I have to say that the topic of poop comes up fairly often in my household with a hubby who pokes cameras in people’s rectum for a living (with their written consent of course) and a son who continues to battle constipation periodically.
This write up is not going to be about the poop running through my sewage system. The focus here is your poop. Did you just say eww? There’s no need to be bashful here, we all poop after all.
The color of your poop can tell me a few things; the foods you eat, the medications you use or the medical condition going on within the nooks and cranny of your body.
Normal poop color is brown; any shade of brown.
Your poop color is derived from a blend of waste products from the food you eat and bile salts made by the liver.
Here are some abnormal poop color and what they point to:
1. Pale Poop (clay colored poop)
Means that there is an obstruction within the duct that secretes the bile acids from the liver into the gut. If you notice clay colored stool, run, don’t walk to your doctor.
2. Dark Tarry Poop
This could be a sign of bleeding further up in gut, think stomach or oesophagus (food pipe). The interaction of the stomach acid and blood gives the stool a dark tarry color.
Bleeding further near the anus will come out as bright red. You need to have dark tarry poop checked out for sure.
Usual suspects for upper gastrointestinal bleeding are heavy alcohol consumption or heavy use of anti-inflammatories like Motrin, Aleve and aspirin.
Iron pills, Pepto-Bismol, red meat and beets may also cause your poop to be black.
3. Purple Poop
You can imagine the shock I got years back changing my toddler’s diaper and seeing purple colored stool. It turned out that he had helped himself to generous amount of fruit loop cereal.
Natural and synthetic food coloring may color your stool.
So there you have it!
Thanks for tackling this taboo subject, especially in such an approachable manner. In all seriousness, people need to talk more about poop. In the context of their health, of course! 🙂
Thanks for your comment Anne-Marie. Dr. Carol and I just love agitating those taboo topics don’t we?
Thanks. It is interesting read. I would appreciate if you’d also address what certain medications can do to the color of the poop!!! You know the usual aliments that come with age and people take tablets every day for the same.
Hope I’m not asking too much 😉
YNo, you are not asking too much Regina. Please overlook my laziness; here is the paragraph from the article going over the changes to poop from foods and medications.
This is great information to know! Thanks!
that was interesting … anyone that’s had a baby is acquainted with some very strange colors and smells of poop too 🙂
Very interesting! I’ve read somewhere about all the colors. Odd to talk about it but it’s normal! 🙂
I often worry about my kids stool color. Good to know what to watch for, thanks!
My son had an ulcer and he had the dark poop. Thank goodness he is ok now.
Glad to hear that he is okay now. That must have been scary.
People should not shy away from this topic! It is important to pay attention to your body to stay healthy. Thanks for the information!
You are welcome Tina.
Not many people really want to get into this subject but I have a feeling your post is going to help someone who is worried!
You can say that again Erica! The poop talk is a taboo. People don’t talk about it- they would be typing in their questions into the Google search bar and we would be waiting there when they do.
I can honestly say that I never knew that about the dark tarry kind. So as different as this post was, it sure was educational!
You are welcome Melissa.
Interesting information! Thanks for braving this subject….
You are welcome Maxine!
purple poop, haha.
I am so happy to have found this and read it, very informative