That famous poop emoji may be chocolate brown, but did you know that your poop can turn yellow, red, and even white? If you’re used to seeing brownish stool in the toilet bowl, that’s a good sign. Brown (or even green) poop usually means your digestive system is healthy. (Here’s how to know if the shape of your poop is healthy too.) Poo of a different hue, however, could be sign that something is out of whack. Here’s what the color of your poop might say about your health.
Your poop is: like, really green. Eating a lot of leafy greens (yay!) or foods with dye (nay) can turn your stool this color. It may also be because your food is moving through your large intestine too quickly and your bile doesn’t have enough time to break it down.
Your poop is: white or chalky. Lack of bile in the stool may cause it to turn this color, which may be from a clog in the bile duct. Whitish stool may also be a side effect of certain medications.
Your poop is: pale, yellow, or smelly. Yellow, Dijon mustard-looking stool is common and normal in breastfed babies. For adults, however, it could mean excess fat in the stool, which is a sign of celiac disease.
Your poop is: red or black. Unless you’ve eaten a bunch of beets or food with red food coloring, call your doctor ASAP. These colors could mean you’re bleeding in the lower intestinal tract.
If any other color than brownish is sticking around, it’s wise to check with your doctor to make sure it’s not something serious.
Digestive diseases. Bethesda, MD: MedlinePlus, U.S. National Library of Medicine, 2014. (Accessed on December 21, 2021 at https://medlineplus.gov/digestivediseases.html)
What are some basics of infant health? Bethesda, MD: National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. https://www.nichd.nih.gov/health/topics/infantcare/conditioninfo/Pages/basics.aspx