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Diarrhea: The Color of Your Stool

By HERWriter
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Diarrhea related image Photo: Getty Images

Unfortunately, diarrhea comes in different colors. If your bowel movement is an unusual color do not panic. Most of the time, the color of your stool is related to the type of foods you eat or the medicines/supplements you ingest.

As my late father, who said he graduated from the School of Hard-knocks Medical Institute, boldly stated, ʺ'What goes in, must come out.'ʺ Think of your bowel movements as a barometer of your health.

So, if your child just devoured purple crayons, expect to see the color purple in his or her stool. Also, if your child just eats carrots over a long period of time, expect their stool to be orange.

As a kid with a very sensitive stomach, I’d always push the limits of my tiny tummy. One time, I ingested mass quantities of a red carbonated soda drink. Needless to say, I was worshipping the porcelain God butt first. And, as a ten-year-old, I panicked because the stomach cramping bowel movement was a bright red. After several inspections from family relatives, one senior family executive decided to call the pediatrician immediately.

The pediatrician recommended an over-the-counter diarrhea treatment. Needless to say, after ingesting an over-the-counter diarrhea treatment, my stool was black. Again, another call to the pediatrician, claiming this was normal.

Please note that black diarrhea can be caused some medications and too much iron. Also, black or red can be caused by bleeding in the gastrointestinal tract. Blood in your diarrhea may be the result of hemorrhoids, something you ate, or bleeding in the esophagus, stomach, small intestine or large intestine.

In an interview with MSNBC, Dr. Amy Foxx-Orenstein, president of the American College of Gastroenterology, said ʺ If there is bleeding higher up in the GI tract—like the stomach or esophagus—the result can be stool that looks black and tar-like. It’s very useful information for the doctor to know if what you’re seeing is black or bright red because that gives a clue to the location of the bleeding.”

Dr. Orenstein recommends contacting your doctor if you see blood in your stool and if you have the following symptoms:

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.