Symptoms and Signs of Stool Color Changes

Medical Author:
Medically Reviewed on 10/18/2022

Doctor's Notes on Stool Color Changes

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, hemorrhoidsulcerative 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 bleedingdiarrheaabdominal pain or cramping, hemorrhoids, and the passage of mucus in the stool. Stool color changes related to diet or medications may not be accompanied by other symptoms.

What Is the Treatment for Stool Color Changes?

Changes in stool color are a symptom and not a condition; therefore, treatment will be directed at the underlying condition that caused the color change. Some changes in stool color may be related to dietary factors or medication use and do not require treatment.

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