What Do the Different Poop Colors and Shapes Mean?

Although you may not pay much attention to your stools, inspecting them regularly will give you a sense of which colors, shapes, and textures are typical for you. That direction, you will know when something is off and when you should contact your healthcare provider .

This article discusses the think of of different types of poop—from toilet that is jaundiced, green, pale, dark, or crimson, to stool that is pebble-shaped or that contains mucus. Keep in judgment that you should always talk to your healthcare provider about any fresh or concerning symptoms .

Healthy and Unhealthy Stools
Verywell / Gary Ferster

yellow Stool or Diarrhea

Having scandalmongering crap may plainly mean that you ’ ve been eating yellow food items, like sweetness potatoes, carrots, turmeric, or yellow food coloring. In addition, people with gastroesophageal reflux disease ( GERD ) and those taking medication for GERD sometimes have yellow crap .

fecal matter that has on the spur of the moment become yellow can besides be a bless of an intestinal infection, particularly if you besides have diarrhea, fever, flu-like symptoms, or stomach cramps. Giardiasis, a small intestine contagion caused by the leech Giardia lamblia, can besides lead to yellow toilet or diarrhea .

In some cases, yellow nincompoop can mean there is surfeit fat in the stool—a discipline known as steatorrhea. This can be caused by anything that disrupts the intestinal lining, such as coeliac disease or disorders that affect the pancreas, liver-colored, or gallbladder .

Steatorrhea normally looks greasy and may be fetid, bubbling, or float in the toilet bowl. It frequently sticks to the english of the bowling ball and is unmanageable to flush away .

green Stool

There are some coarse reasons for green stool. Eating lots of leafy vegetables like kale or spinach can give stool a green color. But this is normal, and it should n’t stop you from getting your filling of these antioxidant-rich foods. Iron supplements and food tinge, including green, purple, and aristocratic dye, can besides turn feces an emerald color .

Conditions that speed up intestinal bodily process, such as a intestine disorder or food poison, can besides lead to greens stool. In women, green stool may occur at certain times during pregnancy .


Click Play to Learn More About Green Stool

fecal matter That Sinks Quickly

Although normal stool shape and frequency varies from person to person, if your stool sinks quickly, you may not be getting enough fluids or fiber in your diet. This type of stool is much dark because it stays in the intestines longer .

The FDA recommends a fiber consumption of 28 grams per day. solid grains, fruits and vegetables, beans, unsalted nuts and seeds are all great sources of fiber.

Floating stool

If your toilet floats every immediately and then, it ‘s probably not something to worry about. Most likely, the stool just has an increased measure of gas in it. This can happen after consuming carbonate drinks, beans, and sugary foods. Some gastrointestinal disorders, like irritable intestine syndrome ( IBS ) can cause floating stool adenine good .

however, stool that systematically floats may be a sign that your body is not absorbing fat properly. When this happens, you may have steatorrhea .

pebble stool

Stool excreted in little pieces is sometimes called pebble or shot stool.Fiber forms a gelatin in the intestines when it is fermented by bacteria in the colon and combined with urine. If there is a miss of character holding stool in concert, it may be shaped like minor pebbles .

Upping your fiber intake may help ; to do this, slowly increase your consumption to the recommended daily value of 28 grams. If you are finding it unmanageable to consume this come with fiber-rich foods, consider adding a character supplement .

loosen Stool

free stool ( diarrhea ) lasting a couple of days or less is park and normally is n’t dangerous. It can be triggered by a count of different foods, supplements, and medications. For example, consuming excessively much fructose—a carbohydrate found in honey and many soft drinks and processed foods—can cause lax stool .

Another common cause of loose stool is a gastrointestinal infection—otherwise known as the digest influenza .

infrequent Stool

If your intestine movements are dry, intemperate to pass, or infrequent ( occurring less than three times a week ), you may have constipation .

Certain medications and conditions can result in constipation. But, for many people, the campaign is a lack of dietary fiber. Legumes and raspberries are fair some of the foods that can help constipation. In some cases, lifelike remedies may besides help .

Mucus in Stool

Mucus is a thick, gelatinous substance that lubricates your intestines, protecting them from stomach acid, bacteria, viruses, or fungi. It besides makes intestine movements slippery and slowly to pass.Although mucus is normally found in stool, you normally do n’t notice it because it tends to be open .

If you start seeing mucus in your stool or notice that the mucus is flannel or yellow, note it to your healthcare provider at your adjacent inflict. In some cases, it could be a signboard of inflammation or annoyance in the intestinal wall due to an underlying health issue .

Pencil-Thin Stool

excessive strain when you are on the toilet can result in a stool that is long and sparse. Bearing down causes the anal muscle to narrow and narrows the opening of the anus. Stool that is squeezed through the narrowed open is slender .

systematically thin stools, however, could signal a checkup problem.Any condition that obstructs the bowels, such as benign rectal polyps, hemorrhoids, prostate enlargement, or cancer of the colon, rectum, or prostate could cause pencil-thin stool .

Pale Stool

Bile salts in the intestines give stool its usual brown discolor. stool that is light ( either pale, white, grey, or clay-colored ) could indicate a lack of bile in the stool. A blockage of the bile ducts from gallstones, or a condition affecting your gallbladder, liver, or pancreas, can cause decreased bile output .

If you notice that your stools are whiten, clay-colored, or calcareous gray, you should see your healthcare provider, specially if the color continues beyond a few days.When there is steatorrhea, pale or light stool may besides be bright or greasy, floating, and fetid .

additionally, stool may become temporarily pale after a barium enema test.​

Anytime you have changes in your intestine habits that are accompanied by symptoms like nausea, vomiting, or pain in your abdomen, you should see your healthcare provider right away. sometimes, stool changes that do not resolve within a few days can be a sign of a unplayful fundamental condition.

Undigested Food in Stool

Seeing undigested food in your stool on affair typically is n’t anything to worry about. Certain plant foods, such as corn and grapeshot skins, are much recognizable in toilet. That ‘s because the human body lacks the enzymes needed to digest certain parts of plant cell walls .

Eating more slowly and chewing each sting thoroughly can help. If you see undigested food in your stool regularly and you besides have other changes in your intestine habits, like diarrhea or stomach cramps, it ‘s a good idea to consult with your healthcare supplier .

Bright Red Stool

Bright red stool can be caused by beets, cranberries, tomato juice or soup, or products containing red food coloring, like Kool-Aid or red licorice. Red medicines, such as amoxicillin, may besides turn stool loss .

If there is blood in your stool, the color depends on where the bleed takes place in the digestive tract. blood from the amphetamine contribution of the gastrointestinal tract, such as the abdomen or esophagus, will look dark by the time it exits the body as a intestine drift .

lineage that is bright crimson is more probable to come from the lower gastrointestinal tract, such as the large intestine or rectum. This may be caused by hemorrhoids, anal fissures, ulcerative colitis, diverticulosis, or colon cancer, among other conditions .

rake in the stool does n’t always appear bright bolshevik. blood may be besides award in fecal matter but not visible—this is known as “ supernatural ” lineage. The faecal occult lineage test is a coarse test used to detect shroud blood in the stool .

Black or Dark Stool

Certain foods, supplements, and medications can temporarily turn stool black, such as :

  • Bismuth subsalicylate (Pepto-Bismol, Kaopectate)
  • Iron supplements
  • Activated charcoal supplements
  • Dark foods, such as black licorice, blueberries, Oreo cookies, blackberries, grape juice, or blueberries

stool can besides appear dark with constipation. Dark green stool from bile that has n’t had time to break down may look black in certain light .

stool that is about black, blue, or tar-like with a thick consistency may mean there is bleeding in the amphetamine share of the gastrointestinal nerve pathway. medical conditions that can cause dark, tar-like stool include duodenal or gastric ulcers, esophageal varices, a Mallory-Weiss rip, and gastritis .

If you experience black fecal matter and it is not from food or supplements, you should see your healthcare supplier angstrom soon as possible .

When to See Your Healthcare supplier

While it ‘s normal for intestine movements to vary from day to day depending on what you eat and drink, stool should by and large be some shade of embrown. Stools should leave the torso with small straining or discomfort, have a toothpaste-like consistency, and look more like a banana than a pencil. You should n’t see mucus or blood .

Be sure to see your healthcare supplier right aside if your stool is bright bolshevik, black, or pale, or if you have extra symptoms like abdominal pain. You should besides see your healthcare supplier if it is systematically flimsy or pencil-like, loose or watery, or accompanied by mucus or plutonium.


Most daily variations in the appearance of your stool have to do with what you eat or drink. While the biggest concerns are unusual stern colors or shapes that persist, consult your healthcare provider if you ‘re concerned about your stool, or if you notice any changes in your intestine habits or extra symptoms .

A Word From Verywell

A count of factors could be causing a change in your stool ‘s color, shape, or consistency. Some factors are less concerning than others. For exemplar, if you are constipated, if your stool is pebble-shaped, or if it sinks promptly, you may just need to add more fiber to your diet .

however, keep in mind that apparently harmless changes, like toilet that is pencil-thin, can actually be a sign of a dangerous condition. Since pencil-thin stool is besides a sign of colon cancer, being able to recognize the change in shape may, in call on, help your healthcare provider make an early diagnosis .

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is steatorrhea?

    Steatorrhea is defined as an increase in the amount of fat in stool. Steatorrhea can cause fecal matter to float and appear pale or light. Its causes can include diseases affecting the humble intestine, a bile acid lack, or coeliac disease.
    Learn More :
    What It Means When Your Poop Floats

  • What does mucus in stool indicate?

    visible mucus in stool can indicate the presence of an fundamental health stipulate. Causes for it can include ulcerative colitis, cranky intestine syndrome ( IBS ), Crohn ‘s disease, cystic fibrosis, constipation, dehydration, or a bacterial infection .
    Learn More :
    What Can Cause Mucus in Stool ?

  • What is the cause for dark stool?

    Dark stool can be temporarily caused by certain foods, supplements, or medications. Examples include Pepto-Bismol, iron supplements, or eating dark foods like blueberries, blackberries, and Oreo cookies. Dark toilet normally is n’t cause for refer unless it stays blue for an carry total of fourth dimension or becomes total darkness and tar-like, which could indicate bleed in the digestive tract.

  • What does black stool mean?

    Black fecal matter can be a sign of bleeding in the upper digestive tract, including the stomach and little intestine. It can be caused by inflammation of the intestinal trace, abnormal blood vessels, abdomen ulcers, and early issues. If you notice this change in your stool, contact your healthcare provider correct away .
    Learn More :
    What Are the Causes of Black Stool ?

  • Why should you check your poop?

    occasionally checking the consistency and semblance of your stern can help you monitor your health. The stern ‘s color can just be a sign of what you recently ate, or it could be an indication of a health offspring. If your stool shows an strange color or shape that persists over an extend sum of time, contact your healthcare supplier so they can check it out .

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