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Green stool

The color, shape and appearance of the stool can be a clear indication that something is not working as well as it should in the body.

Although in a high percentage of cases green stools find their cause in the consumption of certain foods, in other cases they are due to intestinal problems or other diseases such as hepatitis .

Green Stools (Green Stools)

When greenish stools have a greenish color for up to three days, the cause is related to the consumption of certain foods . However, if this condition lasts beyond this period of time, it is important to see a doctor to establish the most appropriate diagnosis and treatment.

What does green stool mean?

In general, this type of stool is common when the intestine is working faster than usual, so that it does not have enough time to digest the bile properly. A relatively frequent situation in periods of stress or due to intestinal disease.

Green stools can also be caused by eating certain vegetables like spinach . Iron supplementation to treat anemia can also cause bowel movements to turn green.

Causes of green stools

Consumption of green vegetables

In many cases, the fact that the stool is dark green is due to the consumption of vegetables that contain chlorophyll in their composition. However, the color of the stools returns to normal once the body completely expels these foods, which usually does not last beyond three days.

Consumption of vitamin supplements

Another possible cause of green stools is the consumption of vitamin supplements, usually iron . The body is not able to process large amounts of iron, so it excretes iron salts to eliminate the excess amount. It is the iron salts that give the stool that green color.

Use of laxatives

Bile is a liquid that is produced in the liver and whose main function is to digest the fat in the food that is consumed. Thus, once the bile digests the fat, the intestine absorbs the nutrients, which enter the bloodstream, while the bile continues its path in the intestine, transforming its color from green to brown.

Thus, in those situations in which the intestinal rhythm is faster than usual, as occurs after the use of laxatives, there is not enough time for the bile to change color, so that the stool is greenish.


This type of stool is also common in cases of Salmonella infection. It is an infection of bacterial origin  that affects the intestines and whose cause is the consumption of contaminated food.

One of the main symptoms of this disorder is green diarrhea, which is generally accompanied by others such as dizziness, abdominal pain , fever and headache intensity. Children and infants are most at risk for salmonellosis ; also those with weakened immune systems.


Giardiasis, also called giardia infection , is a parasitic infection of the small intestine. The causes of this disease are linked to exposure to the parasite giardia lamblia, which is found in soil, food, and water.

A person can become infected if they have direct contact with a person who has this disease or consume contaminated food or drinks .

Diarrhea is the main symptom. In addition, there are others such as abdominal distention, headache, elevated body temperature, nausea, and weight loss. The dehydration is the main complication that can be derived from giardiasis.

Ulcerative colitis

Ulcerative colitis is a disease that causes inflammation and ulcers in the lining of both the rectum and the colon. Although it can occur in people of all ages, it is more common to start in youth.

As for the symptoms, in addition to green stools, there are others such as fatigue for no apparent reason , loss of weight and appetite, rectal bleeding and the appearance of sores on the skin.

You may also be interested in:   White stools

Crohn’s disease

The Crohn ‘s disease leads to inflammation of the digestive tract . Although it can occur in any area from the mouth to the anus, in the vast majority of cases it affects the lower intestine, called the ileum.

The cause is related to an abnormal reaction of the immune system , which attacks itself. Regarding the signs of this disease, the most common are abdominal pain and diarrhea, sometimes accompanied by others such as fever or rectal bleeding.

Gallbladder removal

The green stools are also common in those people who have their gallbladder removed. The bile that is produced in the liver cannot be stored in the gallbladder, so it passes directly into the intestine , thus making the stool a greenish color.

Green stools in pregnancy

The dark green stools are a relatively common condition in pregnant women, especially during the first weeks of gestation. As the pregnancy runs its course, those women who take nutritional supplements may also observe their greenish stools.

During the third trimester, this condition is also relatively common because the rate of intestinal transit accelerates.

Green stools in babies and children

The first stools of a newborn in the vast majority of cases are of a color that ranges from green to black. It is a condition known as meconium and it lasts for approximately three days.


Meconium is known as the first stool of a baby, whose color is black or very dark green . It has a viscous consistency as it is made up of secretions from the stomach and liver, as well as dead cells.

It forms during the fourth month of the fetal period and remains in the baby’s intestine until birth. Then, it begins to expel the meconium during its first 24 hours of life , although complete expulsion usually does not take place until the third day.

The aspiration syndrome meconium is a disease that occurs when the fetus expulsion substance before birth, which seriously endangers his life as it can suck it by accident and put it in your lungs. A disorder whose prevalence is 13%.


During lactation, if the babies are fed formula milk , green stools may be due to the fortification of this type of food with iron. If the color of the stools is dark green or black, it is best to consult with the pediatrician.

Green stool may also occur in infants fed with breast milk . In this case, the cause has to do with the mother’s diet, such as the consumption of vegetables rich in chlorophyll. It can also be an indication that babies are not fed enough since breast milk is very low in both calories and fat.


In the case of children, when greenish stools are accompanied by diarrhea , it is a sign that the bile does not have enough time to change its color from green to brown. In some cases the cause is found in rotavirus . A disease that requires a visit to the pediatrician as it causes an infection in the small intestine, leading to relatively serious symptoms such as fever, fatigue, muscle aches, dehydration and sweating.

Green stool treatment

Green stools generally do not require specific treatment, although it is important to control the cause that has led to this color of stools , both in adults and children.

If the cause is found in the consumption of foods rich in chlorophyll , it is enough to reduce its consumption. As for green diarrhea in adults , green stools usually disappear after three to five days at the most.

For inflammatory diseases , treatment consists of treating the underlying disorder. Some, such as ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease, are difficult to treat in certain cases. However, once the condition stabilizes, the color of the stool returns to normal.

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Hello Readers, I am Nikki Bella a Psychology student. I have always been concerned about human behavior and the mental processes that lead us to act and think the way we do. My collaboration as an editor in the psychology area of ​​Well Being Pole has allowed me to investigate further and expand my knowledge in the field of mental health; I have also acquired great knowledge about physical health and well-being, two fundamental bases that are directly related and are part of all mental health.

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