What is green stool?

Green stool is a condition in which the feces have a green coloring or tint. Green stool may be normal in some cases, such as in breast-fed infants. Green stool can also be caused by taking iron supplements or eating certain foods such as green leafy vegetables. Green stool can also indicate a problem with food digestion due to a disease, disorder or other abnormal process.

The normal color of stool or feces is generally light to dark brown. Stool gets its color from bile, which is a yellow-green fluid produced in the liver that helps to digest your food. As food passes through your digestive tract, digestive enzymes break down the bile, resulting in various shades of brown stool. When a disease or condition causes diarrhea, food passes through the digestive tract rapidly, and stools may be green because digestive enzymes did not have time to turn the stool brown.

Seek prompt medical care if you have an abnormal stool appearance and other digestive symptoms, such as diarrhea lasting more than two days. Seek immediate medical care (call 911), if you, or someone you are with, have severe abdominal pain, major rectal bleeding, bloody stool, severe dizziness, or bloody vomit.

SYMPTOMS

What other symptoms might occur with green stool?

Green stool may be accompanied by other symptoms, which vary depending on the underlying disease, disorder or condition. Symptoms that may accompany green stool include:

CAUSES

What causes green stool?

Green stool can occur due to a normal or benign condition and not be a cause for concern. For example, you may produce green stool after consuming certain iron-rich foods or iron supplements, leafy green vegetables, or products with green food coloring

Additionally, a newborn baby will normally pass thick, sticky and dark green stools (called meconium) for the first few days after... Read more about green stoolcauses

Medical Reviewer: Cynthia Haines, MD Last Annual Review Date: Aug 2, 2013 Copyright: © Copyright 2014 Health Grades, Inc. All rights reserved. May not be reproduced or reprinted without permission from Health Grades, Inc. Use of this information is governed by the HealthGrades User Agreement.

This Article is Filed Under: Digestive System


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