Why Has my Poop Color Changed?
Your poop, stool, or feces, is a normal part of your digestive process. It consists of waste products that your body eliminates. It`s got undigested food particles, bacteria, salts, and some other substances in it.
The color of poop may not be consistent, the same as its amount, texture, and odor. There are times when these changes are nothing to worry about, and there are other times when they indicate a severe condition.
What Does Normal Poop Look?
Normal poop is brown and has a soft to a firm consistency. Here are its features:
Medium to Dark Brown
Because poop contains a pigment called bilirubin which forms when red blood cells break down, its color is usually medium to dark brown.
Poop contains bacteria that emit gases with an unpleasant odor. That`s why poop smells that awful.
Soft to Firm in Texture
If you have a healthy bowel movement, you should be able to pass your poop in a piece or a few small pieces.
For normal poop, the bowel movement should be painless, needing minimal or no strain.
Passed Once or Twice Daily
While some people pass stool once a day, others do so every other day or up to three times daily. You`re expected to pass stool at least thrice a week.
Consistent in its Characteristics
People have their various poop characteristics, despite being healthy. Your poop should be consistent, with little or no variations. Do well to monitor it for any significant changes in the firmness, frequency, smell, or color as it could be an indicator of a problem.
Poop Colors and their Implications
While brown poop is considered the normal color of poop, however, some greenish-brown hues are also fine. There can be some other colors too; let`s see why.
Black poop, particularly those that appear like coffee grounds, is usually a result of gastrointestinal bleeding. In some other cases, substances such as black stout, iron supplements, bismuth medications, and black licorice, can cause black poop.
If stools are white, gray, or pale, then the person may have an issue with the gallbladder or liver as pale stools indicate a lack of bile. Anti-diarrhea medications may also cause white stools.
One`s stool may be green because there is excess bile or inadequate amounts of bilirubin in their poop. There are also green foods such as kale and spinach that can make one`s poop green.
Red-colored poop may be the result of gastrointestinal bleeding. When the blood is in small amounts, it can indicate hemorrhoids. People who eat beets or red berries, or those who drink beet or tomato juice, may also have red poop. After such foods pass through the digestive tract, the poop should become normal again, having its brown color.
If one`s stool is yellow or greasy-looking, it may be that their poop contains too much fat. Absorption issues and difficulty producing enzymes or bile may bring about such a condition.
People who consume a lot of orange-colored foods that contain beta-carotene such as carrots and winter squash may pass out orange-colored stool. That`s not all, as blocked bile ducts and some medications such as antacids and rifampin can cause orange poop.
Here`s How your Poop Shows you Have a Digestion Problem
- pooping more than thrice a day
- pooping less than thrice a week
- greasy, fatty stools
- pain when pooping
- blood in the stool
- excessive straining when pooping
- bleeding while passing stool
- watery poop
- red, black, green, yellow, or white poop
- extremely hard, dry poop that is difficult to pass
Causes of Abnormal Poop
There are various causes of abnormal poop, and these causes may range from mild to severe. Let`s take a quick look at the most common causes.
Stress can trigger digestive conditions, such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). For some, it manifests as diarrhea, while it may be constipation for others.
Inadequate water consumption can cause constipation because stool needs moisture to move freely through the digestive tract. People who drink a lot of caffeine and alcohol may suffer dehydration.
Lack of Dietary Fiber
Fiber ensures that stool moves smoothly through the digestive tract. What`s more? It acts as a binding substance to give stool its form. People who don`t consume fiber-rich foods regularly may suffer from bowel issues. To avoid this, consume whole grains, fruits, and vegetables regularly.
Food Intolerances and Allergies
People who are intolerant to certain foods may have constipation or diarrhea. This may make their poop abnormal. Lactose intolerance, for instance, may cause diarrhea.
You should see a doctor if poop changes continue for over two weeks. You should even seek immediate medical attention if your stool is bright red, black, or looks like coffee grounds. This may mean that you suffer blood loss, which could become a medical emergency if you don’t get medical attention early enough.
Tips on Having a Healthy Bowel
Eat High-Fiber Foods
Fiber-rich foods aid digestion and foster waste passage. Inadequate fiber levels may put you at risk of constipation.
Here are some high-fiber foods you can consume:
- brussels sprouts
- kidney beans
- sweet potatoes
Take Some Magnesium
Magnesium citrate is great at relaxing the bowels and pulling water into the intestines. This makes passing waster much easier. You need to be careful consuming magnesium, as it can have some side effects. Be sure to stick to the prescribed dosage. You should also speak with your doctor immediately you notice any of these symptoms:
- profuse sweating
- severe diarrhea
- severe cramping
Consume More Liquids
Add more liquids to your diet to improve your digestive health. Drink lots of water as well as other healthy liquids. You may also consume thick smoothies made with leafy greens, as they are rich in fiber also.
What’s in Poop?
Ever wondered why poop is the way it is and what’s in it? Here’s a quick one on that. Poop is made up of the leftover food that the small intestine cannot neither digest nor absorb. Poop primarily contains water — normally, about 75% of it is water.
The second most essential poop ingredient is bacterial biomass. This comes from both living and dead organisms which constitute 25-54% of the dry weight of poo. The rest of poop is proteins, fats, fiber, carbohydrates, and undigested dead epithelial cells from the walls of the gastrointestinal tract.
Now that you Know…
Seeing a different poop color from what you’re used to can be scary, particularly when you don’t know what it indicates. Now you know just what may be the cause of the change in your poop color. Be sure to speak with your doctor for proper diagnosis and treatment if you experience any of these.
Also, do well to maintain a well-functioning bowel. Eat fiber-rich foods, exercise regularly, and manage stress better. You should also drink adequate amounts of water and other healthy fluids to keep hydrated and improve your digestive health. Remember that a healthy digestive system will, to some extent, ensure normal poop and a healthy body system.