Why should stool be brown?

When red blood cells die, hemoglobin is broken down into:

  • Depth (proteina),
  • Ferro,
  • Heme.

From heme degradation, biliverdin is obtained, a green pigment that rapidly turns into yellow-orange bilirubin.
In the liver, bilirubin is shed in the bile.
Bile is an aqueous solution produced by the liver that helps digest fats.
It’s composed by:

  • Lecithin,
  • Biliary,
  • Cholesterol,
  • Pigments

Bile is then passed through the gallbladder and into the intestines where bilirubin is converted into various pigments.
The most important pigments are the stercobilin that gives color to the stool and the urobilinogen that enters the bloodstream.


Causes of light or dark green stools

Green stools may be the result of a faster than normal bowel movement, which prevents bile breakdown.
For this reason, in the case of diarrhea , the evacuation of green stools is normal.
Any disorder that causes diarrhea can also cause green stools.
Feces with a hint of green may be the sign of a change in diet, stress or illness.
There is no need to worry if green stools occur only once, but if they become chronic it is advisable to see a doctor.

Here are some causes of green stools:

1. Food
Foods that contain chlorophyll can cause green stools.
However, these foods cause color change only if they are ingested in large quantities.
Among the foods that can cause green stools are:

  • Vegetables such as cabbage, broccoli, spinach and lettuce.
  • Foods made up of dyes such as candy, popsicles and ice creams.

Many people believe that blueberries and blueberries can lead to the production of green stools but, in fact, can cause black stools.
Also foods high in iron, such as red meat and beans, can color the stools dark green.

2. Medications and Vitamin Supplements
There are some vitamin supplements and certain medicines that cause green stools.
Changes in stool color may occur if the individual regularly takes:

  • Medications containing chlorophyll,
  • Some supplements and medications that contain sorbitol and fructose,
  • Vitamins and supplements with iron.

Medications for cleaning the bowel and laxatives contain high levels of grain and fiber.
When both are consumed, the stool can become green.
When cleaning the colon is normal a change in the color of the stool, but if blood is observed in the stool , it is necessary to go to the doctor immediately.

Other medicines that cause green stools are:

  • Indomethacin , a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug;
  • Medroxyprogesterone, a drug with progestin.

3. Salmonella
The Salmonella causes salmonellosis is a disease of the digestive system that can cause diarrhea and dark greenish stools.
This infection is the result of ingestion of contaminated food, especially meat and raw eggs.
Fortunately, the salmonellosis disappears after a few days and the feces return to have their normal color, that is, brown.

4. Diarrhea
Attacks of diarrhea may be the result of:

In case of diarrhea, digestion is much faster and there is not enough time to turn bilirubin into natural derivatives.
The doctor may prescribe antibiotics if the disease is caused by bacteria.

5. Gastrointestinal disorders
Some diseases prevent proper absorption of bile salts in the intestine, for example:

The bile is expelled with the faeces and gives them a green color / pigment.

6. Stress
Although stress has no direct effect, it can cause dark green stools.
This is because stressed people have a faster digestion.
When the stress decreases, the body returns to normal and also the color of the stool.

7. Food Poisoning
When a person eats food contaminated by bacteria, they are more likely to suffer from food poisoning.
Usually, food and waste are expelled quickly, sometimes a few hours after eating.
In such situations, the stools have a pale green or dark green color. If the problem is accompanied by fever or cramps , it is necessary to go to the doctor immediately.

Other causes of green stools

  • Hydrolyzed infant milk (for babies with lactose intolerance ),
  • Imbalance of intestinal flora in unborn babies.



Can constipation cause green stools?

The constipation can cause the production of green feces, although it is a rare cause.
Green stools are the consequence of the amount of bile in them.
Levels vary depending on what the individual has recently eaten and how the body digested the food.

Green Diarrhea During Pregnancy

In most cases, green diarrhea during pregnancy is normal and is not the case to worry about.
The main cause is a diet rich in green foods.
Green vegetables contain chlorophyll which may be responsible for the color of the feces.
Algae such as Spirulina and Chlorella can be the cause of green stools during pregnancy .

However, food can only cause color changes, not soft or liquid stools.
Green diarrhea during pregnancy can be caused by individual factors and by certain foods along with foods that are high in chlorophyll.

Foods that contain dyes, such as popsicles and candy, can cause a change in stool color.
Iron supplements may be responsible for green diarrhea because they often have a laxative effect.
If pregnant women eat too much, this can encourage the production of soft, watery stools, while people who eat little (especially low fat) usually suffer from constipation.



Are green stools a cause for concern?

If this is an isolated episode, there is no reason to be alarmed because green stools can be caused by something that the individual eats during the day.
If this color persists, it may be the result of harmful bacteria and parasites that live in the intestine.
If green stools occur frequently, they may indicate an illness.

Stool odor

  • If there is blood in the stool  that has been digested (mane), a putrid odor is usually felt.
  • Feces that contain many fats have a very acidic odor.

Other reasons that cause foul-smelling stools may be:

  • Certain medications,
  • An infection ,
  • Meals particularly rich in sugars and proteins.



Causes of yellow stools

There are several diseases that can cause yellow stools.
It is advisable to have a medical consultation or a stool test in the laboratory.

The tests are used to determine if the person is suffering from:

  • A digestive disorder,
  • A viral, bacterial or parasitic infection .

The doctor should check the consistency, color, odor and shape of the stool; you should also check for blood.

1. Bile salts
Feces may become yellow due to lack of bile salts.
This can be caused by:

A blockage that prevents the transport of bile salts into the intestine can cause a change in the color of the stool.
This can be caused by inflammation , external compression or gallstones.
In this case, the individual may have:

2. Pancreas
The pancreas produces enzymes and other substances that help digest fats.
If the stools are yellow and appear to float or have an oily appearance, it means that the fats have not been digested properly.
The causes can be:

3. Intestinal Causes
Parasites like giardia are present in contaminated water and can cause yellow stools.

4. Celiac disease
The Celiac disease or gluten intolerance is a genetic disorder that limits the ability to properly digest gluten because the intestine has some problems.
Those who suffer from this disease have:

  • Diarrhea,
  • Intestinal irregularity,
  • Feces altered.

5. Steatorrhea
This disease causes an excessive level of fat in the stool and the consequence is a yellowish color of the stool.
People with this disorder may have:


Is it necessary to worry about yellow stools?

Yellow stools can indicate a disease if they occur many times and are accompanied by other symptoms, such as:



How to get the normal color of poop?

Assuming that the person does not feel pain or have other symptoms, one can expect the poop to return to normal in a short time.

By eliminating sugary foods and those containing large amounts of artificial colors , you can reduce the frequency of green stools.
By eliminating these foods, the effect is not limited to feces, but the benefits are for the whole body.
There is no need to worry about color unless it persists for a long period of time.
If the person experiences pain and discomfort, a doctor can help address the root cause of the problem.



What causes lemon-lime coconut on my baby?

During the first two or three days of life, newborns produce lime green and mustard yellow feces called meconium; Also, breastfed babies within often also evacuate stool color yellow-green.
In older children and adults, green stools are rare and unconcerned.

Lemon-green and mustard-yellow stools are common in babies while they are breastfed.
Babies who eat powdered milk have the most compact and less yellow stools.
Rarely, this sign indicates that the child does not eat the necessary nutrients.
Another reason may be a virus.
If green stools persist for a long time, it is best to consult your pediatrician.


Natural remedies for green stools

What can be done to make stools back to normal?

If diseases are excluded, green stools can regain their color by altering the diet.
To delay digestion it is advisable to increase fiber intake.
With the:

  • Lots of fresh fruit,
  • Vegetables,
  • Beans and legumes.


  • Processed foods,
  • Fats,
  • Foods that irritate the stomach.

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