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What causes green stool?

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Posted on Wed, 20 Jul 2016
Question: My stools are soft and olive green, but no diarrhea. Should I be concerned?
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Answered by Dr. Bonnie Berger-Durnbaugh (29 minutes later)
Brief Answer:
Not usually a concern.

Detailed Answer:
Hello and welcome,

When stool color is green, it can be from food coloring or green foods such as leafy vegetables. It can also be from the food moving through the intestinal tract faster than normal such as when a person has a gastrointestinal infection. Higher amounts of iron intake can cause a dark green color and fiber type of laxatives can too.

Green stool is generally not a concern unless there are other signs of a problem such as fever, chills, pain, nausea, vomiting, or other digestive abnormalities.

Having green stools for a short time is not a concern.

Having green stools in an ongoing way (weeks, months) may still not be a problem, but the cause should be looked into.

I hope this information helps. Please let me know if I can provide further information.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Answered by
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Dr. Bonnie Berger-Durnbaugh

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :1991

Answered : 3138 Questions

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What causes green stool?

Brief Answer: Not usually a concern. Detailed Answer: Hello and welcome, When stool color is green, it can be from food coloring or green foods such as leafy vegetables. It can also be from the food moving through the intestinal tract faster than normal such as when a person has a gastrointestinal infection. Higher amounts of iron intake can cause a dark green color and fiber type of laxatives can too. Green stool is generally not a concern unless there are other signs of a problem such as fever, chills, pain, nausea, vomiting, or other digestive abnormalities. Having green stools for a short time is not a concern. Having green stools in an ongoing way (weeks, months) may still not be a problem, but the cause should be looked into. I hope this information helps. Please let me know if I can provide further information.