Unusual stool color can have various causes, ranging in severity from 'worrying' to 'very serious'. Finding the true cause means ruling out or confirming each possibility – in other words, diagnosis.
Diagnosis is usually a complex process due to the sheer number of possible causes and related symptoms. In order to diagnose unusual stool color, we could:
|Irritable Bowel Syndrome||2%||Ruled out|
|Rapid Stool Passage||2%||Ruled out|
|Gallbladder Disease||2%||Ruled out|
Other than black/tarry, pale or blood-colored stools, do you regularly have stools of any other unusual color? Do not include color that results from obvious causes such as drugs, food colorings or colorful foods.
Possible responses:→ Don't know
→ Yes, green
→ Yes, orange
→ Yes, other color (please add a note)
Gallstones block the bile ducts, which deliver bile from the gallbladder (where it is stored) to the intestines, where it helps to digest fat. One effect of bile is to turn stool brown.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome can lead to faster movement of bile through the intestinal tract, which impairs nutrient absorption and changes the normal makeup of stool. This in turn can affect the color of stool, making it green or orange.
Some types of parasite are known to change stool color.
A green or greenish stool is usually due to rapid transit of food through the intestines. Bile is green and gradually changes to brown through the digestive process, which takes time. If the food is moving too fast, there is not enough time for this chemical change to take place.