If you’re the curious type, you may have wondered why the color of your stool sometimes changes from the normal color it’s supposed to be.
The range of “regular stool color” will vary slightly from individual to individual, but most healthy stools are usually a shade of brown or green, well-formed, and easy to pass.
However, if you notice a significant or persistent change in the color of your stool, there are many possible causes to consider.
Orange stools can be concerning if you’ve never experienced them before. but in many cases, orange stools are caused by consuming specific foods or supplements.
In these cases, the stool will return to its normal color once these foods or supplements are digested and their waste products are eliminated.
However, there are other things that can cause stool to turn orange.
Understanding the possible causes of orange stools can help you determine whether or not you should seek advice or treatment from a medical professional.
why stool color matters
Stool color can be an important indicator of your gut health.
having good gut health can help maintain the digestive tract and the overall health of the body.
what the different colors mean
Healthy stools are usually brown, well-formed, and easy to pass.
however, some shades of green stool are also considered normal.
A day or two of irregular stool color is not always a cause for concern.
In most cases, a temporary change in stool color is a reflection of a change in diet.
Rarely, a change in stool color may indicate a serious intestinal condition.
here are some examples of what different colored stools can indicate:
- Green: Some shades of green stools may be normal or indicate a high intake of green leafy vegetables or foods that contain green food dyes. however, green stools can also indicate that food is moving through the large intestine too quickly.
- Pale or clay-colored: This may indicate a blockage of the bile ducts, which can be caused by certain medications, such as antidiarrheals (medicines to relieve diarrhoea). Gallbladder or liver problems can also cause this discoloration.
- Yellow – Yellow stools may indicate excess fat in the stool, which can have a variety of causes, including malabsorption, celiac disease, and other medical conditions.
- Black: Black stools can be a sign of bleeding in the upper intestinal tract. but they can also be the result of taking iron supplements or eating too much black licorice.
- bright red: Bright red stools can be a sign of bleeding in the lower intestinal tract, which can cause hemorrhoids. otherwise, it may also be a sign of consuming beets, cranberries, tomato soup or juice, red gelatin, or red food coloring.
- beta-carotene foods: the beta-carotene compound found in some vegetables and fruits, including carrots, winter squash, tomatoes, melons, sweet potatoes, and spinach, can turn into orange stools.
- Foods with orange or red food coloring: Food coloring can also temporarily cause orange or red stools.
- Foods with Wax Esters: In rare cases, there is evidence to suggest that eating indigestible “wax esters,” such as those found in fatty fish that are used in raw fish dishes such as sashimi, can cause orange, oily anal discharge.
- cefdinir: This extended-spectrum, third-generation cephalosporin antibiotic is often prescribed to treat ear infections. however, this antibiotic can cause red, orange, or maroon stools. Apart from the temporary change in stool color, there is no evidence that this antibiotic causes associated gastrointestinal symptoms.
- Antacids containing aluminum hydroxide: Antacids and other medications that contain aluminum hydroxide may temporarily turn stools orange.
- Supplements or foods containing mineral oils: Mineral oils are sometimes used to help relieve constipation. however, they can cause orange, leaky stools.
- Problems with bile: Although less common, digestive problems that affect the absorption or production of bile can also produce orange-colored stools. In general, not absorbing enough bile or not producing enough bile can cause orange-colored stools. Medical conditions related to bile problems include short-term diarrhea, blocked bile ducts, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), short bowel syndrome (SBS), gallstones, inflammation, cysts, and tumors.
- cholestasis of pregnancy: Cholestasis of pregnancy affects the liver of a pregnant woman and can occur early in pregnancy or during the second or third trimester. occurs when the normal flow of bile from the gallbladder stops or decreases. Although it usually goes away a few days after delivery, it can pose health risks to a pregnant woman and her baby. Fortunately, treatment options can help relieve symptoms and prevent complications.
Read more: Leukemia – Symptoms and causes – Mayo Clinic
The normal color of stool can vary from person to person.
In most cases, healthy stools will be brown or some shade of greenish-brown.
causes of orange poop
Stool color changes related to changes in your diet are usually temporary.
however, if your orange stools persist for several days, contact your doctor for more information.
Most of the time, eating certain foods will temporarily turn your stool orange. these include:
medications or supplements
There are some medications and supplements that can temporarily cause orange stools.
These medications and supplements include:
In some cases, certain medical conditions can cause stools to turn orange:
when to see a doctor
Changes in stool color are not always a cause for concern.
If you recently ate a lot of beta-carotene foods, switched to a new beta-carotene supplement, took antibiotics or antacids, took mineral oil supplements, you may want to wait a few days to see if your stools return to their normal color .
But if you experience orange stools that won’t go away, contact your doctor for help.
It’s also important to seek immediate medical attention if you notice any additional symptoms, such as blood in your stool, fever, severe abdominal cramps, or chills.
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