Stool Colors - What Do They Mean?
Video Transcript: Hi everyone. Welcome back. When it comes to your health, it's important to be observant and pay attention to even the smallest changes. One such change that you may notice is a change in your stool color. Assessing stool color can provide valuable insights into your health.
In today's video, we will discuss what different stool colors might mean in regards to your health. This video is not meant to diagnose. It is for informational purposes only.
The goal is to equip you with the knowledge to decipher the signals that your body may be sending you. It's meant to be a guide for understanding your body better.
I'm Katie Bailey. I'm a gut health dietitian at Oswald Digestive Clinic, where we help individuals improve and resolve their bothersome gut issues like gas, bloating, diarrhea, constipation, abdominal pain, and more.
If this sounds like you or someone you know and you'd like to work with us, schedule an appointment at our clinic. Download our Free Guide - Five Ways to Improve your Gut Health as well if you'd like to get started right away.
Exploring the Spectrum of Stool Colors
Okay, let's jump into today's topic. The spectrum of stool colors ranges from shades of brown, green, yellow, white, red, or black. And each color can be linked to different factors such as diet, the types of medications or supplements that you take, and also possible health issues. The color consistency and frequency of your stool can tell you a lot about your digestive health.
Brown Stool - A Sign of Health
Brown is the most common stool color and is generally a sign of a healthy digestive system. It gets this color from a substance called bilirubin, which is produced from the breakdown of red blood cells.
It is also influenced by the amount of bile in your stool. Now, bile is that green, yellow fluid that is produced by your liver and stored and released from your gallbladder to help you digest fat. When bile travels through your GI tract, there are enzymes that will change the pigment from green to brown.
Other Colors and Their Significance
Now, although different stool colors don't necessarily mean there's something wrong if your stool deviates from shades of brown, it's just worth paying attention to. Alright, so let's get into the different stool colors and what they may mean.
Green Stool - Potential Indicators
The first color I want to talk about is green. Green stool can be a result of just eating a lot of green vegetables or foods that have green food coloring in them, but also taking supplements like iron.
However, it can also indicate a bacterial or viral infection or just really fast transit through the large intestines, and when that happens, the bile doesn't have enough time to break down completely for it to get to that brown color.
Yellow Stool - Health Issues
The second color I want to talk about is yellow, and yellow can indicate a variety of health issues. Things like malabsorption, disorders that we see with celiac disease or pancreatitis. It can indicate some problems with the liver or even an infection in your gallbladder.
Red or Black Stool - Possible Bleeding
Red or black stool could be a sign of bleeding in the digestive tract. Black stool, in particular, could be a sign that you're bleeding in the upper GI tract, so in the stomach or the esophagus, but there are medications or supplements that can cause black stool as well, like iron.
Red stool could be bleeding in the lower GI tract, so in the rectum or the colon, but just also note that things like red food coloring and beets can also turn your stool.
Red, White, or Clay-Colored Stool - Lack of Bile
Red, white, or clay-colored stool can indicate that there's a lack of bile in the stool, suggesting that there may be something wrong with the liver or the bile duct. Medications that help ease diarrhea can also cause this color stool.
A Guide, Not a Diagnosis
Remember, these interpretations are not diagnoses. This is meant to be a guide to help you monitor your health and to seek medical attention when necessary.
In conclusion, your stool color could be telling you a lot about your state of health. It's important to listen to your body and pay attention to what it might be telling you, and your stool color is just one piece of the puzzle.
While it's important to not jump to conclusions and self-diagnose, being aware of these changes and understanding their potential meanings can be a valuable tool.
To wrap up our topic for today, occasional changes in your stool are common and they're usually not a cause for concern.
However, if you notice that you're having consistent changes in your stool color that lasts more than a couple days, that cannot be explained with changes in your diet or medications, it's a good idea to contact your healthcare provider just to make sure there's nothing going on that may need medical attention.
Okay, that's it for today's topic. If you liked this video, please hit the like button and subscribe for more nutrition videos. I hope that you found this video to be helpful, and if you're interested in working with our clinic, you could click the link below in the description box to schedule an appointment.
Thank you for watching. I'll see you next time.
If you'd like to explore any of this information further or obtain an individualized nutrition plan, you can schedule an initial appointment at our clinic. We also take insurance and some of our clients get full coverage, which is great.
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