Before you flush, you might want to give your poop a glance. The look, size, and color of your stool can tell a lot about what’s going on inside your body. It’s not the most glamorous topic, but it’s an important one for your health. So, what does the color of your stool tell you?
1. Brown: Typically, poop will be a shade of brown, which is normally due to a pigment called bilirubin produced when your body breaks down red blood cells. The bile that is produced in the liver gives it the classic brown look. If the color is consistent from bowel movement to bowel movement, there is likely no need to worry.
2. Green: Occasionally, stool can appear green. This may result from consuming a lot of green foods, like spinach or kale. It could also result from food passing too quickly through the intestines. This happens often during bouts of diarrhea when bile doesn’t have time to properly break down.
3. Yellow: Yellow poop may indicate that you’re producing a lot of fat. Conditions like celiac disease or pancreatitis can prevent your body from absorbing fats properly, causing a greasy and yellowish stool.
4. Black: Black stool can have two explanations; either from your diet or a deeper health issue. Consuming things like black licorice or iron supplements can produce black poop. However, if the stool is both black and sticky, it may contain blood – which could be an indication of upper gastrointestinal bleeding. If it persists, seek medical attention as soon as possible.
5. White or clay-colored: A white or clay-colored stool could indicate a lack of bile in your poop, which may suggest issues with your bile duct or liver. Some medications could also cause this.
6. Red: Small amounts of bright red blood usually signal hemorrhoids or anal fissures, which isn’t an emergency but should be mentioned to your doctor. However, a large amount of blood, especially if it’s mixed in with the stool, can be a sign of a more serious condition and should prompt immediate medical attention.
It’s important to note that temporary changes in color are usually a reflection of what you’ve eaten and are more likely to be harmless. However, if the changes persist, it may be a sign of a more serious issue, and you should seek medical advice.
Remember, color is not the only indicator of possible health issues related to your stool. Size, frequency, shape, and smell can also provide clues to your overall health. Noticing what’s normal for you can help you identify any changes worth bringing up to a healthcare provider. Your poop is a visible clue to your digestive health, so don’t ignore what it’s trying to tell you.