Green Diarrhea in Adults - Causes

Green diarrhea in adults

The color of stool is undoubtedly an important consideration. The frequent change in color is not to be panicked about as they all have their reasons. The occasional green stool is sometimes green diarrhea usually caused due to change in food consumption and supplements such as iron and vitamins, even if they are not green in color. However over consumption of such foods could lead to lose bowels three to four times a day on an average also called green diarrhea. Lasting for a week to 10 days it may also result in dehydration because of fluid loss. Consequences may vary from lack of urination, loss in skin color and weakness in legs to an increase in the heart rate.

The most basic reason or assumption could be eating green foods like green leafy vegetables that have chlorophyll in them. Even the ones with dark purplish color like kool-aids, gelatin, or jell-o can cause green stools. Iron supplements or foods with a considerable amount of iron have the capacity to give green color to the stool. Some foods that are artificially died also affect the stool color that might not be paid attention to. When something leads to diarrhea, the food consumed passes rapidly from the digestive tract and do not have ideal time to become brown, thus making the stool green.

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Dehydration among adults is more likely to occur Dehydration in adults with acute diarrhea is more likely to occur in aged, elderly or weak people. Pregnant women are also more susceptible. However green stool can be common among infants and especially breast-fed babies

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  1. Green, dark green colored loose bowels as compared to the normal bowels, sometimes as liquid as water.
  2. Tiredness, fatigue and a low blood pressure.
  3. Feeling of mild to acute dizziness, headache, lightness of the head.
  4. Muscular cramps, due to repeated passing of stool, decrease in urination, dryness in mouth and sunken eyes.
  5. Bowel movements immediately after the meal.
  6. Rectal pain, loss of appetite and weight loss.


  • Consuming iron rich food items or supplements
  • Leafy green vegetables, artificially green colored foods
  • Intestinal disorders such as Salmonella food poisoning.
  • Usually when the food passes through the digestive system, yellowish green fluid called bile helps change food color, digestion etc that makes it brown. But with infections such as Salmonella causing diarrhea occur, the food passes through the digestive tract quickly t changes the stool color to brown.
  • Green diarrhea is also sometimes a result of bacterial and protozoan infections.
  • Acute gluten intolerance that affects small intestines with celiac diseases is a major cause of such a diarrhea.
  • Excessive use of laxatives and eating disorders.
  •  Stomach flu, also known as Viral gastroenteritis may also be one of the causes but not as common as the other infections.
  • One of the problems associated with the digestive discomforts and a cause of green diarrhea is Irritable Bowel Syndrome also known as IBS. This is however just a digestive discomfort causing lose bowels and doesn’t damage intestines.
  •  Food poisoning such as Salmonella, as already discussed and E. Coli.


Green stool is often considered as normal but green diarrhea can cause severe intestinal infection and dysfunction accompanied by other disorders. In case of severe conditions one must not rely on the home remedies and contact a health care expert for reducing further complications such as severe dehydration and low blood pressure, low potassium levels, malabsorption etc as among adults diarrhea has more serious and different consequences.

Treatment and Prevention

In majority of the situations, the causes explained above are really not permanent. In fact green stool as a result of green leafy vegetables consumption is harmless and normal, however diarrhea isn’t, which indicates the infection or over-consumption. Thus it is better to avoid the over consumption of green vegetables, laxatives, supplements and antibiotics. Also artificially colored food items not only cause green stool but mostly result in green diarrhea and can also affect the liver as well as the intestines, such as kool-aid, candies, sweets and junk food. Experiencing severe pain, chronic green loose bowels, indicate a poor diet and excessive intake of such artificial food items. One must therefore adopt healthy eating habits, drink a lot of water and exercise in moderation to put an end to such problems.

If your doctor finds that the condition is being triggered by viral or bacterial infections, he or she will prescribe anti-viral or antibacterial medications accordingly.  The doctor will also prescribe anti-inflammatory drugs or analgesics to treat inflammation and pain. Dehydration causes by diarrhea implies that you have to replenish your body with pure, boiled water and fluids.

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