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Mar 6, 2010 BY Joy McCarthy

What the Colour of Your Poo Says About You

—  found in  Well-being  —

Check out the updated post:What Your Poo Says About You!

When you have a bowel movement, your body is providing you with incredible insight as to the state of your health and digestion. If you don't regularly check the toilet bowl after having a bowel movement then you should! Please note: "stools", "crap", "bowel movements", "BMs" all refer to "POOP". Here's what you need to know:

Black-coloured poop:

iron supplements or foods high in iron

Pepto-Bismol or other meds with bismuth

acidified blood (blood from higher in the digestive tract)

Tylenol and other pain meds

black licorice

large amounts of spinach or other greens

blueberries

other foods dark in color

Red-coloured poop:

blood (such as from Constipated? Reasons Why Your Poop Isn't Leaving In A Timely Fashion

Sources:

National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. "Bleeding in the Digestive Tract." National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse. November 2004. 22 Apr 2009.

A.D.A.M. Health Illustrated Encyclopedia. "Bloody or tarry stools." A.D.A.M. 25 July 2007. 22 Apr 2009.

A.D.A.M. Health Illustrated Encyclopedia. "Stools - pale or clay-colored." A.D.A.M. 8 Aug 2008. 23 Apr 2009.

Mar 6, 2010 BY Joy McCarthy
30 Comments
angepeets   •   March 6, 2010

I've been looking forward to this post! I often find my morning oats pass right through me because I scarf them down in the 10 minutes I have before my 8 month old starts fussing! Looking forward to meeting you tomorrow at your RAW cooking class

Reply
joyousness   •   March 6, 2010

Jane   •   March 6, 2010

Love this article. I am always too embarrassed to ask my doctor about these sorts of things. So what do you suggest one do to improve the health of their BM's if they are not the right colour?

Reply
joyousness   •   March 6, 2010

marty   •   March 6, 2010

I have noticed my BM's are often pale and wimpy looking after a night of drinking beer. While I realize this is not healthy, I'm a guy - I like beer!

Reply
joyousness   •   March 6, 2010

aaronjreid   •   March 7, 2010

Speaking from experience, yes, eating beets will turn your poo a deep red coulour, but if you eat a whole lot of beets, your urine will also turn red which I didn't know before it happened...

Reply

Samantha Angela @ Bikini Birthday   •   March 8, 2010

My green smoothie weekends lead to green poop, which, I think, is the coolest thing ever!

Reply
joyousness   •   March 9, 2010

Shunyo   •   March 13, 2010

Lol , great post and comments too. BM is a very important indicator of our situation and often ignored one !

Reply

The Dame   •   March 30, 2010

I also heard there is a difference if they sink or swim, whats that about?

Reply
joyousness   •   March 31, 2010

Pooh Colour Can Tell a Story! « Webster & Associates   •   May 3, 2010

[...] What the Colour of Your Poo Says About You [...]

Reply

7 Tips to Avoid Summer Holiday Weight Gain « joyous health   •   May 31, 2010

[...] fibre so u don’t get “bunged” up so to speak. Translation, many of my clients tell me they don’t go to the bathroom for [...]

Reply

Miranda @ Mirandasjeans   •   June 19, 2010

I have def taken notice after eating beats and lots of spinach or kale that's fore sure! Great article!

Reply

Constipated? Reasons your poop isn’t leaving in a timely fashion | joyoushealth.ca   •   July 13, 2011

[...] set the record straight that if you are not pooping every single day (and by that I mean having a good quality bowel movement) this is NOT normal, despite what your doctor tells you.  The number of clients who [...]

Reply

drake   •   July 21, 2011

Thanks for the article, and a big thank you for not posting any pictures! now to eat some beets...

Reply

Lara Delecheneau   •   January 13, 2013

OMG AN ARTICLE THAT EXPLAINS MY ORANGE COLOURED SHIT!!

Reply
Joy McCarthy   •   January 13, 2013

Joyous Health   •   March 15, 2013

[...] 2010, I wrote a post that quickly became one of my most popular: What the Colour of your Poo Says About You. Due to the popularity of this post and also because I recently finished writing the chapter on [...]

Reply

Sue   •   August 21, 2013

I'm been feeling sick for 2 weeks and my poo is very pale and floats, I have butterflies in my stomach, I just feel unwell, please can you help.?

Reply

Claire   •   December 28, 2013

So I ate nothing but pre sliced carrots and drank coffee since 2pm yesterday and it's now 11am. I probably had a third of the bag because I grabbed it to go to work. Is this enough to turn my poop orange? It was probably 1-2 cups.. and it was a darker orange

Reply
Joy McCarthy   •   December 30, 2013

oly   •   January 15, 2015

hi! just wanna have another question - i had a beef burger and some beef cubes last night and a pint of cider and i had one piece of normal brown poop after that. i thought i was a bit constipated because usually i had to wait for quite a while and there was only one piece of poop (though it wasn't small or pellet-sized). but then this morning, after breakfast i had to go quite urgently again. i thought it was diarrhea but it was just normal poop in texture, a few banana-shaped pieces and it was easy to come out. BUT it was super dark in colour. I'm not sure if it's like BLACK black but it certainly wasn't a nice normal brown :( i could still see white pieces of nuts that I eat (I eat some nuts everyday). my question is...could it be bleeding? My dark poop was not sticky, but it was normal in texture and it didn't really smell bad at all. Also, if it's really bleeding, then wouldn't the blood cover the white nut pieces?

Reply
oly   •   January 15, 2015
Kate McDonald Walker   •   January 16, 2015

Gaynelle williams   •   April 3, 2015

I didn't see a question about what the color black poop means

Reply

Paul   •   September 7, 2016

Rainbow coloured nuggets in a 2yo

Reply

Tarica   •   March 5, 2017

I eat corn night before it came out bloody the next day why

Reply
Rachel Molenda   •   March 6, 2017

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