Poop, or stool, is a vital indicator of your health one that you can and should keep track of. The color of your stool can tell you a lot about your health, and any changes in this color should be noted. Knowing what is considered “normal” and what isn’t can serve as an important indicator of your health, and help you identify potential health problems.
According to mayoclinic, The most common color of stool is brown, which is typically caused by the pigment bilirubin. This pigment is produced when red blood cells are broken down in the body. You will find this shade of brown to be consistent in most dishes that are known for their pigment, such as coffee and chocolate. This can vary from shade to shade, but it is typically indicative of a healthy digestive system and a healthy diet.
Yellow stool is usually indicative of high fat content in the diet, and is often a sign of malabsorption. It is also possible for yellow stool to be caused by consuming foods that are naturally yellow, such as turmeric.
However, if yellow stool is coupled with other symptoms that indicate a digestive disorder, such as gastrointestinal symptoms, it could indicate either a deficiency in pancreatic enzymes or a decrease in bile production.
Green stools can be caused by a variety of factors, but is most commonly associated with the consumption of particular foods, such as those heavily colored with chlorophylls. Certain medications, such as iron supplements, may also cause green stools.
If the green color does not appear to be associated with food consumption or medications, then it could be a sign of an infection. Infections in the intestines may result in increased bile production and a bright green color.
White stools can indicate the presence of a disorder of the liver or pancreas known as cirrhosis. If the stool is a pale or chalky white, it is likely caused by a lack of bile production or an inability to absorb bile.
In some cases, if the stool is white but normal in consistency, it is possible that the white color is caused by the consumption of particular substances, such as dairy products, antacids, anti-diarrheal drugs, or mineral supplements.
Black stool can indicate the presence of blood in the stomach or intestine. It could also be caused by ingesting iron supplements or certain medications, such as bismuth subsalicylate.
If the stool is black and tarry-looking, it could be indicative of bleeding in the upper digestive tract, such as the stomach, esophagus, or duodenum. In this case, it is important to see your doctor immediately.
The presence of bright red blood in the stool could indicate bleeding in the lower digestive tract, such as the colon or rectum. If the stool is black and tarry, it could indicate bleeding in the upper digestive tract.
If the red color in the stool appears to be the color of beets, it could simply be caused by eating beets or other red foods. If the red color is accompanied by abdominal problems or other symptoms, it could indicate a more serious problem and should be evaluated by your doctor.
Pale or Clay-Colored
If the stool appears pale or grayish, it could indicate a problem with liver or gallbladder function, or it could indicate a blockage of the bile ducts. When the liver is not able to produce bile, the stools can appear pale or clay-colored.
In some cases, pale or clay-colored stool can also be caused by certain medications or by a lack of dietary fiber. It is important to note any other symptoms, such as abdominal pain, yellow skin, and dark urine, as this could help you identify the underlying cause.
As you can see, there are many potential causes for changes in bowel movements and stool color. It is important to pay attention to any changes you experience, as this could be indicative of a more serious underlying condition. If you do experience a change in your stool’s color or consistency, it is important to speak to your doctor to determine the cause.
Understanding the normal color of your stool and any changes that occur can help you better understand your health and any potential problems you may be experiencing. Paying attention to your stool is an important part of overall health, and can help you stay on top of any issues quickly and efficiently.
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