Expert explains six colour changes in your poo that mean it’s time to see a doctor

By Staff 6 Min Read

The colour of your poo can indicate a lot about your health, with some colours signalling a serious health issue. A health expert has shared the colours to look out for

It’s time to get real about your number twos.

The average Joe might find themselves heading to the loo anywhere from thrice daily to a mere three times a week, all in the name of expelling undigested grub and other bodily rejects. But before you hit that flush, take heed: not all stool stories are created equal. A shift in hue or texture might just be down to last night’s curry, but it could also be waving a red flag for something more sinister.

That’s why one health guru is urging a toilet check-up as part of your routine. Gut health maestro Michelle Geraghty-Corns, representing Eternalbeing, has sounded the alarm on certain stool shades that should have you sprinting to the doc.

Talking to Express.co.uk, she said: “According to research, a third of Brits are embarrassed to talk about their digestive health symptoms and almost two-thirds would like more support to help understand their gut health.” To combat the taboo and clue us in on when our stools spell trouble, Eternalbeing has produced a ‘poo palette’ a guide to when it’s time to book that GP appointment.

“Our poo colour palette aims to raise awareness of what the colour of your poo may be saying about your gut health and to educate on what poo colours might be the most concerning,” explained Michelle. The palette paints a grim picture for poos that turn up green, yellow, black, red, white, or silver as these are the danger colour.

Green

Green poo could be from green or blue foods like broccoli or blueberries, Michelle said. She explained: “It could be a sign of a bacterial infection where you may feel unwell with diarrhoea.” “Medications like antibiotics, contraceptives, and iron supplements can cause green poo.”

Yellow

Yellow foods like turmeric can cause your poo to appear yellow. “Yellow stools could also be a sign of coeliac disease or Crohn’s disease,” she added. “If you eat foods which contain protein such as wheat, barley and rye, your intestines will not work properly.”

Black

Michelle said: “Black stools may be due to iron, eating dark leafy greens, or activated charcoal supplements. It could also be a sign of bowel cancer, indicating dried or old blood from an upper part of the gut. If you experience dark poo it is important to see a doctor.”

Red

Red poo often means there is blood in your stools, which can be due to excessive force during stool movements or haemorrhoids. “Blood in your stools could also indicate bowel cancer, particularly if coupled with a fever, excessive weakness, or vomiting,” Michelle said.

White

White poo is often due to medicine such as tablets for diarrhoea which turn it paler. She said: “Pale poo can also be a sign of a lack of bile in your stool. If you haven’t changed your medication, you should see a doctor as it could be a sign of liver disease.”

Silver

She added: “Silver poo is produced when black tarry stools and grey stools containing fat combine, which is caused by malabsorption. If you experience silver poo, discuss this with your doctor to rule out any serious health conditions.”

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