The Poop Scoop: What The Color Of Your Stool Might Be Telling You

We’ve all been there: trying to distinguish the state of our bodily affairs by the observation of our poo. Did you know you can tell a lot by the color of your excrement? It’s true, and if you use our handy color-coded graphic below, you can find out what your poop is trying to tell you about your body.

We’re not trying to cause night terrors, but rather raise awareness (also, we like to use the word “poo” whenever possible). It’s not an exact science as to what’s going on in your body — we’re not doctors (yet) — but rather a set of indicators from your stool. And remember: Smell, shape and frequency are telltale signs as well, not just color. We’ll work on those charts later. (Additional info below color wheel)

poop color wheel, what the color of your stool might be telling you, color of my poop

Brown (light brown to dark brown)

Normal, no cause for concern

Made from bile when iron of red blood cells mixes with broken down bone marrow, turned brown by bacteria in the small intestine. Once per day is normal. Twice per day is great. Still, flush it down.

Green

Somewhat normal, no cause for concern

When poop travels too quickly through intestines, it doesn’t have time to turn brown and comes out green. Also, from eating lots of leafy greens or iron supplements. Also, St. Paddy’s Day.

Bright Red

Abnormal, some cause for concern

Could be an indicator of bleeding ulcer near intestinal track, or possibly anal canal. Perhaps just hemorrhoids or red velvet cupcakes, though.

Pinkish Hue

Abnormal, some cause for concern

There could be some funky bacteria in there. Or, you ate too many beets. Lay off the beets, tomato-based products and cranberries, even though they’re good in small doses.

Yellow

Abnormal, some cause for concern

Possibly the result of gallbladder problems or giardia infection.

Gray/White

Abnormal, some cause for concern

Likely caused by taking antacids. However, possibly cirrhosis, hepatitis or pancreatic illness.

Black

Abnormal, some cause for concern

Could be dried blood in stool or bleeding far enough from rectum that it has time to dry in gastro track or anal canal. Possibly just from black jelly beans, black licorice, antidepressants or anti-diarrheal meds.

Sources:

Health Advisor Group

WebMD

wikiHow

The Dr. Oz Show