Green Bowel Movement
Whether you realize it or not, your bowel movements are an excellent indicator of your overall health. Having an unhealthy or unusual bowel movement is a sign something may be awry in your digestive tract. The definition of “normal” is hard to develop however, since normal for one person can differ greatly from normal for someone else. Typically, a bowel movement is brownish in color, so a green bowel movement could be considered abnormal in the strictest sense of the word.
Although green bowel movements aren’t customary, producing ones doesn’t necessarily mean you have a serious problem. Several simple and reasonable explanations can be presented to explain a green bowel movement. Knowing when unusual bowel movements are a problem and when they’re not can aid you in maintaining optimal health.
Causes of Colored Bowel Movements
Diet and Green Waste
The most common cause of a little too much green material in your waste is something you ate. If you eat inordinate amounts of foods that are greenish in color, you may experience a green bowel movement. Some of the most common foods causing green waste include:
- Green, leafy vegetables such as spinach and lettuce
- Foods containing green food coloring (drink mixes, candy, punch, or any food that has been chemically dyed)
- Foods containing large amounts of iron or iron supplements
Obviously, you may eat these foods and not experience a green bowel movement at all. If you eat these foods and discover green stool afterward, it shouldn’t cause you to worry.
Bile and Green Bowel Movements
Bile, which is bright green in color, can be another factor at work for green waste. Alterations to the transit time within your colon or diarrhea can also lead to green bowel movements. In both cases, bright green bile may be visible in the stool.
The bile itself is not unhealthy or indicative of a digestive dilemma. In fact, bile helps make stool soft and easier to pass through your digestive system. Bile also absorbs the fats and fat-soluble vitamins you consume.
Although bile is bright green, it causes the brown hue in your stool as it mixes with food material and various digestive secretions. Bile gradually changes from green to yellow and then to brown as it passes through your digestive system. This color change occurs from the salts and bacteria within the intestine interacting with the bile. However, if waste passes through your body too quickly, the bile may not have the opportunity to convert in this manner. This is why a green bowel movement is often associated with diarrhea, because waste moves too quickly through the body for the normal digestive process to occur.
Lifestyle and Medical Causes for A Green Bowel Movement
Aside from diet and bile, green bowel movements may also be caused by lifestyle choices or medical causes. For example, overuse of laxatives can likewise move the bowel movements too quickly through the body and again you end up with discolored waste.
Antibiotics and other medications can cause unusual digestive results. If you are taking medications and you experience a green bowel movement, you should consult your doctor to determine if the medication is the root cause of your problem.
Several illnesses can lead to green bowel movements as well, such as:
- Celiac Disease
- Ulcerative Colitis
- Crohn’s disease
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome
- Overgrowth of harmful intestinal bacteria
- Infectious diarrhea (Giardia or salmonella)
Even simple food poisoning can cause a green bowel movement. If your body fails to absorb certain nutrients or other components of the foods you eat, this extraneous organic matter can appear as a green bowel movement.
Discussing Green Bowel Movements with A Doctor
Since green bowel movements can be a sign of a more serious situation, it’s important to know when your digestive health should be discussed with your doctor. For example, a bacterial infection can lead to problems in other bodily systems. If you experience a fever or diarrhea along with green bowel movements, consult your doctor and together you can work to achieve a proper diagnosis.
If you are not experiencing other symptoms along with your green bowel movement, the discoloration most likely stems from something you ate. Cleansing the colon can help purge accumulated organic debris and toxin-laden waste, so you can always try a product such as Oxy-Powder® to help cleanse your colon so it can begin working well again. Oxy-Powder® can aid your colon in safely purging built up fecal matter as well as residual foods that could be causing green waste. As a result, your green stool can disappear and you will feel better once your colon begins working efficiently again.