So you have green poop and you don’t know what to do about it. Does green poop warrant a trip to the doctor? Should you be worried about your verdant feces? What’s the scoop on green poop? (For the original article, please see Ask Gen Y Guy: why did my poop turn green?)
Why is poop usually brown?
To understand why you have green poop, it is important to know why your poop is usually not so green. Fecal matter gets typical brown color due to the breakdown of your red blood cells in the intestines. Red blood use iron to carry oxygen throughout the body. When iron becomes oxidized, it turns a dull reddish-brown, like rust. In effect, brown stool is really just rusty poop, and is completely normal.
What causes my green poop?
Green poop can be caused by a number of different reasons, most having to do with diet. For starters, having too much iron in your diet can cause that nice grassy shade to appear in the toilet bowl. This is especially true if you are taking iron supplements; too much iron in your diet can stain and create your green poop.
Also, green poop can be caused by a diet high in leafy vegetables like spinach. If you are finding green poop in your toilet bowl, go back through all you’ve eaten and determine whether you have eaten an overabundance of salad. Green food dyes can also cause green poop, especially those found in ice creams, candies, and some cereals.
If you’re experiencing green poop as a result of your diet there is no need to fear, as your feces should regain its original brown color over time as whatever is causing the stain works its way out of your system.
Another slightly more serious, and much more disgusting, situation that can cause your green poop is parasites living in your colon. Yes, it is distasteful to think that you have parasites living in your intestines, turning your poop green, but the truth is that these parasites are more common than most people realize.
These parasites that might be causing your green poop can often easily be dealt with through a very common colon cleanse.
What should I look out for when I have green poop?
Most of the time having green poop is completely normal and there is no need to fret, but some cases will require a visit to the doctor. Be on the lookout for symptoms such as a protruding gut, weight gain, constipation, and diarrhea. If you experience any of these symptoms along with your green poop, it is important that you see a doctor.
Also, a trip to the doctor should be your first priority should your poop turn black without you taking any kind of bismuth (such as Pepto Bismol). Black poop can be a sign of a much more serious condition than green poop.