A lot of times people ask us… what does green poop mean? Well, green colored poop could be caused by a number of different things. The most common causes tend to be from things that have either been eaten or drank. Usually eating a large number of dark, leafy greens, such as spinach or collard greens, will cause a person’s feces, or poop, to change to a greenish color. Another common source is food coloring, eating or drinking a large quantity of food containing either a blue or green dye will also cause the poop to turn green. Common foods that contain these food dyes that are often overlooked and have large amounts consumed are juice drinks, such as Kool-Aid, or popsicles. Don’t forget that just because you aren’t eating a green popsicle or drinking blue Kool-Aid that doesn’t mean the cause is not your icy treat or glass of “juice”. Many other colors contain these particular dyes, such as purple.
Consuming iron supplements and antacids have also been known to cause a change in color. Even some vitamins can cause a change in what we consider a normal “brown” color. And these items can affect the color of urine in addition to feces or “poop”.
Another possible source is a large amount of bile in the poop. Bile is a dark green substance produced in the liver and stored in the gallbladder that is used by the body during the digestion process. The greenish color could also be a sign of infection. An infection could be present somewhere in the digestive tract, but more commonly it is a result of swallowing mucus, or post nasal drip, resulting from a sinus infection or upper respiratory infection.
So, when asked, “what does green poop mean?” The answer is, generally, the offending green color will go away on its own with minimal intervention. However, should the unusual green color continue for longer than a few days or returns frequently, a visit to the doctor should be strongly considered. Also, if the change in color is accompanied by other symptoms, like fever, nausea, pain, a change in the consistency (softer or harder) of the poop then a visit to the doctor should not be postponed in the hopes that it will clear up on it’s own.