Last reviewed by Dr. Raj MD on January 12th, 2022.
Although it is not a pleasant topic to discuss at any time except with your physician, the color of their stool is a common concerned for a lot of people. This is especially true for mothers who have infants and young children because having a green bowel movement could mean a serious medical condition in infants and children. What color and consistency your stool is depends on a number of factors. Rarely is having a green stool a cause for alarm and is not really considered normal.
Green bowel movement and diarrhea
Most likely if you are experiencing a green bowel movement it is because of dietary intake. It is closely related to the amount of bile in your stool. Bile is the yellowish green fluid that is found throughout your entire digestive tract that helps to digest fat. When you have diarrhea many times you do not feel like eating so you just drink fluids. With nothing to digest the liquids just go through your digestive system and it also washes out some of the bile giving you green diarrhea.
Most of the symptoms that could be associated with a green bowel movement mainly happen when it becomes green diarrhea. You may have symptoms such as nausea, fatigue, cramps, headaches, pain, etc.
Having too little or too much bile or food that moves too fast through your intestines can give you a green bowel movement. Eating green vegetables like broccoli and spinach can cause you to have green stool. Even foods that contain green food coloring can cause it. In children many times purple drinks can give them green stool. If you take dietary supplements like iron especially, it can give you green stool.
Having mucus in your stool can cause it to turn green. The mucus is present in your intestines can cause your stool to not only change colors but can also change its consistency. If you have consumed a huge amount of sugary foods, have had constipation, or changed your diet you may notice green stool.
Taking Algae supplements may also cause you to have green bowel movements. This is a supplement that consists of essential minerals, amino acids, and vitamins to help improve your defense mechanisms and helping you to feel healthy. These Algae supplements are high in fiber content which is why your stool may appear to be green.
When there is a major defect in your digestive system it can cause malabsorption of food particles consisting of essential nutrients in your intestinal tract. Some of these digestive problems can include diarrhea and constipation. Having bacteria salmonella or bacteria e.coli can also cause you to have green stool but these causes are rare.
Eating disorders can also be another factor in having green bowel movements as the laxatives that are taken for cleansing your system of toxicities can cause you to have a green bowel movement, even diarrhea. People who have Celiac disease, which is caused by wheat intolerance causing the digestion process to be severely affected. This can also lead to diarrhea which has a greenish-blue color and smells nasty. Other intestinal disorders can also lead to having a green bowel movement.
In pregnant women sometimes the cause of a green bowel movement can be linked to their prenatal vitamins. You should at this time follow a healthy diet. In prenatal vitamins there is a high concentration of iron and it is possible that not all the iron gets absorbed so this causes your body to eliminate iron salts when you have a bowel movement which could possibly be green in color.
If you are experiencing a green bowel movement or diarrhea you should make sure that you are increasing your fluid intake each day. You should also exercise to make sure that you are getting rid of all the waste out of your system. Sip lemonade juice with a teaspoon of maple syrup and sprinkled with cayenne pepper.