What the Color of Your Poop May Really Mean

(GoHealthier.com) – Have you ever noticed your poop coming out an entirely new shade? Don’t panic! It could be a one-time occurrence, though generally, our stool says a lot about the state of our health. Most of the time, your poop color is heavily dependent upon what you’ve eaten recently.

Poop appears in a variety of colors, even though we’re used to the usual brown shade. It can look red, orange, and even white. What does it mean when the poop takes on a new shade? Read on.

Decode Your Poop Color

It’s normal to have minor variances in the color of your poop, because poop color depends somewhat on what you’ve eaten. You may eat more or less meat or roughage or carbs one day versus the next, and that’ll affect the texture and color of your feces. However, a big color change can let you know you have a health issue cropping up, major or minor. Here’s what to look for. As always, if you have any concerns, make sure you call your doctor ASAP.

Normal Poop: Poop Brown

Normal poop color appears brown. That’s based upon how much bile your stool contains, and the way your body processes waste. Bile begins as a yellow or green color, which you might have noticed if you’ve ever vomited it in the past. The chemicals in your digestive system turn that lovely shade into the familiar brown we end up with in the toilet bowl when poops look normal.

Clay-Colored or White Poop

Is your poop looking a little ghostly? This most often happens because of the food you’ve been eating. However, meds like Pepto-Bismol or Kaopectate) can also make your poo that pale shade.

However, persistent white poop appearances can be indicative of tumors, gallstones, or other major causes for lack of bile in your stool. Hepatitis is another reason this may happen.

Black Poop

Has your poop ever looked like tar? Black poop usually represents blood in the stool. It can happen after a surgery where you ingest blood, and it’s common in newborns due to the birth process. It can suggest bleeding in your digestive tract, though, so if you see this, talk to your doctor.

Red Poop

Is your poop looking red? Think about your diet first. Beets, tomatoes, red Gatorade, and Jello are frequent culprits of red poop, as is red icing on your birthday cake.

If that’s not the case, you may have cause for concern. It could be blood from hemorrhoids or your lower digestive tract, or it could be caused by polyps and other sources of inflammation.

Yellow Poop

Going along with the many colors of the poop rainbow is the color yellow, which is normal for some people. If your yellow poop has an especially foul odor or looks greasy, that means you’ve got a lot of fat in there. Either you’ve eaten way too much fat recently (versus your normal intake) or you aren’t digesting that fat well. Celiacs commonly experience yellow poop due to their inability to process gluten.

Orange Poop

Think about your favorite orange foods. Have you had them recently? Pumpkin, sweet potatoes, and carrots can all turn your poop into that lovely orange shade. Orange is also a popular food coloring color, so you might have consumed artificially flavored food as well. Additionally, antacids and antibiotics are common culprits. Occasionally, liver problems can manifest this way.

If you’re ever concerned about your poop color, it’s time to see a doctor. This is especially true if the issue or color in question is recurring. Keep a log of persistent problems to help in your explanation.

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