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
Thank
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
Thank
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
Thank
Get help from a real doctor now
Dr. Vicken Poochikian
Board Certified,
38 years in practice
2M people helped
Continue
108,000 doctors available
Read more answers from doctors