Green Stool - Causes

What does green stool mean ?

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Green stool can be a trivial problem or it can be an indication of an underlying health condition.  The color of human poop is an answer to the condition and functioning of the digestive system and other parts related to it i.e. liver, intestine and gall bladder. Any change in functioning of one of these body parts, affects the color of human stools e.g. if a person is suffering from hyper acidity or gastritis, he will pass out stools which would be black in color or have black spots on it. This is because of the fact, when a person is suffering from gastritis, a lot of acid is secreted within the stomach of the patient. As a result, bleeding occurs and black color signifies dry blood. Similarly, green stools could be the result of any such condition. Generally, it is nothing to worry about passing green stools, as this could be because of excess intake of green leafy vegetables or food containing excess amount of artificial color. However, if you are passing out green stools regularly, you should see a physician soon, as this could be an alarming situation.

Causes of Dark Green Stool

As discussed briefly above, we shall now discuss various factors, which could result in formation of green stools.

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Watch out your diet

One should watch out, what s/he is eating, as foods what you eat can change color of your stools or feces. Eating a lot of spinach, lettuce and fenugreek leaves could change color of your feces. Also, eating a lot of food containing excess amount of artificial green color, results in green feces. This is considered normal as green stools resulting from intake of food is temporary and does not require any special attention.

Medicinal effect and Supplements

Intake of different type of medicines and supplements also affect the color of human feces. This is evident from the fact that if a patient has been prescribed Vitamin B12 capsules, his or her feces will change color to bright yellow and this will also affect his urine color as it will change to bright yellow as well. Similarly, intake of iron supplements, which also contain chlorophyll, change color of human feces to green. Intake of vitamin supplements containing fructose, too change color of human stools to green. It has also been found that consumption of certain laxatives and colon cleansers change color of human feces.


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Presence of certain type of bacteria in intestinal tract can also affect the color of human stools. Salmonella, a type of bacteria, if enters in human intestine or digestive tract, could disturb its functioning and result in change in color of stools. This could be easily treated with antibiotics. One should always drink a lot of water, to stay hydrated as this helps in smooth functioning of bowel movement and flush out microorganisms present in the digestive tract of human body.


Change in color of human stools can be caused due to intestinal or stomach diseases. Few of them are IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome), celiac disease, Crohn’s disease and colitis. If a person is suffering from any of the mentioned diseases, he might pass out greens stools. Human liver secretes bile juice and it helps in digestion and absorption of fats from chyme, which is a semi-solid mass of partly digested food. During digestion of food, if a person is suffering from IBS or Crohn’s disease, bile juice from liver does not get properly absorbed and is passed out with human stools. This also results in green stools as bile is made up of lecithin, pigments, cholesterol and some other salts.


Though human emotions have nothing to do with green colored stools, however, if you are over stressed, you might pass out green stools. This is so because when you are stressed, your bowel movements take place faster.

Along with above mentioned reasons, one can pass out green stools because of food poising as well. Food poising is caused by infestation of bacteria and germs in human digestive tract, caused due to unhealthy eating habits and unhygienic food.

When should you consult the doctor about green stool ?

One should not worry about green stools, as already discussed, if one keeps himself hydrated by drinking sufficient amount of water, all germs are flushed out and color of the stools come back to normal, yellowish brown. However, if green stools are accompanied with blood or mucus, one should immediately consult a physician. Gastroenterologist will diagnose the reason for green stools with the help of stool test, blood test, endoscopy or colonoscopy. Once diagnosed properly, appropriate treatment is prescribed to the patient.

Therefore, we have now understood that passing out green stools is a normal condition, until it is accompanied by blood or mucus. Drink sufficient amount of water every day and keep stomach ailments at bay.

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Comments (1)

  1. Can eating fish, notably sardines, have this affect?

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