Seeing green feces in your toilet can be rather alarming, but you shouldn’t panic. Although this isn’t a common occurrence, this is rarely a sign of anything dangerous. Dark green poop can be caused by several factors, but none of them are life-threatening.
Changes in Stool Color: Causes
Please note that any sudden change in the color of your stool is a reason to call a doctor. If this is a one-time occurrence, you may not have a reason to worry as these things can be caused by the food you consume. However, if the condition persists, you should consult a specialist.
Changes in stool color can be a symptom of digestive disorders, various bacterial infections, or even cancer. The actual color of your feces will help the doctors determine the cause of the change. If it’s dark green, the reason behind it is either your diet or too quick movement of waste through your bowels.
Dark Green Poop Causes
The most common reasons that can change the color of your feces to green are:
- Decreased bowel transit time – This is a condition that occurs when your feces move through the intestines too fast. In this case bile, which is bright green in color, doesn’t have enough time to interact with the chemicals in your intestines properly.Bile is secreted by your liver. It removes bilirubin (a breakdown product of blood) from your body and softens the feces to facilitate bowel movement. When stool passes through the intestines normally, the bile interacts with various chemicals and changes its color from green to brown. This may not happen when your poop travels through your digestive tract too fast. If this is the case, you should consult a professional as this can be a symptom of a dangerous condition.
- Diet – Eating too many greens, like spinach, cabbage or kale, can result in your stools being this color. This can also happen if you eat something with green food coloring.
This can affect the color of your stool only if the quantity of consumed “greens” is huge.
- Food poisoning – As food poisoning usually causes diarrhea, green stools are common at this time.
- Diarrhea – When you have diarrhea, your natural bowel movement speed is increased. So bile doesn’t get a chance to change the color of the feces and your stool can be green.
- Medications – Laxatives, iron supplements, drugs or supplements that contain chlorophyll or fructose, and other medications can cause you to have green stools. If this is the case, the issue should be resolved after you stop taking the drug.
- Digestive disorders – Irritable bowel syndrome, colitis, Chron’s disease, and a few other digestive disorders affect your colonic transit time. Your stool is green when it enters the intestines, and if it doesn’t absorb fats and chemicals on its way down, it stays this way.
- Stress – Your digestive system is one of the first parts of your body that crumbles under stress. This can result in indigestion, green stools, and many other problems.
In most cases, dark green stool is a normal occurrence caused by a minor factor. If the problem is recurring or accompanied by abdominal pain or other unpleasant symptoms (vomiting, fever, etc.), you should consult a doctor.