Green bowel movements The color and consistency of a bowel movement can tell a lot about your health. Green bowel movements per se are not a cause for concern because the feces usually always have a slightly greenish color. Green bowel movements You should pay attention if the green color appears more intense than usual. Find out what the reasons for the changes are and what you can do about them.
How does green stool develop?
Often, when you notice that your stool is greener than usual, your digestive system gets stuck. We need green bile for digestion. If our gastrointestinal tract does not correctly convert this, green stools can be the result. Other possible causes are:
Eating green foods
You may have noticed it before: if there was a large portion of spinach for lunch or the XXL salad plate, green stools could result. The reason for this is the chlorophyll contained in the food, also called leaf green. This effect is even more pronounced when the vegetables are raw. So this is a perfectly normal response from your body and nothing to worry about.
Side effects of medication
Some medications can also cause the stool to turn green. Antibiotics, for example, can change both texture and color. Why? Because antibiotics damage the beneficial intestinal bacteria. This will result in a soft, light, yellowish, or green stool. To not damage the intestinal bacteria too much, it is advisable to take a probiotic with an antibiotic.
If the green stool is not the only symptom but is accompanied by severe diarrhea, an intestinal infection could be behind the color change. This is often due to salmonella, which lurks in insufficiently heated eggs or egg-containing foods. But gastrointestinal disorders such as gastroenteritis also affect digestion and can lead to green stools.
For example, intestinal parasites-Giardia – are a particularly unsightly idea of why green stools can develop. These tiny intestine parasites can enter our bodies through contaminated drinking water. They stick to the intestinal wall and turn the feces green and lead to more mucus deposited in the stool; we get severe flatulence and struggle with diarrhea.
Green bowel movements in babies
When your baby has a bowel movement for the first time, it is usually greenish-black in color. That is why it is popularly referred to as child pecking; doctors call it meconium. This is entirely normal and nothing to worry about!
However, if your baby passes green stools for several days, you should see a pediatrician because green stools combined with mucus can indicate a possible viral infection in babies.
As with adults, medications such as iron supplements can affect the color of infants’ stools. If you give your child such medicines, you should mention this when talking to the doctor.
Green bowel movements: what can I do?
If your green stool is a simple result of too many chlorophyll-containing vegetables, you don’t have to worry or see a doctor. If you want to avoid discoloration, cook the green vegetables sufficiently in the future.
However, if you do not have green stools due to certain foods, you should have the cause clarified by a doctor. Possible gastrointestinal infections or intestinal parasites require special treatment and cannot be remedied by diet alone or other changes in diet. The doctor can then prescribe appropriate medication or initiate therapy.
Oversee your digestion. If you notice further changes or, for example, black stools, this is also a reason to seek medical advice.