What Causes Greenish Bowel Movements?


Quick Answer

Green stool usually occurs when food moves through the large intestine at a pace too fast to give the bile time to break it down completely, explains Mayo Clinic. Diarrhea sometimes causes food to move too quickly through the intestines.

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Additional causes for green stool include a diet filled with green leafy vegetables, according to Mayo Clinic. Eating foods that contain green food coloring also turns stool green; this includes food such as ice pops and drink mixes. Taking supplemental iron is an additional cause for greenish-colored stools.

Stool colors vary widely, notes Mayo Clinic. While brown is a common color for stool, green is also considered normal. Diet and bile have a lot to do with the color of stool. When there is a lack of bile in the stool, the stool may be white, clay or other light colors, all of which may indicate a bile-duct obstruction. However, light-colored stools also occur as a result of the use of bismuth subsalicylate or other drugs for treating diarrhea.

Excess fat in the stool can cause a yellow stool color and may indicate the presence of celiac disease, states Mayo Clinic. Black stools indicate bleeding in the upper gastrointestinal tract but also result from iron supplementation.

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