2 Causes of Green Stool
Normal feces are generally light brown to dark brown. This color comes from food scraps, dead red blood cells, and bacteria in the large intestine. Stool can change color when food hasn’t been in your digestive tract long enough.
Causes of Green Stool
Changing the color of stool to green is a common thing. This can be caused by normal things such as certain foods or drinks, to illness. Here’s why:
1. Eating green foods
Apart from diarrhea, green stool can also be caused by eating too many green vegetables, fruits, nuts, or spices. Green leafy vegetables are high in chlorophyll, the green pigment that gives plants their color. In addition, synthetic food coloring that is green in color can also affect the green color of stool.
Taking supplements or certain medications below can also make green stool:
- Iron supplements, although they are more common in causing black stools.
- Supplements that contain chlorophyll, such as spirulina, green algae, and chlorophyll.
- NSAID drugs, such as indomethacin.
The process of digesting the food consumed into feces takes about two to three days. However, when there is diarrhea, this process is disrupted. Diarrhea makes the movement of food in the intestine occurs too fast, so that digestive enzymes and bacteria in the intestine can not break down the bile pigment into a normal brown color.
Generally, as soon as diarrhea stops or reduces the intake of green vegetables, green stools will return to normal within a few days. However, if green stools persist or are accompanied by other symptoms such as vomiting, fever, abdominal pain, and bleeding during bowel movements, it is advisable to go to a doctor immediately to get the right treatment.
Stool Colors to Look Out For
Here are some stool colors that need further checking:
1. Black stool
Black stool can occur after taking iron supplements. In addition, black or reddish stool that is considered dangerous is caused by bleeding in the digestive tract. This requires immediate medical treatment.
2. Red stool
If your stool is red, watch for redness. The level of red color is influenced by how fast blood flows in the intestines. The brighter the red color of your stool, the more to watch out for this condition. Some of the causes such as hemorrhoids, polyps, or colon tumors.
But you don’t need to panic right away, apart from disease, red stool can also be caused by red pigmented foods or drinks such as dragon fruit, tomatoes, or beets.
3. White stool
White stool is a serious symptom that needs to be checked by a doctor. The reason is that there is a blockage in the bile duct, so that bile cannot be channeled into the intestine.
The cause of this blockage is inflammation of the bile ducts, gallstones, or a tumor pressing on the bile duct.
Stool discoloration may not be the only sign doctors use to diagnose patients. Generally, the doctor will perform a physical examination and pay attention to medical history, drugs consumed, and diet.
Then, the stool can be checked to see if it has blood, fat, or white blood cells and infection-causing germs in it. If stool discoloration is considered risky, the doctor can examine several important organs in the digestive system such as the pancreas, intestines, stomach, liver, and bile duct.
Maintain Digestive System Health
In order for normal feces and a healthy digestive tract, you need a diet rich in fiber, drinking enough water, and regular exercise. You can eat whole grain cereals or breads, fresh fruit and vegetables, and nuts.
Drink enough water to expedite the process of passing stool regularly. Also do regular exercise to increase metabolic processes and bowel movements.
In general, green stool is not dangerous. However, if it persists or is accompanied by other symptoms, immediately consult a doctor.