When you poop, you usually know what to expect when you check out the goods in the toilet — the general shape, the usual size, and the typical color. What would you think if you were greeted instead with poop that looks like it exited the body of the Green Giant?
While this can be alarming, the good news is that usually green poop doesn’t mean anything weird is going on with you health-wise. Typically, a green poop experience is due to something you ate (even if you didn’t eat anything that was actually green). There are a few other reasons, though, that your poop can be green, so it’s a good idea to evaluate your eating habits and any other symptoms you may be experiencing to determine if something is off-kilter in the ol’ intestines.
Common causes of green poop
The biggest culprits that make your poop green are foods that are actually green, such as kale, spinach, or broccoli (via Healthline). Other dark green veggies can also have a hand in tinting your feces this shade of green, so if you enjoy those on the regular, know that it’s just par for the course.
Other foods can contain dyes that do the same thing. Say, for example, your baby eats a bunch of green frosting at her first birthday party, don’t be surprised if her diaper winds up full of green poop within the next day or so.
Also, it’s interesting to note that there are other colors that are definitely not green that can turn your poop a pleasing emerald shade. Whether you scarf down a bunch of blueberries, chug red grape juice like it’s your job, or eat cake with a bunch of black-tinted frosting, this too can turn your poop green.
When green poop means potential health problems
There are a few other health-related reasons you should watch out for if you experience green poop, though. If you have diarrhea, for example, not only is your stool loose, it can be a few different shades of green. As long as the diarrhea clears up within three or so days, your green poop will, too.
Antibiotics can also turn your poop green as they can reduce the numbers of bacteria within your intestines that turn your poop brown. Adding probiotics can help in this situation.
There are also a few other, more concerning reasons your poop can turn green. Healthline notes that certain parasites, viruses, and bacteria can lead to diarrhea, which as mentioned already, can cause your body to dump out your guts faster than normal, which means more green stool for you.
Gastrointestinal conditions, such as Crohn’s disease, celiac disease, ulcerative colitis, and irritable bowel syndrome can also result in green poop.
Green poop without other symptoms can be totally normal
If you can’t trace your green poop back to certain foods you’re consuming and it goes on for longer than you’re comfortable with, see a doc. Also, if have diarrhea that lasts more than three days, or you experience stomach pain, blood in your stools, or persistent nausea, schedule a visit with a doctor.
Usually, though, those green turds don’t indicate you’re doing anything other than enjoying a lot of dark green veggies or drinking too much grape juice — in those cases, carry on, because that’s pretty healthy. But if your green toilet friends are accompanied by other symptoms, get checked out just in case.
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