns are unusual poop colors or shapes that persist, consult your doctor if you’re concerned about your stool or notice any changes in your bowel habits.
Stool Color – Symptoms, Causes, Treatments
Stool is naturally brown due to the digestion of bile salts produced by the liver and blood pigments such as bilirubin. Dietary supplements including iron, medications, and some foods, such as blueberries, beets, or black licorice, can darken the stool or even turn it black. Dark stool, when not associated with diet, supplements or medications, can be a worrisome symptom, as it can be due to bleeding in the digestive tract.
The color of bloody stool depends on the site of the bleeding and how quickly food moves through the digestive system. Blood from the esophagus, stomach, and small intestine may have time to be digested, resulting in dark, tarry stool. Red blood in the stool frequently comes from the lower portion of the digestive tract, specifically the colon or anus. However, bleeding from a higher portion of the digestive tract can speed digestive transit, also leading to red stool. Red striping of the stool is often related to bleeding of the rectum or anus and may be seen in stool of people who have hemorrhoids (inflamed veins in lower rectum or anus).
Pale stool can occur if bile salt production is reduced or its transport is blocked due to serious liver infections or a bile duct obstruction that is caused by stones, scarring, abnormal development, or external compression. Liver disease and bile duct obstruction can also cause jaundice, a yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes that may be accompanied by itching.
Changes in stool color can be related to diet, supplements or medications; however, stool that is persistently dark or light can be an indication of a serious medical problem. Seek immediate medical care (call 911) for bloody stool, which may be red or black or tarry in consistency, and may be accompanied by severe pain, profuse sweating, alterations in level of consciousness, rapid heartbeat (tachycardia), vomiting blood, or chest pain.
If your stool color changes are persistent or cause you concern, seek prompt medical care.
90,000 Stool color: what color of stool should we worry about | The human body
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Today we will talk about the colors of the stool and the reasons for the color change.
Normal stool color
Stool color, consistency or content can cause concern. And it is right! It should be remembered that they indicate a state of health, and deviations from the normal color of the stool can indicate various ailments.
Stool color depends on many factors, including food and drink. Stool is mainly composed of fluid, food, and bacteria. The correct color of the stool is brown. In addition, healthy faeces should be well formed (not too soft or too hard) and free from visible food debris.
Stool color may not always be a cause for concern, because the color of fecal matter most often depends on the type of food contained in the diet.
- stool discoloration persists for more than a few days, although the diet is varied,
- stools are poorly formed, too loose or too dense (diarrhea or constipation appears),
- stool discoloration is accompanied by other conditions, such like stomach pain.
You should contact a specialist who will carry out the appropriate analyzes and diagnose the problem.
What colors of feces should be of concern?
Black feces should always be a cause for concern as it can signal life-threatening health problems. The most important cause of black stool is gastrointestinal bleeding, which can be caused by:
- stomach and duodenal ulcer,
- esophageal ulcer,
- esophageal varicose veins
- rupture of the gastric mucosa.
This symptom also raises the suspicion of inflammatory bowel disease or bowel cancer. However, after you notice black stools, you shouldn’t panic. This is not always a sign of bleeding and does not have to be caused by illness.
Black stools can also appear after the use of certain foods, such as:
- black berries,
as well as after the use of preparations containing iron, bismuth compounds and other coloring pharmacological agents …To check the origin of troublesome stools, it is helpful to check for occult blood in the stool, a tester is available in almost every pharmacy without a prescription. If the test is positive, you must inform your doctor!
Green stool can also be a symptom of many serious medical conditions, but is not necessarily associated with a specific condition.
Green faeces can occur in the following cases:
- Food poisoning.
- Irritable bowel syndrome.
- Crohn’s disease.
- Suction problems.
- Food allergy.
- Parasitic infections.
- Celiac disease.
The green color of feces is also influenced by bile, which, passing through the intestines, changes its color from green to yellow, and then, under the influence of the bacterial flora of the digestive tract, to brown, from where the correct color of feces originates. The green color of the stool can be caused by the acceleration of the digestive tract, due to which the bile does not change color from green to brown.This state of affairs can occur, for example, when using laxatives.
In addition to accelerating the passage through the digestive tract, a change in stool color to green can also be caused by antibiotic therapy, which disrupts the natural intestinal flora and the appearance of unfavorable microbes, the activity of which affects the color of the stool. For this reason, when taking antibiotics, it is extremely important to take probiotics and consume yogurt and kefir.
Green color of faeces can also occur when we eat too much chlorophyll-containing foods.Which are found in lettuce, spinach, kale, broccoli, and many dietary supplements that we consume. The principle is that if a change in stool color to green is not the reason for consuming these products, see your doctor if the stool color does not return to normal within 2-3 days. This concludes the article. But that’s not all. Since the article turned out to be a little long, I will continue to release it tomorrow. Therefore, do not forget to subscribe to the channel and like it, for me is very important!
What does the color of the chair indicate? – HealthInfo
Conversations on this topic can confuse anyone.However, it is precisely by the color of feces, the regularity of the stool and intestinal motility that it is easiest to suspect a pathology in the body. We will tell you how a normal stool should look like, and what diseases its changes can indicate.
What color should the feces be?
It is normally brown or golden brown. Stercobilin gives this color to feces – a coloring pigment that depends on several factors:
- Foods: Some natural colors in vegetables and fruits can give it their color.For example, green vegetables contain the coloring chlorophyll, and beets contain beta-carotene.
- Dyes. For example, ferrocyanide, which is used to treat poisonings , can give a blue coloration.
- The work of the digestive tract – on the way to the rectum, food is converted by the action of digestive juices, enzymes and bacteria. Therefore, the color of the stool also depends on the work of the internal organs.
What diseases can changes in stool color speak of?
The gallbladder, pancreas and liver are involved in the formation of color, therefore most of the pathologies are associated with disorders in these organs.This is what the color can talk about:
- Dark brown – about the presence of digestive disorders – colitis, putrefactive dyspepsia. And also this color predominates with constipation and excessive consumption of meat.
- Light brown occurs with increased intestinal motility, as well as with a large amount of dairy products in the diet.
- Red color occurs with bleeding from the lower intestines. If you are sure that this shade is not related to food, you need to urgently see a doctor: blood in the stool can be the cause of polyps, inflammation, diverticulitis, or even colon cancer .
- Yellow feces may indicate problems with the digestion of fat. Yellow, oily stools may indicate chronic pancreatitis or celiac disease.
- Green color occurs with increased intestinal motility.
- Black happens after taking absorbents. However, if you have not drunk them, this color may indicate bleeding in the gastrointestinal tract.
- White stools can be caused by bile problems – when the bile duct is blocked by a stone or tumor, it cannot reach the intestines and the stool becomes lighter.Also, this shade is typical for liver diseases.
What consistency should the stool be?
It is normally soft because it is 70% water and 30% processed food residues. Here’s what density changes can tell about:
- Gruel-like stools occur with increased peristalsis, inflammation or increased intestinal secretion.
- Very tight – for spasms and stenosis of the colon, as well as constipation.
- Ointous – for diseases of the pancreas or problems with bile.
- Clayy stools (usually gray in color) occur in liver diseases.
- Liquid – for digestive disorders and diarrhea.
How much is normal?
150 to 400 g per day. If it is less or more, it is possible that the person has the following pathologies:
- Digestive disorders;
- Enhanced peristalsis, in which nutrients do not have time to be absorbed;
- Eating too much or not enough fiber;
- Chronic pancreatitis;
- Insufficient amount of bile due to cholelithiasis or cholecystitis.
How to normalize stool?
If for a long time you notice one of the signs of an abnormality, see your doctor. He will prescribe a stool analysis – a coprogram and select a treatment.
However, everyone should live a healthy lifestyle and eat right: The American Academy of Family Physicians recommends eating a minimum of 9 servings of high fiber foods per day. Coarse fiber is found in vegetables, fruits, and legumes.You also need to drink plenty of water – intestines need moisture, which softens the stool and improves its permeability.
You can learn more about how to determine pathology by the color of the stool from the plot of the program “Living Healthy”
Results of stool analysis – increase, decrease, symptoms, diseases, laboratories
Form of feces
Formalized – Formal stool, close to cylindrical shape, complies with the norm
Sheep feces – Feces in the form of dense ovals and balls indicates chronic constipation and dehydration.In this case, the stool is dry, dark and does not lose its shape even when squeezed. A tendency to constipation can also be a sign of mechanical obstruction in the rectum, swelling, and intestinal atony. If the feces have this form constantly, then it is imperative to conduct an examination of the rectum.
Unformed – Unformed feces occur in the case of insufficiently dense consistency, which characterizes defective digestion.
Ribbon – Tumors, scars of the ampulla of the rectum and sphincter create an obstacle to the free passage of feces.As a result, it acquires a flattened shape.
Dense – Consistency and shape may indicate dehydration, in which case the stool is dry, dark and does not lose shape even when squeezed. A tendency to constipation can also be a sign of mechanical obstruction in the rectum, swelling, and intestinal atony.
Soft – Stool of moderate density, at which its shape is maintained, is the norm.
Gruel-like – Gruel-like feces are the result of the accelerated movement of food through the stomach and small intestine.The advantage of plant-based foods in the diet also leads to the formation of mushy feces.
Gruel-like, fiber – Gruel-like feces are the result of the accelerated movement of food through the stomach and small intestine. The advantage of plant-based foods in the diet also leads to the formation of mushy feces.
Oily – Fatty feces in the form of a homogeneous thick mass, adheres to the walls of the toilet and is washed off only with warm water – evidence of the presence of neutral fat in the feces more than 15 g (norm 7 g), or fatty acids and soaps.The occasional appearance of such feces may be the result of taking a large amount of fatty foods or drugs for weight loss the day before.
Oily, neutral fat – Fatty stool in the form of a homogeneous thick mass, sticks to the toilet walls and is washed off only with warm water – evidence of the presence of neutral fat in the stool more than 15 g (norm 7 g), and / or fatty acids and soaps. Neutral fat in the stool is a sign of impaired bile flow, insufficient function or inflammation of the pancreas.
Oily, fatty acids, soaps – Fatty feces in the form of a homogeneous thick mass, sticks to the toilet walls and is washed off only with warm water – evidence of the presence of neutral fat in the feces more than 15 g (norm 7 g), and / or fatty acids and soaps … This consistency indicates a lack of lipase, poor bile production, or fermentative dyspepsia, an accelerated passage of food through the small intestine. With constipation, the amount of soaps increases.
Foamy – Foamy feces, often mushy, are the result of digestive disorders like fermentative dyspepsia.At the same time, iodophilic flora is present.
Liquid stool – Liquid stool is a symptom of toxic infection, acute intestinal infection, poisoning.
Watery – Sign of intestinal infection, toxicoinfection, poisoning.
Brown – Normal stool is brown, more or less dark in color.
Dark brown – Normal feces are brown, more or less dark in color.
Light brown – Normal feces are brown, more or less dark in color.
Red-brown, erythrocytes, hemoglobin – The presence of a red tint in feces may be a symptom of intestinal bleeding.
Red-brown, digestible and indigestible fiber – The presence of a red tinge of stool can be a symptom of intestinal bleeding. Some vegetables and fruits, for example, beets, watermelons, currants, color the feces in different shades of red.
Brown with red patches, erythrocytes – Streaks or deposits of bright red color in the stool are a symptom of bleeding from the colon. Often, small amounts of bright red plaque are present in hemorrhoids.
Light yellow – Semi-liquid yellow stool is normal for infants. In an adult, decorated light yellow feces may be the result of consuming a large amount of dairy products.
Bright yellow, bilirubin – The pronounced yellow color of feces is a sign of excessive bile production due to pathology of the gallbladder and / or liver.
Gray-white – Feces are discolored in the absence of bile pigments in it. This happens with viral hepatitis, liver cirrhosis, blockage of the bile duct.
Black, unformed – Black stool indicates gastric bleeding, or bleeding in the duodenum. Under the influence of digestive enzymes, red blood cells change their color, therefore they acquire a black tint. Unformed, thick black stool is called melena and is always a poor prognosis.
Black, shaped – Normal consistency and shape of black feces may appear when taking iron-containing preparations.
Green with red streaks – Green liquid feces with red streaks indicate an acute intestinal infection, shigellosis.
Green, loose – Green liquid and semi-liquid stool is a symptom of an acute intestinal infection.
Green, formalized – formalized and normal consistency of green feces is formed when a large amount of green vegetables and herbs are consumed.
Neutral (weakly acidic, weakly alkaline) – Normal reaction of feces is neutral, weakly acidic or slightly alkaline, depending on the composition of the diet.
Acidic – acidic reaction is a consequence of the predominance of simple carbohydrates, fermentation products, vegetables and fruits in the diet, which enhance fermentation in the intestine. Iodophilic flora is present.
Alkaline – The alkaline reaction of feces indicates the predominance of decay processes, as a result of an excess of protein foods.This process is accompanied by the formation of a large amount of ammonia. Impaired absorption and digestion of fats and proteins, chronic bowel diseases are also manifested by an alkaline reaction.
90,000 10 main causes and treatment
Feces when taking De-Nol become black, which causes anxiety and concern for the patient. Anxiety in this case is justified, since a change in the color of the stool can be a manifestation of dangerous complications of peptic ulcer disease – gastric or intestinal bleeding.In order not to miss such conditions, the use of the drug should occur only as directed by a doctor. It is not recommended to self-medicate and drink bismuth compounds without preliminary examination and clarification of the diagnosis.
Causes of black stool
The color of the stool is due to its constituent components. Normal coloration is primarily associated with pigments, which oxidize on contact with atmospheric oxygen and give the stool a characteristic brown tint.These pigments are the product of a number of biochemical reactions that occur with bilirubin, one of the final substances in the breakdown of hemoglobin. Bilirubin is secreted with bile into the intestinal lumen, undergoes transformation under the influence of enzymes and microorganisms, and as a result, stercobilinogen is formed, which is oxidized in air and becomes brown stercobilin.
In addition to stercobilin, the color of feces can change depending on the pigments contained in it from food or drugs entering the body.The appearance of loose black stools with bleeding symptoms is life-threatening. In addition, black stools can be a symptom of many diseases of the digestive system and other body systems.
Food and food
Animal meat is muscle tissue containing blood vessels and blood. With insufficient heat treatment, blood components are not destroyed, but enter the digestive tract unchanged. Hemoglobin from the blood of an animal is exposed to the hydrochloric acid of gastric juice, breaks down into substances that give the feces a black color.Therefore, lovers of beef steak with blood may experience darkening of the stool, up to black.
The same reason for the staining of feces when consuming a large amount of blood sausage and liver. The liver, in addition to the blood itself, contains a large amount of bilirubin, which is an additional reason for discoloration of stool.
The situation is somewhat different with plant products. Black currants, plums, beets, mountain ash, grapes, blueberries contain pigment substances.When eating a small amount of the listed vegetables and berries, the pigments are completely destroyed by the digestive enzymes of the gastrointestinal tract. If the amount of pigment substances is large, then they are able to color the feces.
Both grapes themselves and red wine can lead to black stools. This phenomenon is not always related to the quality of the beverage. Often unscrupulous manufacturers add dyes to their products to give the wine the desired appearance.
A distinctive feature of this variant of stool color change is the absence of any symptoms of diseases. In addition to the blackening of the stool, nothing bothers and the usual state of health remains. Sometimes there may be darkening of both feces and urine. But in this case, well-being is also not disturbed in any way.
Prevention of black stool consists of:
- eating small amounts of foods such as blood sausage, grapes, prunes, blueberries, tea and coffee, as well as medicines that can stain the discharge;
- compliance with a balanced diet – meals should not be high in calories;
- at the first symptoms of a malfunction of the digestive tract, seek specialist advice.This should be done as soon as possible if this feature of the color of feces was found in children, because pathological processes in a child’s body proceed much faster than in an adult; 90,020 90,019 regular visits to the obstetrician-gynecologist by a pregnant woman; 90 020 90 019 undergoing examination at the clinic at least twice a year.
To prevent black feces, drink plenty of water and eat a lot of fiber. Water and fiber will soften stools and normalize digestion.Foods high in fiber:
- Whole grains
Consult a healthcare professional before following a high fiber diet. Berries can be irritating if you have inflammation or stomach problems.
Many medicines can change the color of the skin, mucous membranes, tears, urine and feces.Iron preparations (Hemofer Prolongatum, Tardifer, Ferrogluconate, Ferronal, Sorbifer) are among the most widespread medicines that stain feces black. They are used to treat mild iron deficiency anemia. Usually, a change in the color of feces occurs after 2-3 days from the start of taking the drugs. And after the same period of time, the feces restore their normal color after stopping the use of these drugs.
Before visiting a doctor, the patient makes a list of products and medicines that he has used over the past 5-7 days.This will help rule out safe causes of melena.
Then a person is prescribed an examination:
- blood test to detect iron deficiency anemia, inflammation, bacterial infection;
- analysis of feces / scraping to exclude helminthic invasions and traces of occult blood;
- Ultrasound of the abdominal cavity to detect neoplasms, injuries;
- Duodenal intubation detects gastritis, duodenal ulcers and stomach ulcers;
- MRI, CT is used to detect tumors.
Analysis of feces – a mandatory study when its color changes
Before the examinations, the doctor conducts a general examination. During it, it is already possible to make a preliminary diagnosis of gastritis, ulcers, bleeding.
Bleeding in the gastrointestinal tract
Repeated liquid black stools, accompanied by progressive general weakness, drowsiness, dizziness, tinnitus and impaired consciousness, is a symptom of bleeding in the intestinal lumen.This feature has received a special name – melena. It can occur with various diseases of the digestive tract or other organs.
Peptic ulcer of the stomach and duodenum
In patients with peptic ulcer on the background of a violation of the diet, alcohol consumption or in stressful situations, an exacerbation of this disease may develop. In addition, even without exacerbation, gastric and duodenal ulcers are constantly progressing. This leads to a deepening of the defect in the mucous membrane of the organ.If there is a blood vessel at the bottom of the ulcer, it is likely to be damaged. Gastrointestinal bleeding begins.
A distinctive feature of this condition is the disappearance of pain that previously bothered the person. This is due to the fact that the blood flowing from the vessel covers the surface of the ulcer and prevents digestive juices from acting on it. But the relief of the condition is short-lived. As bleeding progresses, blood loss becomes so significant that the body’s compensatory capacity is depleted.Symptoms of bleeding develop.
Cirrhosis of the liver
Dilated veins of the esophagus
Varicose veins of the esophagus, which occurs in cirrhosis of the liver, leads to the fact that individual venous nodes partially block the entrance to the stomach. Eating food can easily damage these vessels. Bleeding develops. If it is not massive, then it can last for a long time. The blood passes from the stomach to the intestines, is influenced by the digestive juices and becomes black.As a result, melena occurs after 1-3 days and symptoms of internal bleeding join.
Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis
Both diseases have many differences in the causes of development, manifestations and treatment methods. Common to them is the risk of bleeding due to damage by ulcerative defects of the intestinal walls up to the violation of the integrity of the blood vessels. This leads to intestinal bleeding and black liquid feces.
Often black feces in an adult due to gastrointestinal bleeding is the only symptom of the disease. Cancers usually grow asymptomatically. Only when it grows into the wall of blood vessels does aching pain in the abdomen occur, and a little later the symptoms of bleeding, including black stools, join.
What diseases can there be black feces?
There are a number of diseases in which the stool turns black, not due to blood.During hemolysis (breakdown of red blood cells in the lumen of blood vessels), a huge amount of hemoglobin enters the liver, which is broken down and more bilirubin than usual is released into the intestinal lumen. As a result, the stool becomes black. Hemolysis can be:
- for various infectious diseases;
- against the background of the use of certain drugs;
- with transfusion of incompatible blood group;
- in case of poisoning with certain poisons and salts of heavy metals.
Black or almost black stools can occur with intestinal infections. Darkening of the stool is most typical for salmonellosis. With this disease, the body temperature rises, vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhea occurs. At first, the stool remains brown, but within a few hours it becomes dark green, and sometimes completely black.
Features in children
In the first days after birth, black stools in a child are the norm. It’s called meconium.This color is associated with the swallowing of amniotic fluid by the child and the accumulation of epithelial cells in the intestine. After starting breastfeeding, the stool turns orange or light brown after a few days.
Of the pathological causes of black feces in children, intestinal infections are most common. Moreover, black stools can be observed not only with salmonellosis. Many other bacteria and viruses that cause diarrhea in a child can mimic the course of salmonellosis and be accompanied by black stools.
Is it worth worrying about black feces during pregnancy and after childbirth
In addition to the fact that during the period of gestation, the mother’s body experiences a lot of changes that do not bypass the digestive system, often pregnant women are prescribed iron supplements. These factors often lead to a change in the color of feces during this period.
At the same time, such changes are considered natural, since in this way the body gets rid of excess iron after it has received the necessary dose of this substance.Every pregnant woman can make sure that this information is true in a simple way.
It is necessary to stop taking vitamin preparations for a few days, and all the blackness should go away. If this did not happen, then you need to look for another reason for this phenomenon. In addition, it is very important to monitor the general condition of the woman. And the increased frequency of bowel movements should be of particular concern.
Important. A pregnant woman should be attentive to any changes in the work of the body.The color of feces can tell about important points that require the attention of a doctor.
But black feces after childbirth in the first week is considered the norm, since the body gets rid of excess waste products of the baby. The faeces should gradually acquire a standard appearance. If black feces accompany a woman for several weeks after the birth of a baby, then you need to contact a specialist to help the body recover after childbirth.
Constipation in a cat: what to do – how to help a cat with constipation: what to give
Lack of defecation is always a signal that your pet is not healthy.At least one act of emptying per day is considered to be the norm.
If the act of defecation occurs untimely and with long delays, this can lead to intoxication of the animal and other serious negative consequences. If you notice that the cat does not go to the toilet or meows and makes other sounds during bowel movements, spends a lot of time on this process, but often without results, if the feces are dry and the amount is small, we can talk about constipation in the cat. Constipation can be caused by an unbalanced diet, low protein foods, dehydration, and hairballs in the esophagus.In cases of constipation and complicated acts of defecation of a pet, it is necessary to consult a veterinarian and take the prescribed treatment.
Discoloration of feces may indicate problems of various origins. Brown feces are considered normal. When the color is normal, but the stool is runny, it can be caused by eating poor quality stale food or by parasite infestation. But if the feces are of an unusual color?
If the stool has turned black, this may indicate the presence of digested blood, which indicates internal bleeding in the upper digestive tract.
If blood is found in the feces in the state in which everyone is used to seeing it, scarlet or bright red, it means that the blood has not been digested and bleeding takes place in the lower parts of the digestive tract. In any case, the presence of bleeding in any part of the digestive tract should not be ignored and prompt assistance from a veterinarian.
If your pet’s feces have acquired a greenish or yellowish tint, this may indicate problems with digestion, dysbiosis and other digestive disorders.If the stool is completely light yellow or even beige, white is an indication of a malfunction in the liver.
Grayish feces indicate problems with the digestion of food. If the feces are oily or watery, then this may indicate a malfunction in the absorption of excess fluid by the intestinal walls.
In case of any of the listed manifestations of changes in the quality, quantity, consistency of stool in a cat, you should immediately consult a veterinarian, take stool tests and, having received the results and referrals from a specialist, start treatment.
It is strongly not recommended to start treatment with human drugs and dosages on your own, as this can aggravate the condition of the animal, and precious time will be lost.
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90,000 Intestinal infection in children
Intestinal infection in children – a group of infectious diseases of various etiologies occurring with a predominant lesion of the digestive tract, toxic reaction and dehydration of the body.
In children, intestinal infection is manifested by fever, lethargy, lack of appetite, abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea. Diagnosis of intestinal infection in children is based on clinical and laboratory data (history, symptoms, excretion of the pathogen in feces, detection of specific antibodies in the blood).With intestinal infection in children, antimicrobial drugs, bacteriophages, enterosorbents are prescribed; during the treatment period, it is important to adhere to a diet and conduct rehydration.
Intestinal infection in children – acute bacterial and viral infectious diseases accompanied by intestinal syndrome, intoxication and dehydration. In the structure of infectious morbidity in pediatric intestinal infections in children occupy the second place after ARVI. The susceptibility to intestinal infection in children is 2.5-3 times higher than in adults.About half of cases of intestinal infection in children occur at an early age (up to 3 years). Intestinal infection in a young child is more severe, may be accompanied by malnutrition, the development of dysbiosis and enzymatic insufficiency, and a decrease in immunity. Frequent recurrence of episodes of infection causes impairment of the physical and neuropsychic development of children.
Causes of intestinal infection in children
The range of pathogens of intestinal infections in children is extremely wide.The most common pathogens are gram-negative enterobacteria (Shigella, Salmonella, Campylobacter, Escherichia, Yersinia) and opportunistic flora (Klebsiella, Clostridia, Proteus, Staphylococcus, etc.). In addition, there are intestinal infections caused by viral pathogens (rotaviruses, enteroviruses, adenoviruses), protozoa (lamblia, amoebas, coccidia), fungi. The common properties of all pathogens that determine the development of clinical manifestations are enteropathogenicity, the ability to synthesize endo- and exotoxins.
Infection of children with intestinal infections occurs through the fecal-oral mechanism through alimentary (through food), water, contact and household routes (through dishes, dirty hands, toys, household items, etc.). In weakened children with low immunological reactivity, endogenous infection with opportunistic bacteria is possible. The source of OCI can be a carrier, a patient with an erased or manifest form of the disease, pets. In the development of intestinal infection in children, an important role is played by violation of the rules for cooking and storing food, admission to children’s kitchens of persons carrying infection, patients with tonsillitis, furunculosis, streptoderma, etc.
Sporadic cases of intestinal infection in children are most often recorded, although group and even epidemic outbreaks are possible with the food or water route of infection. The rise in the incidence of some intestinal infections in children has a seasonal dependence: for example, dysentery occurs more often in summer and autumn, rotavirus infection – in winter.
The prevalence of intestinal infections among children is due to epidemiological features (high prevalence and contagiousness of pathogens, their high resistance to environmental factors), anatomical and physiological features of the child’s digestive system (low acidity of gastric juice), imperfection of protective mechanisms (low concentration of IgA).The incidence of acute intestinal infection in children is facilitated by the disruption of the normal intestinal microbiota, non-compliance with the rules of personal hygiene, and poor sanitary and hygienic living conditions.
Classification of intestinal infection in children
According to the clinical and etiological principle, among the intestinal infections most often recorded in the pediatric population, there are shigellosis (dysentery), salmonellosis, coli infection (escherichiosis), yersiniosis, campylobacteriosis, cryptosporidiosis, rotavirus infection, staphylococcal infection and other intestinal infections.
According to the severity and characteristics of the symptoms, the course of intestinal infection in children can be typical (mild, moderate, severe) and atypical (erased, hypertoxic). The severity of the clinic is assessed by the degree of damage to the gastrointestinal tract, dehydration and intoxication.
The nature of local manifestations in intestinal infection in children depends on the lesion of one or another part of the gastrointestinal tract, and therefore gastritis, enteritis, colitis, gastroenteritis, gastroenterocolitis, enterocolitis are distinguished.In addition to localized forms, in infants and weakened children, generalized forms of infection can develop with the spread of the pathogen outside the digestive tract.
During the course of intestinal infection in children, acute (up to 1.5 months), protracted (over 1.5 months) and chronic (over 5-6 months) phases are distinguished.
Dysentery in children
After a short incubation period (1-7 days), the temperature rises sharply (up to 39-40 ° C), weakness and weakness increase, appetite decreases, vomiting is possible.Against the background of fever, there is a headache, chills, sometimes – delirium, convulsions, loss of consciousness. Intestinal infection in children is accompanied by cramping abdominal pain localized in the left iliac region, symptoms of distal colitis (soreness and spasm of the sigmoid colon, tenesmus with rectal prolapse), symptoms of sphincteritis. The frequency of bowel movements can vary from 4-6 to 15-20 times per day. With dysentery, the stool is liquid, containing impurities of cloudy mucus and blood. In severe forms of dysentery, hemorrhagic syndrome may develop, up to intestinal bleeding.
In young children with intestinal infection, general intoxication prevails over colitis syndrome, hemodynamic, electrolyte and protein metabolism disorders occur more often. The most easily in children is intestinal infection caused by Shigella Zone; heavier – Shigella Flexner and Grigoriez-Shiga.
Salmonellosis in children
Most often (in 90% of cases), the gastrointestinal form of salmonellosis develops, proceeding according to the type of gastritis, gastroenteritis, gastroenterocolitis.Characterized by subacute onset, febrile rise in temperature, weakness, vomiting, hepatosplenomegaly. Stool with salmonellosis is liquid, abundant, feces, the color of “swamp mud”, with admixtures of mucus and blood. Usually, this form of intestinal infection ends with recovery, however, in infants, death is possible due to severe intestinal toxicosis.
Influenza-like (respiratory) form of intestinal infection occurs in 4-5% of children. With this form, Salmonella is found in the inoculation of material from the pharynx.Its course is characterized by febrile temperature, headache, arthralgia and myalgia, symptoms of rhinitis, pharyngitis, conjunctivitis. From the side of the cardiovascular system, tachycardia and arterial hypotension are noted.
Typhus-like form of salmonellosis in children accounts for 2% of clinical cases. It proceeds with a long period of fever (up to 3-4 weeks), severe intoxication, dysfunction of the cardiovascular system (tachycardia, bradycardia).
The septic form of intestinal infection usually develops in children of the first months of life with an unfavorable premorbid background.It accounts for about 2-3% of cases of salmonellosis in children. The disease is extremely difficult, accompanied by septicemia or septicopyemia, violation of all types of metabolism, the development of severe complications (pneumonia, parenchymal hepatitis, otoantritis, meningitis, osteomyelitis).
Escherichiosis in children
This group of intestinal infections in children is extremely extensive and includes coli-infections caused by enteropathogenic, enterotoxigenic, enteroinvasive, enterohemorrhagic escherichias.
Intestinal infection in children caused by Escherichia occurs with subfebrile or febrile temperature, weakness, lethargy, decreased appetite, persistent vomiting or regurgitation, flatulence. Characterized by watery diarrhea (profuse, splashing yellow stools mixed with mucus), quickly leading to dehydration and the development of exsicosis. With escherichiosis caused by enterohemorrhagic escherichias, diarrhea is bloody.
As a result of dehydration, the child develops dry skin and mucous membranes, decreases tissue turgor and elasticity, sinks a large fontanelle and eyeballs, decreases urine output by the type of oliguria or anuria.
Rotavirus infection in children
Usually proceeds as acute gastroenteritis or enteritis. The incubation period lasts on average 1-3 days. All symptoms of intestinal infection in children develop within one day, while the lesion of the gastrointestinal tract is combined with catarrhal phenomena.
Respiratory syndrome is characterized by throat hyperemia, rhinitis, sore throat, coughing. Simultaneously with the defeat of the nasopharynx, signs of gastroenteritis develop: liquid (watery, foamy) stools with a frequency of bowel movements from 4-5 to 15 times a day, vomiting, temperature reaction, general intoxication.The duration of the course of intestinal infection in children is 4-7 days.
Staphylococcal intestinal infection in children
Distinguish between primary staphylococcal intestinal infection in children, associated with the consumption of food seeded with staphylococcus, and secondary, caused by the spread of the pathogen from other foci.
The course of intestinal infection in children is characterized by severe exsicosis and toxicosis, vomiting, increased stool up to 10-15 times a day. The stool is loose, watery, greenish in color, with a slight admixture of mucus.With secondary staphylococcal infection in children, intestinal symptoms develop against the background of the leading disease: purulent otitis media, pneumonia, staphyloderma, tonsillitis, etc. In this case, the disease can take a long undulating course.
Diagnosis of intestinal infection in children
Based on the examination, epidemiological and clinical data, the pediatrician (pediatric infectious disease specialist) can only assume the likelihood of intestinal infection in children, however, etiological decoding is possible only on the basis of laboratory data.
The main role in confirming the diagnosis of intestinal infection in children is played by bacteriological examination of stool, which should be carried out as early as possible, before the initiation of etiotropic therapy. With a generalized form of intestinal infection in children, blood culture is carried out for sterility, bacteriological examination of urine, cerebrospinal fluid.
Serological methods (RPHA, ELISA, RSK) are of a certain diagnostic value, which allow detecting the presence of Ab to the pathogen in the patient’s blood from the 5th day from the onset of the disease.The study of the coprogram allows you to clarify the localization of the process in the gastrointestinal tract.
In case of intestinal infection in children, it is required to exclude acute appendicitis, pancreatitis, lactase deficiency, biliary dyskinesia and other pathologies. For this purpose, consultations are held with a pediatric surgeon and a pediatric gastroenterologist.
Treatment of intestinal infection in children
Complex treatment of intestinal infections in children involves the organization of medical nutrition; oral rehydration, etiotropic, pathogenetic and symptomatic therapy.
The diet of children with intestinal infection requires a decrease in the amount of food, an increase in the frequency of feedings, the use of mixtures enriched with protective factors, the use of mashed, easily digestible food. An important component of the therapy of intestinal infections in children is oral rehydration with glucose-saline solutions, drinking plenty of fluids. It is carried out until the end of fluid loss. If oral nutrition and fluid intake are impossible, infusion therapy is prescribed: solutions of glucose, Ringer, albumin, etc. are injected intravenously.
Etiotropic therapy of intestinal infections in children is carried out with antibiotics and intestinal antiseptics (kanamycin, gentamicin, polymyxin, furazolidone, nalidixic acid), enterosorbents. The administration of specific bacteriophages and lactoglobulins (salmonella, dysentery, coliprotein, klebsiella, etc.), as well as immunoglobulins (anti-rotavirus, etc.) is shown. Pathogenetic therapy involves the appointment of enzymes, antihistamines; symptomatic treatment includes taking antipyretics, antispasmodics.During the period of convalescence, it is necessary to correct dysbiosis, take vitamins and adaptogens.
Forecast and prevention of intestinal infection in children
Early detection and adequate therapy ensure complete recovery from intestinal infections in children. Immunity after OCI is unstable. In severe forms of intestinal infection, children may develop hypovolemic shock, disseminated intravascular coagulation syndrome, pulmonary edema, acute renal failure, acute heart failure, and infectious toxic shock.