Green diarrhea can occur after eating too many dark green vegetables, after drinking coffee, or after eating spicy foods. these foods in particular have laxative effects that can decrease the absorption of water in the intestines, causing diarrhea. these foods also increase intestinal flow, which interferes with the function of bile. Bile is a green substance produced in the liver that undergoes a reaction with intestinal bacteria and gives stool a brown color.
Green diarrhea can also be a sign of a health problem, such as an intestinal infection, irritable bowel syndrome, or Crohn’s disease. These conditions are often accompanied by other symptoms, such as excessive gas, abdominal swelling, fever, or loss of appetite.
Treatment for green diarrhea involves drinking plenty of fluids, taking electrolytes and probiotics, and determining the underlying cause of the problem. If the green diarrhea lasts for more than 2 days, or if you experience other symptoms such as abdominal pain, nausea or vomiting, you should see your doctor for evaluation and treatment as necessary.
The main causes of green diarrhea are:
1. eat too many dark green vegetables
Dark green vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage, chard, arugula or spinach are rich in fiber that promotes intestinal flow. They can help relieve both constipation and diarrhea. however, when consumed in excess, they can make stools soft or runny and lead to diarrhea. the green color comes from concentrated levels of chlorophyll, a pigment found in the leaves of vegetables.
What to do: Diarrhea caused by too many vegetables usually goes away within a day or two after eliminating them from the diet. this type of diarrhea is not usually a cause for concern. You should try to keep your body well hydrated, and if your diarrhea does not improve, you should see a doctor to have it evaluated and rule out another cause.
2. excessive intake of coffee, alcohol or spicy food
Excessive intake of coffee, alcohol or spicy food can accelerate digestion and cause a laxative effect. this leads to more liquid stools and diarrhea. Due to the faster flow, the bile does not have enough time to turn brown, giving the stool a green color.
what to do: you should consume these foods in moderation and in small amounts to avoid the laxative effect. this also allows the bile time to work properly in the intestine.
see what else can cause green poop.
3. use iron supplements
Using oral iron supplements to treat anemia, for example, can change the color of your stool and make it darker. this means that the body is absorbing iron properly.
However, when iron supplements are not fully absorbed from the intestine, you may experience dark green or black diarrhea as a side effect.
what to do: You should consult your doctor to assess your treatment and the need for an alternative method of supplementation, such as intravenous infusion.
4. use laxatives
Using laxatives speeds up intestinal flow, which decreases the absorption of water in the intestine. this leads to more liquid stools and diarrhea.
The green color is caused by the presence of undigested bile. bile is usually greenish-brown in color and is produced in the liver. its main function is to break down fat in food and it gradually changes to a brown color as it progresses through the intestinal tract.
thus, excessive or prolonged use of laxatives will lead to loose stools and bile buildup.
what to do: Stopping the use of laxatives will allow the stool to return to its normal color in 2 to 3 days. however, if your symptoms do not improve or if you have other symptoms such as severe abdominal cramps, nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, or bloody stools, you should see your doctor or go to the hospital.
5. intestinal infections
Green diarrhea can also be a sign of intestinal infections caused by Salmonella sp or Giardia lamblia bacteria. salmonella sp, infections are normally caused by food contaminated by this bacterium, and green diarrhea is a common symptom, as well as nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, fever, blood in the stool, headache, and muscle aches.
giardiasis is an infection caused by a parasite known as giardia lamblia that is transmitted through contaminated water. In addition to watery green diarrhea, you may experience other symptoms such as gas, abdominal pain or bloating, fever, nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, and dehydration. Learn more about the symptoms of an intestinal infection.
What to do: You should be sure to drink plenty of fluids to maintain your hydration status, as diarrhea can cause moderate water loss. If your diarrhea does not improve, you should see your doctor, who may prescribe antibiotics and recommend additional home remedies for an intestinal infection.
6. use antibiotics
The use of antibiotics, such as cephalosporins or penicillins, can cause imbalances in naturally occurring bacteria in the intestines. this can interfere with the absorption of water and nutrients, leaving stools softer or more liquid.
The good bacteria in the intestines are also responsible for the digestion of bile. when bile is not used properly by these bacteria, it remains green, leading to green stools.
what to do: You should not stop taking your antibiotics without your doctor’s knowledge. therefore, you should contact your doctor and let him know if you have diarrhea. when taking antibiotics, you should maintain adequate hydration by drinking 8 glasses of water per day. In addition, consuming probiotics can help regulate intestinal bacteria and improve green diarrhea.
7. irritable bowel or crohn’s disease
Some people with intestinal conditions, such as Crohn’s disease, irritable bowel syndrome, or ulcerative colitis, may experience green diarrhea. this is due to poor digestion of fats and prolonged inflammation of the intestinal mucosa. These conditions are associated with symptoms such as abdominal pain or excess gas.
In addition, people who have had their gallbladder removed may also experience green diarrhea. This happens because the bile produced by the liver is no longer stored in the gallbladder and goes directly to the intestines, giving the stool a green color.
what to do: You should follow the treatment prescribed by your doctor, making sure to follow adequate diarrhea as recommended by a registered dietitian. this can help prevent worsening of diarrhea or other symptoms.
green diarrhea during pregnancy
Green diarrhea during pregnancy occurs mainly due to prenatal supplements containing iron. It is usually not a worrying symptom. You should continue to take your vitamins in the doses recommended by your doctor and drink at least 8 glasses of water a day.
Meanwhile, if your green diarrhea does not improve within 3 days, or is accompanied by fever, nausea, vomiting, back pain, right-sided abdominal pain, cramps, or abdominal swelling, you should seek medical attention. immediately.
green stools in babies
In the first 2 to 3 days after birth, it is normal for babies to have loose, sticky, mucousy stools that are black or green in color. This stool is called meconium and consists of the substances that were released by the intestine during pregnancy.
After 3 to 5 days of life, babies will go through a transition phase in their stools due to breast milk, becoming more brownish in color by the sixth day of life. formula-fed babies may continue to have green stools for longer, likely due to the iron found in the formulas.
In older babies, green stools may be a sign of an infection, a food intolerance, the presence of bile, medications, or eating green fruits or vegetables.
when to go to the doctor
You should see your doctor if your green stools persist for more than 3 days or if you have symptoms such as:
- nausea or vomiting
- abdominal pain
- stomach ache
- bloody stool
- mucus in the stool
You should seek immediate medical attention if you have symptoms of dehydration such as dark urine, dry or sticky mouth, excessive fatigue, dizziness, headache, confusion, or fainting.