8 doctors weighed in:
What can the color of feces tell you?
8 doctors weighed in

Dr. Kenneth Mirkin
Internal Medicine - Gastroenterology
3 doctors agree
In brief: Can tell a good deal
Black stool can indicate internal bleeding.
Red stool also can be blood. Clay colored stool can indicate liver disease. Mostly, color is a marker of your diet.

In brief: Can tell a good deal
Black stool can indicate internal bleeding.
Red stool also can be blood. Clay colored stool can indicate liver disease. Mostly, color is a marker of your diet.
Dr. Kenneth Mirkin
Dr. Kenneth Mirkin
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Cole Livingston
Emergency Medicine
2 doctors agree
In brief: A lot, actually.
The usual brown color of stool is a result of your body breaking down the hemoglobin lost by dying red blood cells.
If, for example, a patient were in liver failure, this breakdown would not occur and the stool would be much more pale in color. There are many other conditions which can change stool color. Not to mention, the body may struggle to absorb food colorings and dyes (think kids' cereal).

In brief: A lot, actually.
The usual brown color of stool is a result of your body breaking down the hemoglobin lost by dying red blood cells.
If, for example, a patient were in liver failure, this breakdown would not occur and the stool would be much more pale in color. There are many other conditions which can change stool color. Not to mention, the body may struggle to absorb food colorings and dyes (think kids' cereal).
Cole Livingston
Cole Livingston
Answer assisted by Cole Livingston, Medical Student
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Dr. Arthur Heller
Internal Medicine - Gastroenterology
In brief: Bleeding, other
Stool is generally shades of brown; from bile as well as food effects.
Black stool is seen with GI bleeding, or charcoal pills, or iron, bismuth, some antacids, arsenic. Dark stool, not black, can be from blueberries, greens, etc. Maroon stool can be from bleeding, beets, red foods. Pale: blockage of bile; silver/grey: blockage of bile w/blood. White: barium, some antacid. Yellow/greasy: fat.

In brief: Bleeding, other
Stool is generally shades of brown; from bile as well as food effects.
Black stool is seen with GI bleeding, or charcoal pills, or iron, bismuth, some antacids, arsenic. Dark stool, not black, can be from blueberries, greens, etc. Maroon stool can be from bleeding, beets, red foods. Pale: blockage of bile; silver/grey: blockage of bile w/blood. White: barium, some antacid. Yellow/greasy: fat.
Dr. Arthur Heller
Dr. Arthur Heller
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