What does different colored bowel movements mean
According to the Mayo Clinic , poop colors in varying shades of brown are considered normal. Be one with your poop and use it to learn about your health and how to improve it!
As a person ages, they tend to experience more episodes of constipation, or bowel movements that happen less frequently.
What Do Different Poop Colors Mean?
variation among individuals with respect.
The Bristol Stool Scale is a chart that identifies seven categories of poop. By defining different presentations of poop, a doctor can usually identify the potential underlying cause.
The chart is as follows:. According to the Mayo Clinicpoop colors in varying shades of brown are considered normal. Some shades of greenish-brown are also considered to be normal. Poop usually starts as a greenish color due to the presence of bile salts. Bile salts are yellow-green in color. As the poop continues to travel through the intestines, the color of poop changes to brown as it combines with bilirubin.
Sometimes poop can change color based on a medical condition. Other times it can change color based on foods, drinks, or medications someone has consumed. If stool is black and often coffee ground-like in appearance, this could be a sign of potential bleeding in the upper gastrointestinal tract. The blood is older and therefore travels down the intestinal tract. Eating lots of green foods such as spinach or foods that have added green food coloring can also turn stool green.
Pale-colored stools indicate a lack of bile. This may be due to a problem with the liver or gallbladder, which both secrete bile. However, taking some anti-diarrhea medications and bismuth-containing medications can also cause stool to appear white or pale. Red stool can be very concerning: It can indicate a possible gastrointestinal bleed.
If the amount of blood is small, hemorrhoids could be the cause. Examples of these foods include beets, cranberries, tomato juice, and red gelatin.
Orange stool is often cause by beta carotene. This compound can be found in many vegetables, fruits, or grains. Foods rich in beta carotene include carrots, sweet potatoes, and winter squash. Blocked bile ducts can also lead to orange stools. Taking medications such as the antibiotic rifampin and antacids that contain aluminum-hydroxide can also cause orange stool.
A shade of dark red could mean absolutely nothing or something very significant. The color and consistency of your stool is one of the most important signs of you're underlying health. Bloody stool is either the sign of hemorrhoids or possibly something more serious like cancer. Bloody stool is a particular one that you want to get checked out if you see that. Lastly, green poop is also not a good sign as it may reflect that your GI tract is having issues breaking down your bile and may warrant a trip to the doctor.
Be one with your poop and use it to learn about your health and how to improve it!
If it isn't obvious, pay attention to what you eat. When you see a strange color in your poop, you'll know it doesn't mean much if you had a beet salad in the last 40 hours.
If you can't attribute a cause, or experience pain along with your bowel movements, speak to your doctor.
Most people don't know about a wonderful, grossly-named substance called rectal mucus—or, as I like to call it, your spinchter's best friend. It's a not a butt booger, but rather a good thing because it lubricates your poops. If it happens to you often, tell your doctor. Medicines for diarrhea like bismuth subsalicylate KaopectatePepto-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. A more serious cause is a lack of bile in your stool. Remember, bile gives poop its brown color. Bile is made in the liverstored in the gallbladderand released into your small intestine to help digest your food.
Liver disease, such as hepatitiscan 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:. Blood in the stool can be bright red, maroon in color, black and tarry, or occult not visible to the naked eye. Causes of blood in stool range from harmless, annoying conditions of the gastrointestinal tract such as hemorrhoids to serious conditions such as cancer. Changes in stool color alone do not cause symptoms.
The underlying cause of the change in stool color, texture, or form is responsible for any symptoms. What does it mean when your stool color changes in color, texture, or form? Bowel movements are usually light to dark brown in color, and there is moderate variation among individuals with respect to stool color, quantity and form.
When these changes in stool do occur, it can mean that there may be an illness affecting the gastrointestinal GI tract or the entire body. Stool feces, poop color is most commonly brown. When stool color changes, a person, parent, or caregiver often becomes concerned. The presence of the bilirubin in the bile a breakdown product of the hemoglobin in red blood cells that are normally destroyed after a useful life of several weeks is generally responsible for stool color.
The Many Shades of Poop and What They Mean
Bilirubin concentration can vary the color of stool from light yellow to almost black. Changes in the chemical structure of the bilirubin can cause stool to turn green or yellow. Yellow stool also may occur if stool is dilute or there is a reduction in the amount of bilirubin that is produced by the liver.
Types of Poop
Bacteria and digestive enzymes in the intestine can act on the bilirubin and change its color. Most stool-to-stool changes in color have little meaning. However, some changes, particularly if the changes are consistent over time and not present in only one stool may mean something needs to be investigated. In most cases, stool color changes are not symptoms of disease. Changes in stool color may be due to:. If stool passes through the intestine too quickly, there might not be enough time for bile to be digested and broken down to provide the normal brownish stool color.
Normally bile is chemically changed by bacteria in the intestine to a greenish-brown color. It takes time for the bile to be fully changed in the intestine and become brown again, and if the transit time is short, for example, when a person has diarrhea, the stool remains green colored.
Green stools may be a normal variant. They also can be caused by a diet rich in green vegetables, especially spinach. Iron supplements also may be a cause, though iron often turns stool black. There are a variety of reasons why stool will be yellow, greasy, and foul smelling.
It can be due to the intestine's inability to digest and absorb fat because of diseases of the intestinal lining such as in celiac disease and cystic fibrosis because the pancreas is unable to manufacture adequate digestive enzymes such as with chronic pancreatitis or pancreatic cancer that blocks the pancreatic duct, or there is not enough bile being delivered to the intestine such as in cancer of the liver or bile ducts that are blocked.
The yellowness, greasiness, and foul smell is due to the undigested fat. Black stools are a worrisome symptom because it may be due to a large amount of bleeding into the GI tract, most often from the upper GI tract including the esophagus, stomach, and duodenum. Red blood cells are broken down by digestive enzymes in the intestine and turn the stool black.
12 Things Your Poop Says About Your Health
Bowel movements are usually light to dark brown in color, and there is moderate
These stools tend to be tarry stickyand foul smelling. This can be a medical emergency; black tarry stools should not be ignored.
Blood from nosebleeds or from dental procedures or mouth injuries can be swallowed and may be the cause of black stoolbut the amount of bleeding usually is not substantial enough to do this. White-or clay colored stool are often seen with diseases of the liver or bile ducts. It also may be caused by pancreatic cancer that blocks the bile ducts. Lack of bile causes stool to lose its brown color and leaves it appearing pale. Maroon colored stools are often due to bleeding in the GI tract.
The source of bleeding for red stools is the upper GI tract esophagus, stomach, duodenumwhile the colon is the source for bright red blood. Maroon stools, which is caused by partial digestion of the blood in the intestine often arises from the small intestine jejunum, ileum and proximal colon, but the color also depends in part on how rapidly the blood travels through the intestines. The faster the stool moves through the GI tract, the brighter red the color.
This can be an emergency situation. In children with intussusceptionwhere one portion or the intestine telescopes into another part, causing a temporary obstruction, stools may be described as currant jelly in color and consistency. Mucous in the stool may be normal, and it may cover segments of formed feces. However, it also can occur in people with inflammatory bowel disease or cancer. People with irritable bowel syndrome IBS also can have mucous in the stool.
The most common medications that change the color of stool are the drugs that turn the stool black - and include iron and bismuth contained in Pepto-Bismol and Kaopectate.
Nevertheless, a large number of other drugs have been associated with changes in the color of stool to black or other colors. Practically, the importance of this fact is that the any new drugs or dietary supplements need to be considered as the cause of any change in stool color. Most stool floats because it contains an excessive amount of gas. By itself, it is normal and has little meaning.
Changes in diet can lead to stool that floats, but as an isolated symptom, no action needs to be taken, and often it resolves spontaneously. Stool does not float because of an increased amount of fat. Fat in stool causes oil droplets in the toilet bowl.
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