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What causes green stools / poo?

Updated on November 5, 2011
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I decided to write this article as a follow up to an earlier article of mine which many of you may already have read. The original article is called Have you examined your stools / poo lately? and focuses on many concerns people have about the consistency or colour of their stools / poo, and what the causes might be. Bowel motions tend to be seen as an embarrassing subject to discuss with strangers, and many people are uncomfortable discussing their bowel motions with Doctors, or even family members. Because of this they often turn to the Internet to find out if they might have any cause for concern, or if there is anything they are doing that is causing them to pass odd coloured stools / poo. My intention now is to write a short series of articles, each of which focuses on a different colour of stools / poo and explains what it most likely means.


The Causes of Green Stools / Green Poo

Green stools or green poo can be caused by a number of things, and in most cases you probably need have no cause for concern. The following is a list of most of the likely reasons your stools / poo has turned green in colour.

  • Eating large amounts of green vegetables, especially leafy ones such as spinach, cabbage, swiss chard etc.
  • Eating foods that contain artificial colourings, even if those colourings are blue or purple rather than green.
  • Taking supplements or eating foods high in iron e.g sardines, liver, Guinness, etc.
  • As your stool begins it's journey through the small intestine bile is secreted that is green in colour. In the normal journey the stool is digested and moves on into the large intestine where it gradually turns brown in colour. However, in certain situations the stool will pass through the large intestine too fast, and therefore remains green at the point it is passed (often as diarrhea). This is known as 'rapid transit' or 'decreased colonic transit time'.
  • The use of certain antibiotics.
  • Diseases or condtions including Crohns disease, Celiac disease and Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS).
  • Bacterial infections, E-Coli, Salmonella etc.
  • Eating Disorders such as anorexia nervosa or bulimia nervosa.
  • Eating fatty foods can also cause the production of more bile by the intestine, and this too can make your stools come out green in colour.


Disclaimer: Please remember only to take this article as a guideline, and if you are concerned about the fact your stools / poo appear to have turned green then a trip to your Doctor is always the best course of action.

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    • mistyhorizon2003 profile imageAUTHOR

      Cindy Lawson 

      5 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      Thanks Writer Fox, not heard that one, but guess it might depend on what you have eaten to poison you.

    • Writer Fox profile image

      Writer Fox 

      5 years ago from the wadi near the little river

      Interesting article! I've also heard that it could be a sign of poisoning.

    • arusho profile image

      arusho 

      7 years ago from University Place, Wa.

      Yes, poo is an important issue!

    • mistyhorizon2003 profile imageAUTHOR

      Cindy Lawson 

      7 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      Thanks arusho, really delighted you approve ;)

    • arusho profile image

      arusho 

      7 years ago from University Place, Wa.

      Mistyhorizon2003 - way to tackle the subject! good job..

    • profile image

      Hubertsvoice 

      7 years ago

      Thank you. It's only meant for fun, never harm

    • mistyhorizon2003 profile imageAUTHOR

      Cindy Lawson 

      7 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      LOL Hubert, you do have a wicked sense of humour, but I love it ;)

    • profile image

      Hubertsvoice 

      7 years ago

      This, too, is very interesting and need to know information. However, I cannot resist nor contain myself from being poetic or being a poophead. Somewhere over the poopoo the stench is green. The air is fowl but the bowel is clean.

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