Normal change in stool color. green poop can mean you have been eating green vegetables (which are rich in chlorophyll) or green, blue, or purple coloring, or it can be caused by any condition that causes diarrhea or liquid stools. Although stools are usually brown in color, occasional green stools may be within the normal range of stool colors.
Consult your doctor if you continue to have green stools (or other unusual stool color) or if you have other symptoms such as fever, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, or pain. Here are eight possible causes of green poop (either dark, bright, light green or floating).
Green poop can simply be the result of eating green vegetables such as spinach, kale, broccoli, chard, Bok Choy, beet leaves, arugula and watercress. That doesn’t mean something’s wrong. Dark green leafy vegetables are rich in chlorophyll, the pigment that gives plants their color.
Virtually any plant food rich in chlorophyll can cause a green tint in the stool if you eat it in sufficient quantities. This includes vegetables such as green beans, celery, sugar peas, green peppers, Brussels sprouts, peas, asparagus, sprouts, zucchini, cucumbers, and romaine lettuce, as well as fruits such as avocado, green apples, dew honey, kiwi, jalapenos, and green grapes.
Nuts such as pistachios, seeds such as hemp seeds, and herbs such as parsley, basil, and coriander are also rich in chlorophyll. Matcha, a variety of powdered green tea, can also give feces a bright green hue.
A small serving may not be enough for your stools to turn green, but it can be a problem if you eat large portions, such as those found in smoothies, juices, puree soups, large salads, guacamole, or a combination of several chlorophyll-rich foods.
Some foods contain green (or blue and yellow) coloring that can make your poop turn green. These dyes are sometimes used in canned green peas, green beer, breakfast cereals, sweets, pickles in jars, salad dressings, drinks, cake frosting and cookies and desserts. You will also see these dyes in food on St. Patrick’s Day and Christmas.
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Blue and purple products
In addition to obvious green foods, blue or purple foods can sometimes lead to green poop. For example, blueberries, grapes, and red wine can lead to dark green and blue stools.
Purple (or red-blue) coloring in beverage blends, grape and soft drinks, frozen ice flakes, cake icing, blue Gatorade, packaged fruit snacks, licorice, and grape-flavored pedialite can also cause dark or bright green poop. These food dyes are often used during holidays such as Easter, Independence Day and Halloween.
Coffee, Spicy Food and Alcohol
As bile passes through the small intestine into the colon through the bile ducts, it gradually changes color from green to yellow and brown. This is due to the action of bacteria in large intestine, acting on bile salt.
In some cases, drinking plenty of coffee, jalapeños, chilies, and alcohol can have a laxative effect by getting food through the intestine faster than normal (known as reduced transit times) and before the stool changes from green to brown.
Vitamins, nutritional Supplements and medicines
Taking iron supplements can change the color of your poop to dark green (or black). Other vitamins, supplements, and teas that can cause green poop include:
- Senna, sacred Shell. rhubarb, nutritional supplements and other laxatives
- Food additives containing chlorophyll, such as vegetable powder, green tea, wheatgrass, spirulina. barley grass, Chlorella. blue-green algae and chlorophyll
- Yerba mate Tea
- Medicines that can cause soft stools or diarrhea as a side effect, such as metformin, Lexapro (Escitalopram), Nyquil, Zoloft (sertraline) or antibiotics such as ciprofloxacin
Whether you follow a generally healthy diet or a vegetarian or vegan diet, eating lots of green vegetables and fruits rich in chlorophyll can make your poop go green. Juicing or cleaning the juice will also increase chlorophyll consumption and, in turn, increase the likelihood of green stools.
If you experience green stools while cleaning your colon, it may be because food passes through your intestines too quickly to allow bacteria to give your stools a characteristic brown color.
A high-fat diet like keto diet. it can give your poop a bright green shade. By consuming large amounts of fat, your body produces more bile to digest those fats, and excess green bile can end up in the toilet.
Green stools may appear during pregnancy. Some women get it in the first few weeks of pregnancy, sometimes even before BFP (“great fat positive”) on a pregnancy test. Other women get it because they take prenatal vitamins (which contain a higher dose of iron than conventional multivitamins) or iron supplements.
Green stools may also appear in the third trimester. Some women develop liquid green stools at the end of pregnancy as food quickly passes through the intestines.
Infants, Toddlers and Older Children
The baby’s first bowel movements are usually green-black. Known as “meconium“. you usually don’t see it after the baby is three days old.
Dark green (or green-black) poop in infants can be caused by iron supplements and iron-fortified foods, such as baby foods. If your baby’s poop looks black or dark, it’s a good idea to see your healthcare provider or pediatrician.
If a breastfed baby has green poop, it could be something in the mother’s diet, such as green vegetables or foods prepared with green or purple coloring. In some cases, you may be sensitive or allergic to something in the mother’s or baby’s diet.
Green poop in breastfed babies (especially “EBF” or exclusively breastfed) can also be a sign that the baby is getting too much low-calorie, low-fat breast milk (milk that comes first when fed) and insufficient milk that has more fat.
This may mean that the baby is not breastfeeding enough or draining the breasts effectively, or that there is an overabundance of breast milk. A lactation consultant can help identify the problem.
Children often eat foods that contain food dyes, including greens, purples, blues, and yellows or reds and blues. They are found in grape pedialite and some breakfast cereals, drinks, sweets, birthday cakes, and baby cookies. Chewing green or purple crayons can also change the color of your stool.
Diarrhea reduces bowel passage time, so any condition that causes diarrhea can lead to green stools, including:
- Food Poisoning
- Infectious or traveler’s diarrhea. especially Salmonella, E. coli and Giardia (bacterial, parasitic, and viral intestinal infections can cause your intestines to wash away faster than normal.)
- Antibiotic-related diarrhea (also known as pseudomembranose colitis)
- Lactose intolerance
- Premenstrual syndrome (premenstrual syndrome)
- Celiac disease
- Ulcerative colitis
- Crohn’s Disease
- Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
- Eating disorders associated with laxative abuse
- After surgery, such as a C-section (also known as a C-section)
- Disease ” Graft versus host“(a condition that may develop after bone marrow transplant surgery)
When to see Your doctor
It is important to talk to your health care provider if your green stools continue and/or are accompanied by fever, abdominal pain or pain, blood in your stools (or black stools), watery or liquid stools, or other symptoms. A rare but serious cause of green stools in children and adults is poisoning by chemicals such as the pesticide paraquat.
Green stools accompanied by visible mucus may indicate irritation or inflammation of the intestinal lining. If it occurs regularly, it may be a sign of a condition that may require treatment (especially if it is accompanied by diarrhea, constipation, abdominal pain, nausea, or vomiting).
Like green poop, floating green stools are often normal and related to what you ate. In some cases (especially if it’s a persistent problem), floating stools may mean that your intestines don’t absorb fat properly.
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Green stools may be in the normal color range for bowel movements. While continuous discoloration of stool or the presence of other symptoms may indicate something that requires medical treatment, in most cases, don’t worry about occasional greenish bowel movements. If your green poop was caused by what you ate, your stool should return to its normal color within a day or two.