Advertisement

Why is poop brown?

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
Blame it on bile. Bile secreted from the liver meets the food just past the stomach and then it treats your waste like a wooden porch: It stains it greenish brown.

If it's not that color, then treat your poop like a mood ring-a different color is an indictor of something else going on in your body.
  • Green bowel movements signify rapid movement of food through the intestines or the digestion of blue or black foods.

  • White-colored poop (yes, the poop actually looks this color) means that the bile from the liver is not entering your gut and you need to see a doctor.

  • Red-colored poop usually means you ate beets, but could also be blood from the large intestine.

  • Black-colored poop means you are taking iron pills or your stomach ulcer is bleeding again.
YOU: The Owner's Manual, Updated and Expanded Edition: An Insider's Guide to the Body that Will Make You Healthier and Younger

More About this Book

YOU: The Owner's Manual, Updated and Expanded Edition: An Insider's Guide to the Body that Will Make You Healthier and Younger

Between your full-length mirror and high-school biology class, you probably think you know a lot about the human body. While it's true that we live in an age when we're as obsessed with our bodies as...

Continue Learning about Digestive Health

Gas: What’s Normal and What Isn’t?
Gas: What’s Normal and What Isn’t?
Everyone burps and passes gas. Some do these things more often than others. It can be loud and sometimes smelly, but gas is a normal part of the diges...
Read More
How does a normal bowel movement occur?
Anthony L. Komaroff, MDAnthony L. Komaroff, MD
By the time food has traveled through your digestive tract to the end of your large intestine, o...
More Answers
Embarrassing Stomach Issues, Solved
Embarrassing Stomach Issues, SolvedEmbarrassing Stomach Issues, SolvedEmbarrassing Stomach Issues, SolvedEmbarrassing Stomach Issues, Solved
Find out if your gas, grunts and growls are normal and what to do about them.
Start Slideshow
The Surprising Food That Might Be Making You Bloated
The Surprising Food That Might Be Making You Bloated

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.