As food moves down the digestive tract, it is digested and absorbed and the waste matter is passed as stool. The bile juice is one of the products that help in the digestion. Bile is greenish in color and when it is released in the digestive tract, it may pass quickly with the food wastes and released in its green color and this makes the stool to appear green. This is one of the series of aspects which can make the stool appear green. Food itself can also be a contributing factor to green bowel movement and this happens when a person takes leafy green food or iron rich food supplements.
Similarly, the bowel movement can turn green due to excess sugar or certain food dyes. Food coloring that is green can turn the stool to become greenish. The food related causes of green stool need not be of much concern if they are not accompanied by other signs such as diarrhea and vomiting or abdominal cramp. In most cases, a person will be able to pass the normal color of stool which is brown once a person stops taking the food items.
In addition, green bowel movement has been linked with drugs and medicines such as antibiotics that are taken to treat bacterial infections. Nonetheless, there is the health and disease related causes of green bowel movement and these are the most worrying since passing green stool can be an indication of a health problem in the digestive tract system. Diarrhea that arises from taking antibiotics can make the stool to turn green.
The symptoms of this diarrhea range from mild to severe. A person should be able to stop passing green bowel once the antibiotics are stopped. However, this diarrhea can be severe and can result to other threatening conditions such as pseudomembranous colitis. Some of the antibiotics, which are associated with diarrhea, are such as cefixime, clindamycin, erythromycin, penicillins, and quinolones.
Eating disorders can also lead to passing of green stool. Anorexia nervosa is one of the eating disorders, and it is characterized by refusal to eat and denial of hunger. A person has intense fear of gaining weight and distorted self image. A person also experiences constipation which makes one take laxatives that are in turn another cause of green stool. Irritable bowel syndrome –IBS also leads to disruptions of the digestive system causing green bowel movement to be experienced.
When you notice that you are passing green stool and this is not arising from food items such as green vegetables or iron supplements, and you are not under medications, then there is need to visit your doctor. A series of tests can be done to establish the cause of the green bowel movement. As a patient, you are required to provide essential information as to how long the green bowel movement has persisted and the frequency. You are also required to give your medical history and if you have used any drugs of late such as antibiotics. The doctor will also want to known if you are experiencing other secondary symptoms such as abdominal pain, vomiting and nausea. These will help in carrying out diagnosis for the best treatment to be applied.