Symptoms and Signs of Stool Color Changes and Chart

Medical Author:
Medically Reviewed on 3/11/2019

Doctor's Notes on Stool Color Changes and Chart

Stool color changes refer to unusual or different colors found in the stool (feces). Many things can cause the stool to change color temporarily, including your diet. Beets and green vegetables, in particular, may alter stool color. Other conditions that can cause changes in stool color include certain medications, hemorrhoids, ulcerative colitis, gallbladder disease, and celiac disease, among others. Any condition that can cause bleeding into the gastrointestinal tract can cause blood in the stool and a change in color to bright red or black.

Symptoms and signs associated with changes in stool color depend on the reason for the change. These can include rectal bleeding, diarrhea, abdominal pain or cramping, hemorrhoids, and passage of mucus in the stool. Stool color changes related to diet or medications may not be accompanied by other symptoms.

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Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.