Why Is Your Stool Green?

Your poop may change color from time to time, depending on what you have eaten in your meals. However, it is natural to feel concerned to see green stool. What causes it, you may ask? While the cause may look serious, it is not always the case. In most cases, green poop does not indicate anything serious and your poop color becomes normal within a few days. You really do not need to worry if you know you have eaten something 'green' lately.

Why Is My Poop Green?

In most cases, what you have eaten is usually the reason why there is a change in the color of your stool, but there could be some other causes too.

1. Bile Pigment

The color of your poop could turn green when your body fails to break down bile secreted by your liver and stored in your gallbladder. This green-yellow colored fluid combines with foods you eat to help increase the efficiency of pancreatic lipase, which in turn helps your body break down fat more efficiently. Your body breaks down bile when it travels a pathway through your intestine, but some digestive issues can affect this process, resulting in poop that appears green in color.

2. Antibiotics and Other Medications

If you have started noticing a change in your poop color after taking a newly prescribed antibiotic, you should talk to your doctor immediately. Antibiotics, especially the ones prescribed for a major infection, can kill healthy bacteria in your intestine and change the color of your stool. Those brown-staining bacteria are important for your health, but antibiotics can kill them. Some other medications and supplements may have the same effect – these medications can affect pigments that turn your stool green. Some common examples are iron supplements, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug indomethacin, and a contraceptive called Depo-Provera.

3. Gastrointestinal Problems

Why is my poop green? It could happen when you have a gastrointestinal condition, such as Crohn's disease. With some GI conditions, bile takes less time to move through your intestines and this can turn your poop green. Similarly, celiac disease, which makes it difficult for your body to tolerate gluten can also cause green stools. It would also cause other problems, such as diarrhea, bloating, gas, and stomach pain. Ulcerative colitis, irritable bowel syndrome, and overuse of laxatives are other common gastrointestinal problems responsible for green stools.

4. Viruses, Parasites and Bacteria

Viral, parasitic, and bacterial infections can turn your stool green. It is true that your body already has billions of bacteria, but they have a role to play in maintaining your health. Invaders, however, can affect your intestinal health. The water parasite giardia, bacteria like salmonella, and norovirus can make food to pass quickly through your intestines and result in green stool.

5. Pregnancy

You may notice green poop very early in pregnancy. It sometimes happens even before you have taken the pregnancy test to confirm your pregnancy. It is also possible to experience the same because of prenatal vitamins or iron supplements that you need to take before and during pregnancy. Some women experience green stools during the third trimester mainly because food passes quickly through the intestines.

6. Excess Nutrition

As mentioned already, the underlying cause of green poop could be related to your diet. If you eat a large amount of green, leafy veggies, like broccoli or kale, your poop may start to look dark green. Foods that contain loads of iron, such as meats and beans can also have the similar effect. Some iron supplements that contain fructose or chlorophyll may also be responsible for causing green poop. Excess nutrition is usually the most common cause of green poop and happens because there is a limit to how much nutrient your body can process. The exes will go out of your system making your stool look green.

7. Cleansing

Why is my poop green? It could be due to cleansing. Many people try to cleanse their colon by making use of laxatives, supplements, and enema. They believe that the technique will cleanse their system and improve their digestive health. Since colon cleansing involves evacuating your bowels forcefully, it is possible to notice green stools. There will be a change in poop color whenever something triggers a bowel movement prematurely.

When to See a Doctor

You usually do not need to worry about green poop, but it is a good idea to see your doctor if your green stools persist. You should also seek medical attention if you also have stomachaches, fever, watery stool, or blood in stool. In rare cases, green stools could be the result of poisoning by chemicals.

There may be inflammation in the lining of your intestines when you see green stools along with visible mucus. If you also have constipation, diarrhea, nausea, or pain in abdomen, it is important to talk to your healthcare provider to make a correct diagnosis.

If you notice floating green stool, it could be due to the food you have eaten. However, it is also possible that your intestines are not functioning properly and finding it difficult to absorb fat properly.

What Can You Do?

Why is my poop green? It could happen due to many reasons, and identifying the underlying cause can help make it easier to tackle the situation. Once you have identified the task, it is usually very easy to treat dark green poop. For instance:

  • If it is due to an antibiotic you have started taking recently, ask your doctor to change it or adjust its dose.
  • If you are eating too much of green or iron-rich food, you may want to tweak your diet a bit to treat your problem.
  • If you have food poisoning, you need to take plenty of rest, increase your intake of fluid, and eat bland foods only. Your green poop will return to normal once food poisoning goes away.
  • If your green poop is the result of colon cleansing, simply avoid forced cleansing to resolve the issue.
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