Stool Color & Texture Changes - Causes

If your stool changed color, what was the cause? Did you receive a diagnosis from a doctor?

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What other things can cause changes in the color of stool?

Another internal process that may change the color of stool but that is less common than bleeding is pancreatic disease. The pancreas secretes enzymes into the intestines that help with the digestion of fat, protein, and carbohydrates. When pancreatic enzymes are not present in the intestine, fat is not fully digested. If the content of undigested fat is high enough, stool may become a yellowish color. The stool also appears "greasy" and smells bad. The most common pancreatic diseases that cause this are pancreatic tumors that block the pancreatic duct through which the enzymes reach the intestines and chronic pancreatitis, usually due to damage from excessive ingestion of alcohol, that destroys the ability of the pancreas to make enzymes. If there is both blood and undigested fat in the stool, the stool may become silver.

Several ingested substances can change the color of stool. Iron and bismuth-containing medications, for example, Pepto Bismol, turn the stool black. Beets and possibly some other red vegetables and fruits can turn stool a reddish color. Food dyes used for coloring foods also may color the stool.

Return to Stool Color & Texture Changes (Black, Red, Maroon, Green, Yellow, Gray, Tarry, Sticky)

See what others are saying

Comment from: samsmom60, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: May 01

My poop color went from normal to pale yellow this weekend. I had been drinking a lot and not eating as much as I should. I have had some pancreatic problem in the past.

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Comment from: Boos111866, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: April 11

For the past few days, I have had bright red blood in my toilet after a bowel movement, one day last week, and it still won"t stop bleeding! I had a painful bowel movement that day and I felt a scratch 2 times. Like I said I have had the bright red blood, not to mention, when I stand up, blood drips on the floor. My husband wants me to tell my doctor or go to the hospital and I really don"t want to!

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