Green Stool in Adults

Green stool in adults have puzzled many people. The color of the stool is a reflection of one’s digestive health.  Green stool shouldn’t cause a great deal of concern because it is not usually related to serious health problems. But things might be different if the greenish stool has become recurrent or regular. It could be a warning signal that something is wrong in the digestive system.

The treatment for green colored stool in adults is pretty straightforward. If the condition persists even after eliminating the contributing factors that make the stool appear green, the situation must be evaluated by a doctor to determine the underlying cause. Affected individuals should always remember to avoid self-medicating as this may aggravate the condition.

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Green stool in adults – causes

Greenish stool in adults is caused by an assortment of factors. The color of the stool as well as its consistency is generally regulated by the bile, so changes in the stool’s shade and texture will determine how well the bile is performing its function. Bile is produced by the liver. Under normal conditions, the bile changes the color of stool from green to yellow to brown. Green stool could form due to slow bowel transit, resulting in unchanged stool color. Furthermore, the stool may appear green if mucus is present in the intestines as this can affect the color and consistency of the stool too.

Passing green stool may mean a lot of things, from simple effects of diet and medications to more serious digestive disorders. Green stool in adults could be the result of:

  • Eating lots of green vegetables

Green leafy veggies, like broccoli, lettuce and spinach, are the leading culprit of green stool.  Feces will also turn green if the individual consumes foods that are loaded with green coloring.

  • Taking supplements or certain medications

Algae supplements, iron supplements and certain drugs have been found to change the color of the stool to green.

  • Malabsorption

Lactose intolerance is a form of malabsorption which causes one to suffer from diarrhea and pass green stool. Those who have problems in breaking down fat will also have green colored stools.

In other instances, green stool in adults could be brought about by more serious problems, such as:

  • Food poisoning

E. coli and Salmonella bacteria are widely known to cause food poisoning and make the stool green.

  • Intestinal problems

Green stool could indicate intestinal problems like IBS, Crohn’s Disease and colitis. People with these medical conditions will also experience very loose green stool.

  • Celiac Disease

This disorder also causes the stool to become green because the intestinal wall cannot tolerate gluten, thereby resulting in diarrhea and foul-smelling green stool.

Treatment for green stool in adults

Green stool in adults is totally harmless if it is caused by food, medication or vitamin supplementation. However, if green stool is accompanied by unpleasant symptoms and has gone on for quite some time, a visit to the doctor is called for. The doctor will conduct a series of tests to determine the problem that is causing the green colored stool and start the best course of action based on the diagnosis.

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