Why is poop brown? What does it mean if the poop is green, black or red in color?

This is something awkward to be talked about. Not when someone’s eating or just not to talk about it except when you have problems concerning your bowel, and you discuss it with the doctor. But who doesn’t poop anyway? It’s an essential bodily process that is everyone experiences.

As Gary Griglione, MD, said, “Pooping is personal” And everyone’s body is different.

When we ingest food, our body processes the nutrients and micronutrients that make us healthy and alive. Carbohydrates, protein, fats, vitamins, minerals, etc. are absorbed into the bloodstream from the foods we eat, leaving behind insoluble and non-digestible substances. These substances are then eliminated of our body through feces or what we call stool or poop. We poop to remove fecal material, consisting of undigested food, the lining of our GI, or gastrointestinal tract (which sheds its surface layer every few days), and bacteria, said Dr. Griglione.

It is also an indication of someone’s health, and everyone’s “normal bowel habit patterns are different. Pooping has no standard when it comes to frequency or consistency. Some poop once a day, others twice, and some people poop every after a meal. Although you have eaten the same meal, your poop might be different from your brother’s poop because your bodies have different speed and performance when it comes to digestion. What’s of importance is to track any changes in your bowel habits. (click here for more details)

There will be changes in the color of your poop, and it’s absolutely normal. But we aware of what each color means.

What you consume affects your digestive system, and sometimes your bowel movements also change in appearances because of your food intake. Yet, it can be a sign of a more serious health condition.

Yesterday you had a yellow, but today you have a light brown colored poop. Is that change in color a serious concern or just a normal thing? What causes poop’s change in color?

If you are aware of the poop emoji, that should be an ideal poop color.

According to Nitin Ahuja, MD, MS, a physician at Penn Gastroenterology Perelman, the poop’s color is reflective of the food that a person eats. If someone eats a lot of green, leafy vegetables, he can have green poop, and it’s ok.

But here is something you should know to pertain to the specific color that says something to you when you look at your poop.


You just have overeaten green foods, such as vegetables or maybe flavored or green-colored drinks, and foods. A serious cause might be food that moved through the large intestine too quickly due to diarrhea, and the bile cannot break down the food completely.

Whitish of clayish

You might be in medication such as large doses of bismuth subsalicylate (Kaopectate, Pepto-Bismol) and other anti-diarrheal drugs. Or might be an indication of bile duct obstruction or lack of bile in stool.

Yellowish, greasy

This is usually a very foul-smelling poop. Certain foods, such as protein gluten, such as in slices of bread and cereals, cause this color. It is safe to get a stool checked and consult a doctor because it might be caused by a malabsorption disorder like celiac disease in which there is excess fat in the stool resulting in this color.

Bright red

You will have a red poop, if you have consumed red fruits, like beets, cranberries, or juices with red coloring such as tomato juice, red gelatin, or any red drinks. If you haven’t eaten or drunk anything red, or your lower intestinal tract such as the large intestine or rectum might have bleeding, often from hemorrhoids.


Suppose you are taking iron supplements, its no surprise that you will likely have a black poop. Other substances that may cause it to be black are bismuth subsalicylate (Kaopectate, Pepto-Bismol), black licorice. The underlying medical condition might be the bleeding in the upper gastrointestinal tract, such as the stomach. (click here for more details)

If you have a loose, watery stool and frequent urge to go to the toilet more than four or five times a day, you have diarrhea. It is very common for younger children because they have a more sensitive digestive system. Diarrhea has various causes, including contaminated food or water; parasites are present like bacteria and protozoa. It might be caused by flu, norovirus, or rotavirus or some medications containing magnesium, such as antibiotics or antacids.

Most common to infants is lactose intolerance because they have a hard time digesting and processing carbohydrates present in the milk they consume. The stool consistency may also be affected if you have diseases like Crohn’s disease or a colon problem causing irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) (click here for more details)