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Dark green poop

Dr Karen Martin
Reviewed by Dr Karen MartinReviewed on 19.10.2023 | 2 minutes read

The color of your poop can tell you a lot about your body, from what it is experiencing (illness) to what you have ingested (from medications to food). You may experience a green tinge or green color to your poop and surprisingly, although alarming, this is a fairly common complaint.

What are the common reasons for green poop?

One of the reasons you might experience green poop is what you are eating. Eating lots of green vegetables or fruits, for example, can cause your poop to change color. This can also be due to eating processed food with lots of food dye. 

Antibiotics can change your stool color, so if you have recently had a bacterial infection and require medication, this may be another cause. Other medications like iron tablets and contraceptive injections can sometimes be known to cause green poop as a side effect. 

Are there any other causes?

Bacteria causing a stomach bug can give you diarrhea. When food passes through your gut quickly, there isn't enough time for it to be broken down by bile, which can lead to a green change in the color of your poop. This can also happen in conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) or inflammatory bowel diseases like Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis. Green poop can rarely be a sign of liver or gallbladder issues.

When should I see my doctor?

Green poop on its own is usually not anything to be worried about. However, if the color change persists alongside diarrhea and is not improving, or you have other associated symptoms such as abdominal pain or weight loss, then you should contact your doctor for further advice. 

What will my doctor do?

Your doctor will ask you about your symptoms, when they began, and any other associated symptoms. They will ask you about your medical history and any relevant family history. They will then examine you and if necessary, send you for further investigations such as blood tests or imaging (X-ray, ultrasound).

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This article has been written by UK-based doctors and pharmacists, so some advice may not apply to US users and some suggested treatments may not be available. For more information, please see our T&Cs.
Dr Karen Martin
Reviewed by Dr Karen Martin
Reviewed on 19.10.2023
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