8 Common Causes of Green Poop

It might be alarming to notice green poop in your toilet bowl, but it isn't always a reason for concern. All stool has initially greenish-yellow color.

Greenish-yellow is the color of bile, a fluid that's produced by the liver. It's crucial for the digestive process, as it helps break down fats into fatty acids for absorption. As food moves to the digestive tract, it's stained by bile, which regularly drains into the gut. The liver makes bile and stores it in the gallbladder.

During the digestive process, the greenish-yellow color turns into brown. However, there are things that can interfere with this process that results in green poop:

1. You're on certain medications

Certain medications, such as medroxyprogesterone (Depo-Provera), can make your poop green. Other medications that have a similar side effect are antibiotics. They affect the gut microbiome and thus can change the color of your poop.

When a person is taking antibiotics to treat an infection, these meds can wipe out the beneficial bacteria in the gut. This can impact the way our food is digested and therefore change the color of the stool.

2. You suffer from an inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)

When green poop is provoked by rapid GI transit, the root cause might be an inflammatory bowel disease such as Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis. Inflammatory bowel disorders are autoimmune, which means that your immune system starts to attack and damage the tissues of the digestive tract, resulting in severe pain, cramping, bleeding, malnutrition, and other serious issues.

3. You had weight loss surgery and developed dumping syndrome

One in 10 people who get bariatric surgery develops dumping syndrome. A dumping syndrome leads to rapid gastric emptying, meaning food moves too quickly through the digestive tract. This can make your poop green as well. However, if changes of poop color come with some other symptoms and you're concerned about your well-being after the surgery, consult a bariatric doctor.

4. You consume green foods or products containing food dyes

Regular consumption of green foods can make your poop green. The most common reason for that is foods that are naturally green like broccoli, asparagus, brussels sprouts, and leafy greens such as spinach, kale, and watercress, green herbs (such as parsley, basil, and cilantro), pistachio nuts, hemp seeds, matcha tea, and avocado.

The more green-colored food you eat, the more likely it is your stool will become green. Other possible culprits could be foods that contain green or blue food coloring.

5. You've had gallbladder removal surgery

Since bile is stored in the gallbladder, removal of the gallbladder can cause your body to excrete bile through stool since there is no place to store bile.

And since bile helps digest fats, the disruption of the digestive process can contribute to intestinal distress. This speeds the movement of the bowels which can cause green-colored poop.

6. You have an intestinal parasite

An intestinal parasite is an organism that's living in your intestinal tract. Many intestinal parasites are transmitted via food and water, and some can be transmitted via person-to-person contact. The most common intestinal parasites in the U.S. include Giardia and Cryptosporidium.

Both of these parasites can cause your poop to move through your GI tract too quickly and make them become green.

7. You're on iron supplements

Taking iron supplements can cause your poop to become green or even black. This is absolutely normal, but if your stool contains red streaks or if you have cramps or stomach pain, you need to talk with your doctor.

8. You have a foodborne infection

Foods usually move faster through your gastrointestinal tract when your gut experiences distress. In many cases, it could be triggered by foodborne infections. Foodborne infections are provoked by different bacteria, viruses, and parasites. Some of these infections, like Salmonella, are transmitted by ingesting contaminated food. 

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Saturday, 20 July 2024