Green poop can be perfectly normal at times. Although poop is usually brown, there are a few perfectly normal things that can make it come out green or even yellow! Pregnancy also does quite a few things to your body, which can affect your digestive system.
Poop, and its color, can tell us a great deal about our health. When one of our vital organs isn’t functioning correctly, our poop can tell us. This is why it’s important to understand what’s normal, and what isn’t.
You should also learn about what different characteristics of poop can tell you. This won’t just help you right now, it’ll also help you understand what’s going on with your baby when they have funny looking poop.
In this article
- Brown Is The Ideal Poop Color For Most People
- Green Poop Also Falls In The Normal Range
- Pregnancy Hormones Speed Up Digestion
- Green Foods And Dyes Can Make Your Poop Green
- Blue And Purple Foods Can Explain “Why Is My Poop Green?”
- When Bile Doesn’t Get Broken Down Properly, It Can Make Your Poop Green
- Pepto Bismol Can Create Green Poop (Or Black)
- Antibiotics Kill Healthy Bacteria, Resulting In Green Poop
- Iron Supplements Can Cause Green Poop While Pregnant
- Gastrointestinal Conditions
- Laxatives Can Cause Green Stool
- You Should Be Concerned About Green Poop If Other Symptoms Are Present
- Does Green Poop Mean You Have Cancer?
- In Conclusion
Brown Is The Ideal Poop Color For Most People
When your liver releases bile, it makes it’s way to your digestive system. It begins as a yellow-green, but, through changes during the process, winds up a brownish color. It is this bile that gives your poop brown color.
One of the reasons that it turns brown is due to bilirubin, another thing that is produced in the liver.
Bilirubin is made up of various things that your body needs to dispose of, such as used red blood cells and waste. It is typically an orange-brown color. This mixes with the yellow-green bile, contributing to the color of your brown poop.
Green Poop Also Falls In The Normal Range
Although most people consider brown to be the only “normal” poop color, that isn’t so anymore. Several shades of green also fall in that “normal” category.
If your poop has changed from brown to green, there are quite a few things that could be behind it.
Pregnancy Hormones Speed Up Digestion
If you’re pregnant and have noticed the change, it could be your pregnancy hormones. Certain hormones help speed up the digestion process.
This gets vital vitamins and nutrients to your baby faster, but also results in a bowel movement forming and moving through your intestines faster. Because of this, it doesn’t have as many of the things that make it brown. It’s perfectly normal.
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Green Foods And Dyes Can Make Your Poop Green
If you love certain green things, like peas, spinach, kale or find yourself consuming a lot of green food dye, that could be the reason.
If you enjoy a lot of leafy greens, that same green color can show up in your poop. It’s because these are packed with chlorophyll, and our body doesn’t need any of that so it gets passed through as waste.
Food coloring is another common culprit. Most of us eat food coloring on a regular basis.
Some foods, such as canned vegetables, are packed with food coloring to make sure that the vegetables still look appealing when you peel back the lid of the can. Common foods with green dye or food coloring additives include:
- Canned peas
- Pickles in a jar
- Salad dressing
- Cakes and icing
- Green cookies
- Anything that is not its original color
While green food coloring is known to cause green poop, it’s not the only food coloring that can do that. Blue, purple, and even black food coloring can make your next bowel movement the color of grass. It’s still perfectly normal.
Blue And Purple Foods Can Explain “Why Is My Poop Green?”
It’s not just green foods that can turn your poop green, although this is the most obvious explanation. Purple foods and green foods can also transform the color of your stool, just like those colors of food coloring and dyes can.
Examples of common blue and purple foods that can turn your poop green are:
- Red wine
- Foods with these dyes (like cereal, juice, etc.)
If you are enjoying quite a few blueberries to satisfy a craving, that could easily explain why your poop has suddenly turned green.
When Bile Doesn’t Get Broken Down Properly, It Can Make Your Poop Green
Our liver produces bile, which is then stored in the gallbladder. It moves from the gallbladder into our intestines to help digest certain foods, such as fats.
However, if it moves through the digestive system quicker, that means that it won’t get broken down properly. This can create the green color that you’re seeing.
Pregnancy hormones are a common reason, as mentioned above. Diarrhea can also cause this. Anything that makes food move through the digestion process quicker, whether it’s normal, something upset your stomach or you are sick.
Pepto Bismol Can Create Green Poop (Or Black)
Although it’s not recommended to take this medicine in the third trimester, plenty of women find themselves taking a dose or two to get through the morning sickness that goes hand in hand with the first trimester.
However, one of the most common side effects of this OTC medicine is a change in stool color. This is commonly black, but it can also be green.
Antibiotics Kill Healthy Bacteria, Resulting In Green Poop
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If you’ve been on antibiotics recently, this could be why your poop is no longer brown. Antibiotics kill all of the bad bacteria that are causing an infection.
Yet, they also kill all of the good bacteria in your gut. This good bacteria is one of the many things that can make your poop turn brown. Without it, you can wind up having green poop.
Eating foods with healthy, good bacteria, such as yogurt, can help build good bacteria back up in your body. Other options, such as probiotics, are another choice.
If you choose to try an over the counter remedy, make sure to speak with your obstetrician first. If it’s recommended that you don’t take anything, don’t worry. The healthy bacteria in your gut will balance itself out over time.
Iron Supplements Can Cause Green Poop While Pregnant
One of the most common side effects of taking iron supplements is that it can cause green poop. Iron deficiency is extremely common among women and is seen in quite a few pregnant women.
Your doctor will test your iron levels when you are pregnant. If they are low, they might prescribe a prenatal vitamin with iron in it, or recommend an OTC iron supplement.
If you recently started taking a prenatal or iron supplement, this could be why your poop is green. It’s nothing to worry about and will subside once you’re done taking them.
If you already have a gastrointestinal condition, such as IBS, Crohn’s, Celiac disease, or any other condition that can cause diarrhea, expect to see more of it during your pregnancy.
Where you might have been able to manage it before being pregnant, the combination of the condition and your pregnancy hormones can speed things up, resulting in green poop.
Laxatives Can Cause Green Stool
If you were constipated and took something to help things move along, this may have resulted in things moving along a little too quickly. This doesn’t give your stool the chance to turn its normal brown color.
This is normal, even if you didn’t take a laxative but instead drank something like fruit juice. Anything that makes you pass a bowel movement quicker can give you green poop.
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You Should Be Concerned About Green Poop If Other Symptoms Are Present
When you notice a sudden change in your body, it can be alarming. However, green poop is often considered normal. It’s more than likely one of the many changes that your body is having thanks to being pregnant.
If you experience other symptoms, give your doctor a call to make sure that you and your baby are okay. Other symptoms might include:
- Consistent diarrhea
- Blood in your stool
- Poop that looks like coffee grounds
- Abdominal cramps
- Any other symptom that you find concerning
These can indicate that something is wrong, or that there is a problem that needs to be addressed. For example, diarrhea might pass on its own. However, this can cause dehydration.
Dehydration can then cause pre-term labor. This is why it’s important to contact your doctor if other symptoms are pregnant. They can help you prevent future complications that may arise.
Does Green Poop Mean You Have Cancer?
This is a common question that we are all too afraid to ask. Fortunately, green poop does not mean you have cancer.
Usually, when poop is bloody it can indicate cancer in your gastrointestinal tract, but there are plenty of other things that can cause this too (like hemorrhoids.)
Black stools that look like tar can also indicate cancer. (Trust me, my mom had colon cancer.) Green poop is not something you should be alarmed about. If you are concerned, there is no shame in calling your doctor to ask.
Green poop is more than likely normal. It can be caused by several different things, including changes to your digestive system when you are pregnant.
If you experience other symptoms along with green poop, contact your doctor just to make sure that you and your baby are okay.