Why Is My Poop Green? Plus 11 Other Odd Toilet Troubles Explained

Get the dirt on excretory abnormalities.
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Cloudy urine. Strange-smelling stool. Was it something you ate? Or does it reflect a deeper health problem. In their new book, 5-Minute Health Fixes ($27; Rodale Books), the MDs behind the hit TV show The Doctors reveal how to tell.
Miles Sherrill
Symptoms: Light, white or clay-colored bowel movement What it could mean: Can be caused by taking diarrhea drugs containing bismuth subsalicylate (such as Kaopectate or Pepto-Bismol) or may be a sign of a problem in the system that drains the gallbladdder, liver and pancreas What to do: Call your doctor
Mark Strozier
Symptoms: Black stool What it could mean: Could be from iron supplements, diarrhea medications, black licorice or even blueberries. May also be caused by bleeding in the upper intestinal tract, from an intestinal infection, inflammatory bowel disease, or bleeding from hemorrhoids. What to do: Call your doctor right away
Symptoms: Red stool What it could mean: May be due to red food coloring, tomato products, beets or cranberries, or may be a sign of bleeding in the lower intestinal tract What to do: Call your doctor right away if you suspect bleeding is the cause
Roman Shyshak
Symptoms: Frequent loose, watery bowel movements (several times a day) What it could mean: Diarrhea from a bacterial or viral infection What to do: Drink plenty of fluids; if the diarrhea is severe or lasts for more than a few days, sip an electrolyte beverage (also called a rehydration drink) such as Pedialyte, CeraLyte, or Infalyte or a sports drink. See your doctor if the diarrhea gets worse, if you don’t get better within 5 days (2 days for babies and children), if you have a fever above 101 degrees Fahrenheit (100.4 degrees Fahrenheit for children or if there is blood or pus i your stool.
Symptoms: Green stool What it could mean: Usually a reflection of what you’ve eaten, such as lots of green, leafy vegetables, green drinks or frozen pop, even iron supplements What to do: Follow the advice given for diarrhea
Elena Elisseeva
Symptoms: Small, hard, dry stools that may even be little balls (like deer or rabbit poop!) What it could mean: Constipation What to do: Increase the amount of fiber in your diet, drink more water and get some exercise.
Celso Pupo Rodrigues
Symptoms: Stool that sinks or floats What it could mean: It’s a mostly harmless indicator of how much gas is in your stool. But if your stool sinks and is hard and dry, you may be constipated What to do: Usually, sinkers and floaters are nothing to worry about, and, in fact, experts are divided over which type is healthiest. Just be sure you’re eating plenty of fiber-rich produce and whole grains and drinking six to eight glasses of water a day for easy "passage" of your bowel movements.
Pawel Worytko
Symptoms: Soft (but not liquid), S-shaped bowel movement What it could mean: A normal bowel movement What to do: Keep on doing whatever you’ve been doing-a bowel movement like this is a good sign that you’re getting plenty of fiber and water.
Symptoms: Yellowish stool that may look greasy or have a very bad odor What it could mean: May be a sign of an absorption disorder, such as celiac disease What to do: See your doctor for an evaluation
Symptoms: Lots of mucus on a regular basis, sometimes with blood What it could mean: Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis What to do: See your doctor
Sven Hoppe
Symptoms: Cloudy urine (not translucent) What it could mean: A urinary tract infection What to do: Call your doctor
Symptoms: Pink, red or brown urine What it could mean: Coloring from a medication you’re taking or from foods like beets or blackberries. Could also be a sign of a liver disorder or bleeding in the urinary tract. What to do: Call your doctor The Doctors 5-Minute Health Fixes 2010 by Stage 29 Productions. Permission granted by Rodale Books. Available wherever books are sold. NEXT: Mind Over Tummy Turmoil
Anton Ignatenco

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