Green stool

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Definition

Green stool when your feces look green is usually the result of something you ate, such as spinach. Certain medications or iron supplements can also cause green stool.

Newborns pass a dark green stool called meconium, and breast-fed infants often produce yellow-green stools. In older children and adults, green stool is uncommon. It’s rarely cause for concern.

Causes

Infants

Infants might have green stool as a result of:

  • Not finishing nursing entirely on one side, thus missing some of the high-fat content breast milk, which affects the digestion of the milk
  • Protein hydrolysate formula (for babies with milk or soy allergy)
  • Lack of normal intestinal bacteria in breast-fed infants
  • Diarrhea

Children and adults

Causes of green stool include:

  • Diet high in green vegetables such as spinach
  • Food dyes
  • Diarrhea
  • Indomethacin a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug
  • Iron supplements
  • Medroxyprogesterone (Depo-Provera), a contraceptive drug

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