What Does the Color of Your Poop Mean? A Doctor Explains.
Svg Vector Icons : http://www.onlinewebfonts.com/icon icon_line_graph_m Created with Sketch. icon_rings_m Created with Sketch. icon_smartphone_m Created with Sketch. icon_smartphone_monline Created with Sketch. icon_fl_m Created with Sketch. icon_smartphone_monline Created with Sketch. icon_sf_m Created with Sketch. Store
Health Concerns
Your Stomach Gurgling May Be A Sign of These…

If you’re constantly feeling the stomach gurgles, it might mean it’s time to see a doc.…

Postpartum Hormone Changes Happen, But Here’s How to Rebalance…

If you’ve recently given birth, your body is going through natural hormonal fluctuations that might make…

You Can Squash Recurring Heartburn With This 3-Step Plan

Maybe it’s after a bowl of garlicky pasta. Or a night of drinking alcohol. Or when…

6 Best Supplements to Boost Your Health and Immunity

With so many supplements on the market these days, determining which are actually high quality, safe,…

The Best Sleeping Positions, Based on Your Health Concerns

Choosing to snooze on your belly, back, or side can help you reach your health goals.…

The Healthy Aging Hack Parsley Doctors Swear By for…

You might not spend much time thinking about them, but your mitochondria are one of the…

Recipes & Nutrition
It’s Not Just In Your Gut—These Are the 8…

Gluten gives many people gastrointestinal grief—this is probably not news to you. But there’s an increasing…

Getting Tested for Vitamin Deficiencies Could Be A Gamechanger…

Approximately one-third of the American population is at risk for vitamin deficiencies or anemia, also known…

6 Thyroid Vitamins and Supplements You Need for Better…

If you live with a thyroid condition, particularly hypothyroidism, the most common thyroid disorder, chances are…

What are NPs and PAs? Here’s What You Need…

Nurse practitioners and physician assistants often practice medicine just like MDs. Here’s what sets them apart. …

Why Health Coaches are Key to Success in Wellness

For years, we’ve gotten used to short, abrupt, and impersonal visits with medical professionals. We’ve trusted…

What is Holistic Medicine? How A Holistic Approach Works

When you think about your health, you’re probably not waking up in the morning examining how…

Gastrointestinal Issues

Yellow, Green, Red, Orange? What Does the Color of Your Poop Mean?

Strange colored poop have you nervous? It’s most likely no real cause for concern and it’s normal for your poop color to vary. We’re taking a look into what the color of your poop means and when sudden changes in texture, frequency, and color might be a sign of something more serious.

You’ve probably been told that poop is brown, but what many people don’t realize is that it’s entirely normal for your poop color to vary slightly on a day to day basis. Much of your poop color has to do with the foods you eat and the pigments in them, so the sight of dark red poop is more likely to be due to the beets you had for dinner than anything else. But there are a few times you should tune into the color of your poop and what it’s trying to tell you.

What does the color of your poop mean?

If you’re seeing a poop color that you’ve never seen before, it makes sense you’d be a bit worried, but more times than not, it’s no cause for concern. Since your poop color fluctuates based on the food you eat and the bile in your gut, it’s not uncommon for your poop color to change based on your last meal.  However, if irregularities in terms of color, frequency, and texture persist, it might be worth consulting with your doctor.

Green poop

Green poop can be a sign of a bacterial infection, too much bile, or not enough bilirubin. Antibiotics are also known to affect poop color, so if you’re on antibiotics, this is likely the cause of the sudden onset of green poop. Iron-containing foods, such as spinach and other green vegetables can also lead to a green like pigment in your poop.

Yellow poop

Yellow poop can result from a small intestinal infection or certain medications. It can also be a sign of excess fat malabsorption, meaning your body isn’t able to fully absorb the nutrients from fat consumed. This can be a one-time occurrence or develop into a syndrome-like condition. If your poop color doesn’t return to normalcy after a few days, you may want to consult your doctor.

Orange poop

Evidence has yet to exist to link orange colored stool to a more serious condition, but you might see it after consuming beta-carotene containing foods, such as carrots and sweet potatoes.

White poop or light colored poop

White or light clay colored poop can signal that your bile production is low. If this is a rarity and not a recurring issue then there’s likely no reason to worry, but if it does persist then there could be something more serious going on with your bile production. This could be a sign of a liver infection, which would reduce your bile production, or the presence of a blockage that’s inhibiting the release of bile from the liver.

Bright red stool

If you’re passing stool that contains bright red spots or seeing bright red blood on your toilet paper, you could be experiencing hemorrhoids and should seek out your primary care physician. Taking an antibiotic in conjunction with iron supplements can also produce red stool that is deep in color. Red foods, such as beets and berries can bleed pigmentation that will also affect the color of your stool.

Brown poop

Brown is the color you should be aiming for. It’s a sign of healthy poop and means that your body is doing its job to break down old red blood cells. This process produces bilirubin, a pigment that gives your poop its desired brown shade.

Black poop

If you’ve eaten a lot of black licorice or blueberries, or are taking iron supplements or activated charcoal, black poop is probably benign. Medications that contain bismuth subsalicylate, like Pepto-Bismol, also tend to turn your poop black for a few days after taking it. But black poop can also be a sign of internal bleeding in the esophagus or stomach, so if you haven’t consumed any of the above, call your doctor immediately.

What types of poop are normal, anyway?

Easy to pass = healthy poop

Healthy poop is poop that comes out with ease and doesn’t require any force, but rather comes out on its own, naturally, easy to pass. According to the Bristol Stool Chart, a diagnostic chart developed by a teaching hospital in Bristol, England that categorizes seven types of stool, there are only two stool shapes that are considered normal. If you tend to pass a sausage-shaped stool with minor cracks on the surface, then you’re in luck, your poop is normal! Poop that looks like a smooth, soft sausage or snake is also considered normal.

Difficult or quick to pass = unhealthy poop

Stool separated into small hard lumps that are difficult to pass is a sign of extreme constipation. Sausage shaped stool that is very lumpy is also a sign of constipation, though slightly less severe. On the other side of the spectrum is soft, easy to pass stool, such as soft blobs with clear cut edges. Fluffy pieces with ragged edges or a liquid consistency with no solid pieces is a sign of inflammation. If you pass liquid loose stool or stringy poop often or have difficulty passing poop, you might be suffering from irritable bowel syndrome or another gut-related condition.

When to see a doctor

– Frequent discoloration
– Constipation
– Diarrhea
– Bloating
– Distention
– Abdominal pain
– Fatigue
– Cramping
– Gas

If discoloration persists and you’re finding it difficult to poop or are pooping too frequently, seek out your primary care doctor for further testing. At Parsley Health we offer advanced stool testing, that helps to identify the root cause of gastrointestinal issues. Finding out why your stool is abnormal is the first step in getting your gut health back on track and helping you return to normal, healthy poop.

Parsley Health is the only medical practice that leverages personalized testing with whole body treatments.

More Gastrointestinal Issues

Autoimmune & Inflammation
8 Thyroid Healing Practices You Can Start Today

Dealing with a thyroid disorder? Stress and diet play key roles in thyroid function, so it’s…

Health Concerns
8 Dos and Don’ts of Social Distancing Done Right

Social distancing has become a new way of life in the midst of the global COVID-19…

The Gut-Brain Connection, Explained

You may have heard that you can improve your mental health via diet, and that less…

Health Concerns
You’re getting in the way of your weight loss

We’ve teamed up with psychotherapist, wellness expert, blogger, and anti-perfectionist Megan Bruneau, M.A. RCC for this…

Find out if Parsley is perfect for you. Schedule a free call with one of our health care advisors.

Schedule a Call