What does green poop mean? Is it cancer?


What does green poop mean?

Green poop can be caused by a variety of factors, and in many cases, it’s not necessarily a cause for concern. Here are some common reasons why poop might appear green:

  1. Diet: The most common reason for green poop is diet. Foods that are rich in chlorophyll, such as leafy green vegetables, can impart a green color to your stool. Additionally, certain dyes or artificial colorings in food may also cause green poop.
  2. Iron Supplements: Taking iron supplements can sometimes lead to green or dark-colored stool.
  3. Gastrointestinal Transit Time: The time it takes for food to move through your digestive system can also influence the color of your stool. If food moves quickly through the digestive tract, it may not have enough time to undergo the normal color changes, resulting in green poop.
  4. Infections: In some cases, infections or certain gastrointestinal illnesses can cause changes in stool color, including greenish hues.
  5. Bile Issues: Bile is a digestive fluid produced by the liver that plays a role in the digestion of fats. Changes in bile production or release can affect the color of stool.
  6. Medications: Certain medications, such as antibiotics, can alter the balance of bacteria in the digestive tract, leading to changes in stool color, including greenish hues.
  7. Food Poisoning: Infections from foodborne pathogens can sometimes cause changes in stool color. Diarrhea associated with food poisoning may result in green-colored stool.
  8. Malabsorption: Conditions that affect the absorption of nutrients, such as celiac disease or Crohn’s disease, can lead to changes in stool color. Malabsorption of fats, in particular, can cause a greener appearance.
  9. Gastrointestinal Bleeding: While red or black stool is more commonly associated with gastrointestinal bleeding, in some cases, green stool could indicate bleeding in the upper digestive tract.
  10. Bilirubin Issues: Bilirubin is a pigment produced during the breakdown of red blood cells. If there are issues with the processing of bilirubin in the liver or if there’s a blockage in the bile ducts, it can lead to changes in stool color, including green.

Is green poop a sign of cancer?

Green poop is typically not a direct sign of cancer. Changes in stool color can be caused by various factors, and green poop is often related to dietary choices, medications, or benign conditions. However, while green stool on its own is usually not a cause for concern, persistent changes in stool color or other associated symptoms may warrant medical attention.

Cancer is typically associated with more specific symptoms, such as unexplained weight loss, blood in the stool, changes in bowel habits that persist, abdominal pain, and other signs.

Also read:

Poop Color Guide: What It Means for Your Health

Why is my poop blue?

Stinky Poop: Causes and Solutions

Last update: 1 November 2023, 22:11


Gastroenterologist - Hepatologist, Thessaloniki

PhD at Medical School, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece

PGDip at Universitair Medisch Centrum Utrecht, The Netherlands

Ex President, Hellenic H. pylori & Microbiota Study Group