Stool Color Meanings
An unusual stool color can be the result of a food or dietary supplement, but it can also be a symptom of a health problem. The article provides you with a stool color chart depicting stool color meanings and the probable causes associated with it.
Your body does not accept the food in the form you eat it. The body processes and breaks down the eaten food into smaller, more simpler forms, and then utilizes them for energy generation. Your body converts carbohydrates into glucose, proteins into amino acids and fats into fatty acids. In the process, a lot of wastes are produced, which are excreted out of the body in the form of stool and urine. The process of conversion of food and other ingested materials into nutrients that can be used, and waste products, is called digestion. Stool is the principle waste product of digestion. This is the unusable waste that is left behind after the extraction and absorption of chyle and creamy juice essence of the food from the initial products of digestion. In case of a healthy person, the stool holds the following characteristics.
Characteristic Features of an Ideal Stool •It should be light to medium brown in color.
•It should have the consistency of toothpaste.
•Its length should be between 4-8 inches.
•It should leave the body comfortably, without any strain.
•It should enter the water of the lavatory smoothly and slowly fall down on reaching the water.
Like most the people, you might be least bothered about what's going on inside your body. You might get a squeamish feeling thinking over stool pattern, stool colors and what they mean. But when you go through some kind of physical ailment, you have to take a notice of your digestive health. Under such situations, the stool color meanings hold importance, as it indicates many diseases by giving a specific color. The knowledge of stool color meanings or stool color indications proves to be of great help in early detection of diseases by yourself as well as by your doctor. Any change in shape, size, consistency, pattern of delivery and color of the stool indicates, many things about your digestive health. Stool color, changes mainly due to two factors. These are the type of food eaten and the amount of bile that mixes with the stool. The examination of the stool yields many information about the nature, temperament, and over-all health of your digestive and excretory systems. This article attempts to summarize the indications of your digestive health according to the stool color. See the meaning of stool colors cited in the stool color chart given below.
Stool Color Chart
Stool Color Meaning
Probable Health or Dietary Causes
Light to medium brown
Very light brown
Too much fat in the body, liver problem, or constipation
Insufficient fiber content in the diet
Duodenal ulcer, Internal bleeding in the upper section of the GI tract, i.e. Esophagus, stomach or first section of the small intestine
Consumption of highly concentrated iron supplements, large quantities of olives, licorice, blue berries; heavy intake of alcohol, improper blood flow to the intestine, and vascular malformation
Dark red or maroon
Internal bleeding of the lower section of the GI tract, internal hemorrhoids, anal fissure, colon polyps, diverticulitis, or colon cancer
Internal bleeding causes blood to seep into the colon and get mixed with the blood
Hemorrhoids, digestive system disorders, or colon cancer
Consumption of foods that are rich in red dyes such as licorice, candy, and other artificially colored food items, all causes of black or dark red colored stool in addition
Gallbladder malfunctioning, fast transit time
Gallbladder malfunction, fast transit time, consumption of medicines or foods like carrots and spinach containing beta-carotene, antacids containing aluminum hydroxide, and artificially synthesized food items
Gilbert's syndrome, malabsorption, giardiasis, and pancreatic cancer
Gilbert's syndrome leads to poor processing of red blood cells; malabsorption of fats leads it to the colon, where it mixes with stool; in giardiasis, the protozoans cause diarrhea
Dark Green Stool
Indigestion of green vegetables such as spinach, a fast transit time, irritable bowel syndrome, ulcerative colitis and celiac disease
Consumption of green leafy vegetables, foods flavored with limes, iron supplements, vitamin supplements containing chlorophyll, or foods that contain green dyes such as Kool-Aid and gelatin
Blockage of bile flow from gallbladder to intestine. The most probable reason is presence of tumor in the bile ducts or pancreas
Malabsorption, hepatitis, gallbladder disorders
Hepatitis and gallbladder problems disrupt the flow of bile out of the liver, and hence the stool turns to clay
You can also read more on: •Melena-Blood In Stool
•Causes Of Mucus In Stool
Hope, the above-mentioned stool color chart depicting the stool color meanings, along with the possible causes, comes to your help in timely detection of any sort of medical sickness, and maintaining a sound health throughout your life.
By Kalpana Kumari
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