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Green Stools: Causes Of Green Stool Color

The usual brown color of the faeces (bowel movements) is light brown to dark brown. This color is a residual combination of dead red blood cells and waste from the bacteria in the intestines. The bile in the intestines usually has a yellowish green color. Bacteria add the rest of the color tone. The bacteria not only provide the stool color, but they also help to absorb nutrients from the meals. Occasionally people are faced with a green stool color. This is often due to an obvious situation, namely a change in dietary habits. However, green poo is sometimes the sign of a medical problem.

How to H

Alcohol and coffee and green poo color

Consuming large amounts of coffee and alcohol are able to cause a green poo color. They have a laxative effect, so that food passes quickly through the intestines and the time required for digesting bile is shortened.


Anal fissures and green feces

Anal gaps are small cracks in the tissue along the anus. These often arise as a result of constipation or passing a hard chunk of stool. In the case of chronic diarrhea or inflammatory bowel disease, anal fissures also occur. Clear red blood in the stool and a green stool color are possible.


Bile and green bowel movements

Bile is a fluid that is made in the liver and is stored in the gallbladder. This liquid naturally has a green-yellow color. When bile mixes with food that people eat, the bile helps to end up more fat from the diet. This makes it possible for more fat to be absorbed in the small intestine. However, the body must degrade bile so that it can be excreted as waste. Normally the bile moves the intestines for this. However, diarrhea or stomach cramps do not allow bile to break down so quickly. The stool then has a green color due to the natural green color of bile salts in the body.


Infections and green stools

Infections by bacteria, viruses and parasites may also cause green poop. The bacterial infection traveler's diarrhea (acute diarrhea and fever in travelers), salmonella ( salmonellosis ), the norovirus and parasitic infection giardia (giardiasis) are some known causes of food poisoning . In addition, they cause other symptoms, such as stomach pain and diarrhea. The stool goes faster than normal in these disorders through the digestive tract, which leads to the green stools. Most infectious diseases disappear without medical treatment, but sometimes a medical treatment is necessary.


Gastrointestinal complaints and green stools

In the case of Crohn's disease or another gastrointestinal disease, the bile flows too quickly through the intestines, leading to a green bowel movement. Crohn's disease, a chronic bowel disease , causes inflammation in the digestive tract. Celiac disease , a condition in which the patient is sensitive to gluten, causes various gastrointestinal disorders such as flatulence , bloating , diarrhea and stomach pain. Celiac disease is often accompanied by green diarrhea or a green stool. Other possible gastrointestinal-related causes of a green stool are irritable bowel syndrome , lactose intolerance(symptoms when consuming milk and dairy products) and ulcerative colitis .


Meconium and green poo color

Meconium is the first stool that a baby excretes. This is normally dark green, sticky and it does not smell. In addition, meconium does not contain bacteria. It consists mainly of materials that the baby has swallowed in the womb, such as dead skin cells, hair, mucus, amniotic fluid and water. After a few days the green stools will disappear and the stools will turn brown or yellow.

Medications and green stools color

Antibiotics

A recent course of antibiotics for the treatment of a serious infection is capable of killing large parts of the normal bacteria of the intestine. This reduces the population of the brown-colored bacteria in the lower intestine. Probiotics , such as yogurt or kombucha, restore the balance in the intestinal flora to recover.

Medical treatments

A discoloration of the poo appears after a major medical procedure, such as a bone marrow transplant. If the body repels the graft , the graft-versus-host disease may occur , leading to severe stomach and intestinal complaints such as diarrhea and consequently a green stool color.


Nutrition, supplements and green poo

Another color of the stool is normal after eating certain foods. Green poo is then due to eating green leafy vegetables such as endive, kale, rocket, watercress, spinach and broccoli, or something with green coloring, such as icing on cakes, popsicles and drinks. In green leafy vegetables there is a green leaf color (chlorophyll), which ensures the green relief color. However, it is not necessary to eat a product with green dyes to cause green bowel movements. Purple, blue and black dyes also lead to green faeces. People may also be sensitive to anise oil (aniseed). If someone experiences green faeces and has no other complaints, this may be due to the consumption of food.

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