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Diarrhea Colors: What Does Stool Color Mean?

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Diarrhea coloring can provide an important clue for the doctor to diagnose what is happening, as the color of the stool is directly linked to the type and cause of diarrhea. Thus, the most appropriate treatment will also depend on the color of the defecation. Check out what each coloring can mean:

yellow diarrhea

“The yellowish color can translate into difficulty in digesting fats and decreased intestinal absorption capacity. Fatty feces tend to float in the toilet bowl and adhere to the walls, resembling a paste”, says Patrícia Almeida, hepatologist and gastroenterologist at the Israeli Hospital Albert Einstein.

That is, yellow diarrhea is present when faeces pass through the intestine more quickly than usual, which can be caused both by stress and food poisoning, in the case of acute diarrhea, as well as by diseases that cause changes in bile, case of chronic diarrhea. Thus, yellowish stools can be a sign of:



In the case of babies, especially in the first six months of life, the presence of liquid and yellowish stools is common due to feeding based on breast milk. If the amount of stool leaks from the diaper, consult a doctor: in this case, the baby may have diarrhea.

green diarrhea

Greenish diarrhea is indicative of overconsumption of green foods, food coloring and iron. Another cause can be accelerated intestinal transit. “This can occur due to food intolerances, irritable bowel syndrome, adverse effects of medications or teas and the use of laxatives”, explains Patrícia. Some infections can also cause the stool to turn green. The most common reasons for green stools are:

In the first days of life, it is common for babies to have soft, greenish stools, turning yellow and then brown during the first year of age.

black diarrhea

Patrícia warns: “Black stools can be an alert for the presence of ‘digested’ blood, resulting from some bleeding in the upper digestive tract, called melena. Melena usually has a foul odor.” If your diarrhea is black, see a doctor immediately, as the main causes are:



red diarrhea

Red diarrhea is associated with the presence of intense inflammation and/or intestinal bleeding. “In these cases, cramps, numerous episodes a day, fever and tiredness are usually associated, and the cause must be promptly identified”, emphasizes Patrícia Almeida. Foods with red food coloring can also color stool, such as beets. The main causes of red stools are:

  • hemorrhoid;

  • Anal fissure;

  • Ulcerative colitis;

  • Crohn’s disease;

  • Colon cancer;

  • Infections and inflammatory diseases in the gastrointestinal tract;

  • Excessive red dye;

  • tumors.

It is important to always go to the gastroenterologist so that the diagnosis is made and the appropriate treatment is started. Try to hydrate well and avoid self-medication.

Know more: diarrhea remedies



Content for educational purposes only. Consult a Doctor.

The translator user relied on the following source:

Minha Vida Website – REF99827

Disclaimer – (English version>) This content has been prepared based on information from research, additional publications, or the translation/verification work of a volunteer editor of this web council. This is a non-profit service. It is strongly recommended that all details and information published be carefully verified. We never allow medication recommendations, medication package inserts or any medication guidance. We never allow partisan politics as information.

Isenção de responsabilidade – (versão em português): Este conteúdo foi preparado com base em informações de pesquisas, publicações adicionais ou no trabalho de tradução/verificação de um editor voluntário deste conselho web. Este é um serviço sem fins lucrativos. É altamente recomendável que todos os detalhes e informações publicadas sejam verificadas cuidadosamente. Nunca permitimos recomendações de medicamentos, bulas ou qualquer orientação sobre medicamentos. Nunca permitimos a política partidária como base para checagem. Para mais informações, leia nossos termos.

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