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Is Your Poop the Color of Health or of Disease? Asks Dr. Oz

Tim Boyer's picture
Color of poop and health

According to Dr. Oz, taking a peep at your poop before flushing is a good way to diagnose potential disease just by its color. Dr. Oz tells viewers that if you are developing kidney disease, Crohn’s disease, stomach cancer, diabetes or gallbladder disease that these conditions may be evidenced in your poop telling you that you may need to go see your doctor.

Brown is the characteristic color of good health seen in poop. But on occasion you may see some other colors that can be indicative of diet as well as disease. The following is a summary of what poop colors other than brown you may see and what it can mean to your health:

When Your Poop is Green

Dr. Oz tells viewers that if your poop has a green color to it that it can be due to just from eating a lot of green leafy vegetables. However, it can also be sign that the food you ate went through your bowels too quickly and did not have time to go through the proper digestive process. The concern of this is that you may have Crohn’s Disease.

Crohn’s Disease is an inflammatory bowel disease that can affect the entire digestive tract, but is typically found in the end of the small bowel (ileum) and the beginning of the large intestine (colon). People with Crohn’s disease often suffer from a life of abdominal pain, severe diarrhea and even malnutrition because of their body’s failure to digest food properly and absorb nutrients.

When Your Poop is Yellow

Poop can take a yellowish color from eating a lot of bread due to some proteins contained in bread; however, that yellow color could also be a warning of liver disease where the gall bladder may be affected as well. >> 4 Risks of Gall Bladder

When Your Poop is White

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White-colored poop can be a serious business. In some cases it can be due to something as innocuous as taking too many antacids or supplements that are preventing the fats from being digested. However, it can also be a sign that something is going on with your pancreas such as pancreatic cancer.

When Your Poop is Red or Black

Red poop may be a sign that you have bleeding occurring due to hemorrhoids or anal fissures―either of which are non-emergency conditions. However, it can also be a sign of bleeding in the lower digestive tract that can be worrisome and in need of immediate medical examination to find out what it going on such as the possibility of diverticulosus or colon cancer.

When your poop is black it is never a non-serious sign. Black poop means that you have bleeding occurring that (relatively speaking) at its best may be from bleeding due to a stomach or esophageal ulcer and at its worse may be cancer. The black coloration is due to blood coming in contact with stomach acid.

What to Do When Your Poop Isn’t Brown

While any color of poop other than a normal brown can be alarming to see, Dr. Oz advises viewers to not panic right away if they see something different than they normally do after having a bowel movement. He explains that many times an unusual color could be just a temporary event due to something you ate or a change in diet that may be affecting the digestive tract. His recommendation is that you should wait a couple of days while paying attention to what you eat and see if your poop resumes its normal color. If not, then it is time to see your doctor and let him know what you are experiencing for an accurate diagnosis.

However, the one exception is that if your poop is ever red or black then you need to see your doctor immediately—do not wait to see if it “will just go away” as many people are naturally inclined to do when faced with this alarming finding.

For an additional article related to poop and what it means, click-on the titled link, “Dr. Oz's Top 5 Embarrassing Medical Conditions,” for more Dr. Oz info about your body and your health.

You should read this too: Poop from thin people may treat obesity.

Image Source: Poop Color Chart from The Dr. Oz Show Website



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