What Green Poop Says About Your Health?
Poop simply means solid body waste. Normally, a person’s’ general health can be determined using his/her poop appearance. It may also include frequency in which you visit the washrooms as well as the quantity of waste one expels. Stool comes in assorted colors, size, shape, and texture. There are certain colors, forms and maybe stool textures that may be abnormal.
Although poop color is normally influenced by our dietary habits, the most common colors are brown and sometimes green. However, there are some unusual characteristics of stool that make us seek immediate medical advice. These may include abnormal stool colors like persisting green, deep brown, bright red, watery stool (diarrhea) as well as a hard stool (constipation) and frequent visits to the washroom. Having this in mind, I will cover in the following preview what you need to know about green color in your poop.
What Makes Your Poop Green?
Poop color is determined by what you eat and by the quantity of bile in it. Once the liver produces bile, it is sent off to the gallbladder to be stored, and then released during digestion. Bile is a yellow-green fluid generated by the liver through bile duct, released in the digestive system and helps in breaking down and digesting fats. As bile pigments pass through your intestinal tract, they are chemically broken down by enzymes, changing it from color green to brown.
So why is your poop green? Your poop may be green because it has moved quickly through the digestive system and has not properly fermented. In that case, we may say that green stool is caused by incomplete digestion of bile. Foods you can also cause green stool, and these include green foods, blue or purple foods, spicy foods, coffee, alcohol and other foods rich in chlorophyll. Special conditions such as pregnancy as well as diarrhea can cause this green coloration.
When you experience diarrhea, food tends to move too fast through the digestive tract, and therefore bile does not have enough time to be completely broken down.
Pregnant women who are on the constant uptake of prenatal supplements like iron and calcium are likely to experience green coloration in their stools. This is because excess iron cannot be fully absorbed by the body leading to their elimination through bowel movements. Pregnancy can also make mothers not retain food in their stomachs for a long time and will tend to remove them before they are properly digested. This may be because of stomach upsets and painful digestive disorders such as
Babies and toddlers may also experience green coloration in their poop. This might be because of constant uptake of foods rich in iron such as baby formula, lack of enough breastmilk or mother’s dietary habits.
Foods that Causes Green Poop
As mentioned earlier, our dietary habits might be the leading cause of green poop. These include but not limited to the following:
- Dark green leafy vegetables.
These are further divided into three categories namely;
- Cruciferous leafy greens. These and include broccoli, cabbage, collard greens and cauliflower.
- Spinach and Swiss chard. When consumed excessively might lead to incomplete digestion of their fibers and subsequently cause green coloration of poop. This should not be a worry except when accompanied by other disorders such as diarrhea.
- Edible green leaves such as chickweed, watercress, plantain and red clover.
Dark green vegetables are said to be rich in chlorophyll, the pigment that plant uses to undergo photosynthesis. Its excessive consumption is the primary cause of green coloration of stool.
- Foods are rich in fats.
These include but not limited to; avocado, nuts, almonds, pistachios, seed butter, salmon, olives, olive oil, dark chocolate, edamame, sunflower seeds, eggs, full-fat milk, cheese, and yogurt. These foods should be consumed in bits as too much intake might lead to the incomplete breakdown of bile hence the green color.
- Coffee, spicy foods, and alcohol.
As bile moves to the large intestine through the small intestine and bile ducts, its color changes from green to brown. Consuming a lot of these foods causes laxative effects in the digestive system, thus causing food to move faster through the intestines, giving bile limited time to break down and subsequently preventing stool from changing its color from green to brown.
- Blue and purple foods
Apart from green foods, blue and purple foods can also lead to green poop. These foods include grapes, blueberries, and red wine.
Home Remedies for Green Poop
Here are a few home remedies you can take to turn your poop from color green to brown. Increase the quantity of fermented foods in your diet. Fermented foods are said to contain beneficial bacteria, which wholly support your digestive system. Some of the best-fermented foods to consume are coconut, milk, kefir, kimchi, pickles, yogurt, natto, and lassi.
Ease up on fats that could be harmful to the gallbladder and liver especially the unhealthy fats that can be found in fried foods and hydrogenated oils.
Replace unhealthy fats with healthy ones like avocado and coconut oil. We cannot overrule the essential role fats play in our body and thus still an essential nutrient in your diet. Coconut oil is one of those fats that do not need bile for proper digestion and is there for the most suitable of all natural fats but still should be taken in sizable quantity.
Increase intake of ox bile supplement. Ox bile contains many digestive enzymes as humans do and it may, therefore, improve absorption of fat. Alternatively, you can take pancrelipase- an artificial pancreatic enzyme that supports digestion of fat.
As in the case of expectant mothers, uptake of prenatal supplements should strictly be done under doctor’s instruction. This is because too much of it might end up also affecting your newborn. You are encouraged to eat healthy foods that produce natural iron and calcium such as liver and fish.
Consumption of alcohol should be limited. This will prevent the laxity nature of digestive our systems, making enzymes responsible for digestion and absorption active.
When to Consult a Doctor About Green Stool?
If green stool persists, or your bowel movement is strange, you should make a point of seeing a doctor especially if it is accompanied by fever, abdominal pain, nausea, and vomiting. This is recommended if you are experiencing diarrhea, as this condition can lead to complication of other problems such as dehydration.
Green stools having mucus can sometimes be a sign of inflammation in the intestine lining and may require urgent medical attention. Very serious conditions may require immediate attention as it might be because of food poisoning. Again, if your poop is green on regular basis, it could mean that.
- Your body is not absorbing nutrients properly.
- You have a bacterial infection.
It is always recommended you don’t wait for too long if these symptoms persist as they might lead to more serious health complications. Always consult your doctor when you are uncertain of these changes in your body especially when accompanied by green poop.