Tips to Live By

Stool Colors: Brown, Green, Red, Black — What's Normal & What's Not?

Sep. 27, 2023 - Katie McCallum

When it comes to your stool, any deviation from what you typically see can be somewhat alarming.

But what's "normal" when it comes to stool color anyway? And what causes the color changes we sometimes see?

"Foods can certainly affect stool color," says Dr. Neeharika Kalakota, a gastroenterologist at Houston Methodist. "As can certain medications you may be taking, like antibiotics."

Should you ever be concerned about a change in the color of your stool?

"The most common reasons are usually nothing to worry about," says Dr. Kalakota. "However, certain stool color changes can be a sign of an underlying health issue in some cases, so it's important to know when to contact your doctor."

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