Green stool

    Green stool

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    Definition of green stool

    Green stool — when your feces (poop) looks green — is usually the result of something you ate, such as spinach. Green stool also can occur after you consume certain medications or iron supplements.

    Newborns pass a dark green stool called meconium and breast-fed infants often produce yellow-green stools. In older children and adults, green stool is uncommon and rarely cause for concern.

    Causes of green stool

    • Diet high in green vegetables such as spinach
    • Food dyes
    • Severe diarrhea
    • Not finishing nursing entirely on one side, thus missing some of high-fat content breast milk, which affects the digestion of the milk
    • Protein hydrolysate formula (for babies with milk or soy allergy)
    • Lack of normal intestinal bacteria in breast-fed infants
    • Indomethacin — a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug
    • Iron supplements
    • Medroxyprogesterone (Depo-Provera), a contraceptive drug

    When to see a doctor

    Call your doctor if you or your child experiences green stool for more than a few days. Green stool often occurs with severe diarrhea, so drink plenty of fluids and seek immediate medical attention if you or your child becomes dehydrated.