If your poop is green and your stomach hurts it’s probably because of an underlying illness. The normal stool should appear dark brown; hence, it is essential to evaluate a color change case. Green poop is the most common change and sometimes can be accompanied by stomach aches. This article will look at all the possible causes of green poop, why your stomach hurts, and treatment measures.
Green poop is produced when stool passes through the intestines quickly. Hence no time for bile to be broken down or digested completely to form a typical brownish poop color. Bile is usually changed to a greenish-brown color by a particular bacteria found in the intestines. Besides, converting the bile in the intestine to become entirely brown takes a lot of time. So if there is no enough time for this process to occur, then the stool will remain green. For instance, when someone is having diarrhea, the stool passes quickly through the intestines.
Green stool can be a normal variant most of the time. You do not have to worry about it not unless your stomach hurts, you have diarrhea, or when it persists for a long period.
1. Something that you ate (green leafy vegetables)
The first thing that should come into mind when you notice green poop is what you put in your mouth. Sometimes when you change your diet to that might trigger green poop. Meanwhile, the most common foods that cause green poop are:
- Romaine Lettuce
- Collard greens
- Beet greens
- Turnip greens
- Bok choy
These dark green vegetables have a lot of chlorophyll that helps them to absorb energy from the sun. Chlorophyll can be the leading cause as to why your poop is green. But this should not be an alarm because it’s perfectly normal after feeding on the greens.
If your stomach hurts and your poop is green after eating the green leafy vegetables, then you should see a doctor. Vegetables will not cause your stomach to ache but an underlying illness. So do not be afraid to eat green vegetables.
Other foods might contain food coloring dyes that are hard to process—hence leaving a colorful residue in the poop. So if you wake up after a party and notice green coloring, you should not be alarmed unless your stomach hurts. The food color doesn’t have to be green for green poop to be produced. Black blue, purple, or yellow food colors can also lead to a green stool.
2. Underlying illness (Gastrointestinal or liver illness)
If you have an underlying illness such as gastrointestinal or liver illness, you might produce green poop. It’s common to experience it especially if you have GI issues that cause diarrhea, Such as IBS or Colitis which cause a lighter green stool.
The GI system, liver, and gall bladder are always connected intimately. So if any of the organs is affected then the entire system becomes upset. Bile that is produced by the liver then stored in the gall bladder is usually green or yellow. So green poop can be a clear sign of a liver or gall bladder problem.
3. You’re under medication such as antibiotics.
It’s common to see the stool change its color, especially when you have been undertaking antibiotics. This happens when the antibiotics alter the stool bacteria content. Besides, antibiotics can induce diarrhea and cause stomach aches. But this should be able to clear itself up a few days after your done taking the meds.
Strong antibiotics can kill a large population of the normal bacteria found in the guts. Hence this reduces the brown staining bacteria population. You can restore them by taking probiotics such as kombucha and probiotics.
Other medication that can turn your poop green are:
- Medroxyprogesterone (contraceptive medicine)
- Iron supplements
indomethacin (an anti-inflammatory drug)
4. Bile pigment
Bile is a digestive liquid produced by the liver and stored in the gall bladder. It features a natural green-yellow color. This juice usually combines with the food being digested to increase the efficiency of pancreatic lipase. This in turn, breaks down the fat in the food being digested. The fat can be easily absorbed in the small intestines.
But your body needs to break down the bile as well so that it can be excreted as waste. This is easily achieved by passing it through the intestines. However, if you have some sort of stomach crumbling or diarrhea, the bile doesn’t get broken down easily. This can result in green poop.
5. You are taking supplements.
Iron supplements are known to have adverse side effects on the stomach. They also cause other side effects such as nausea, diarrhea, and stomach upset. So one of the biggest reasons why your stomach hurts and your poop is green is because of the iron supplements. If you have ulcers or an inflammatory medical condition, it is essential to see your doctor before taking the iron supplements.
As long as the greenish color from the stool is not associated with any pain, it is normal and okay. Iron supplements can also change your stool to a darker color.
6. Bacteria, parasites, and viruses
Bacterial, parasitic, and viral invaders can be the cause of green poop. Your body has thousands of good bacteria that aid in your digestion and other processes. However, these good bacteria can be attacked by intruders hence wrecking your intestinal output.
For example, intruders such as norovirus, salmonella, and giardia can make the guts flush faster than the normal rate hence causing green stool.
7. Medical procedures
Some major medical procedures can cause the poop to appear green. For instance, a bone marrow transplant is the most common medical procedure that causes green stool. This happens if you have a condition known as graft versus host disease. It is a condition that makes the body to reject a transplant. The graft versus host condition can cause a GI (Gastro-Intestinal) upset that leads to green stools or diarrhea.
8. Anal fissures
Anal fissures refer to small tears that appear in the lining above the anus. It is caused by passing hard stool most of the time. But anal fissures can also be caused by inflammatory bowel disease or chronic diarrhea. Green stools can be a result of anal fissures that is related to diarrhea.
9. Birth control shot
If you are getting a birth control shot, then there are high chances that you will see changes in terms of the stool color. Medroxyprogesterone (Depo-Provera) main side effect is green stool. However, the main reason for this side effect is not very clear, and it might be as a result of altering the good bacteria responsible for brown staining. It is also clear that the biliary system can be affected by anything that can alter hormones. If what you eat isn’t undergoing proper digestion, then there is a high chance of excreting green stool.
Poop color table
|Stool color/quality||What it means||Possible dietary cause|
|Green poop||Bile doesn’t break down entirely as a result of food moving fast through the large intestine. For example, due to diarrhea||
|Black poop||Bleeding mostly in the upper gastrointestinal tract (Eg the stomach, esophagus)||bismuth subsalicylate
|Yellow, foul-smelling, and greasy||Excess fat in the stool||Protein gluten mostly in cereals and bread|
|Bile duct obstruction causing lack of stool in bile||Medications such as Anti-diarrhea drugs|
|Bright red||Bleeding in the lower intestinal tracts||Red gelatin, red food coloring beets, cranberries soup, or tomato juice|
When to see a doctor
A green stool should not be a cause of an alarm. However, if you note any other color, then you might want to visit your doctor. Black tarry stool or red blood in the poop is not a normal condition. So you should seek medical advice ASAP!
If your poop is green and your stomach is hurting, you need to see a doctor because it might be a sign of an underlying illness. Also, when you excrete green poop with diarrhea that is not clearing up, seek medical attention.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why is my poop green, and I haven’t eaten anything?
This probably because you have an underlying health condition such as Crohn’s disease, celiac disease, ulcerative colitis, or overusing laxatives. Gastrointestinal disorders cause bile to move fast through your digestive tract hence causing green poop. You should seek medical advice from a doctor if your poop is green and haven’t eaten anything.
Why is my poop green-blue?
Green-blue poop is not the standard stool color that you should expect. Sometimes it might be caused by the dyes from your digest food. If you are sure that you haven’t eaten any food with blue pigments, you should seek medical advice. Also, when you notice other colors, such as black, which is an indication of bleeding.
Why is my poop green and brown?
Your poop is green and brown because the bile produced hasn’t been broken down entirely. Alternatively, it could be as a result of eating green leafy vegetables or drinking flavored drinks. Iron supplements or underlying illness can cause green and brown poop as well; The normal poop color should be dark brown.
Why is my poop green and soft?
Green and soft poop is often associated with diarrhea. It’s advisable to drink many fluids to replace the water lost and seek immediate medical attention if it persists for a few days.
Green poop is mostly caused by eating green leafy vegetables. But when your stomach hurts, that might be a sign of an underlying illness. Green poop can also be caused by other factors such as eating food colors and taking iron supplements. Some medical conditions can also lead to green poop, for example, anal fissures. Green poop is bound to happen due to the above reason. You should not be worried about it unless it persists for several days, and your stomach hurts.