Feces or stools primarily comprise digested food and microorganisms. However, bile content, drugs such as Pepto-Bismol and antibiotics, and ingested pigments from items such as food coloring all influence feces color.
What an individual consumes and the quantity of bile, a yellow-green fluid that digests lipids, in the stool determine its color. Enzymes chemically transform green bile pigments into brown pigments as they move through the gastrointestinal system.
A green stool may be healthy depending on the individual’s circumstances, but it can also indicate severe intestinal infections.
There are two causes for green feces – diet and disease. Green feces may be produced by the food consumed and certain drugs, microorganisms, or medical disorders. However, the stool is often dark due to dead red blood cells and bacterial waste.
See a physician if symptoms do not improve or disappear entirely. In some instances, green stools accompanied by severe diarrhea or other symptoms may suggest a life-threatening disease requiring prompt treatment in an emergency environment. If the color persists or is accompanied by stomach discomfort, weight loss, bleeding, fever, or vomiting, call a healthcare provider immediately.
The liver produces bile and then stored by the gallbladder. This fluid has a natural green-yellow hue. When bile mixes with food, it assists the body in breaking down more dietary fat, allowing increased fat absorption in the small intestine.
However, the body must break down bile to eliminate it. Typically, this is performed by passing via the intestines. Normal digestion of food occurs in the small intestine with the aid of bile generated by the liver and pancreatic secretions. However, bile cannot be broken down rapidly when a person has diarrhea or other digestive difficulties. Due to the body’s inherent green color of bile salts, the consequence may be feces with a greenish hue.
The bile does not have enough time to break down fully and colors the feces green rather than brown.
When bile pigments move through the gastrointestinal system, enzymes chemically change them, transforming the pigments from green to brown.