Thursday, February 11, 2010


I have never been a big toilet checker. Maybe I'll peek If I think I made something colossal or had foreign cuisine that didn’t agree with me. Usually, I pretty much go, wipe (with paper and wipies) and flush. Done.

Now that I’m in the neighborhood of 40 (NOT YET), my doc tells me I should observe the color of my stool from time to time. Having no formal training in proctology (study of disorders that deal with the rectum and anus), I assumed I’d only have to worry about 2 shades – light brown and lighter brown. Well after a stroll through some med sites I was surprised to discover there's a whole rainbow of worries ahead of me.

Here’s what you need to know about the shades of sh*t.

YELLOW Feces (most troublesome): Possible indication of –

Gilbert Syndrome: Affects males and teens. Means your liver is not processing red blood cells.

Malabsorption: Body doesn’t absorb fats properly.

Parasite Infection: Also know as giardia. Essentially micro-protozoans invade the intestines. In this case you will also experience diarrhea.

The last (and most severe) is Pancreatic Cancer.

ORANGE: Possible problems –

Side effect of medication or food: Anything with beta-carotene (a form of vitamin A).

Bile Gland Obstruction: Prevents liver from producing enough bile salt.

RED / MAROON: Possible indication of –

Hematochezi: The presence of blood in your stool. Could mean lower GI bleeding, which can be caused by Polyps, Intestinal infection, Bleeding Ulcer or Hemorrhoids.

GREEN: Possible indication of –

Ingestion of certain foods: Caused by leafy greens rich in chlorophyll or purple Kool-Aid (no joke).

CLAYISH GRAY: Possible indication of –

Hepatitis / Gallbladder Issues: Interrupts flow of bile out of the liver.

Malabsorption: See Yellow stool problems.

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  1. Mine always turns green when I drink grape pop...

  2. What a fascinating and informative piece of contemporary journalism. Why doesn't the World Health Organisation do more stuff like this? ;P

  3. Please add the Gatorade drink--Purple onr especially G2 to this list! Been in medicine 30 years and started to high tail it--(OK Bad pun_ to ER--then remembered 5 bottles of G2 to hydrate on fishing trip. They honestly should put a warning on this as blue and purple should not equal Linda Blair Pea Fluorescent green!

    Also a whole strip of Oresos will cause Black--which goes with the Hematchezia--PAY ATTENTION TO BLACK STOOL!

    And sweet Sixteen doughnuts will turn it chalky or white!

    Doo-Doo a la Mode! 101! Good post.



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