Abnormal Stool Color:
Melena or black, tarry Stools, is often associated with upper gastrointestinal bleeding. The stool appears black, sticky, and tarry due to the presence of partially digested blood. Iron or activated charcoal supplements can also cause a black color stool.
Dark red or maroon-colored stools may indicate lower gastrointestinal bleeding, originating from the colon or small intestine. It suggests a more recent bleed, as the blood hasn't undergone extensive digestion.
Currant jelly stools have a gelatinous consistency and a reddish appearance. This stool color is often seen in infants with intussusception, a condition where one part of the intestine telescopes into another.
Bright red-colored stools typically result from lower gastrointestinal bleeding, often from conditions like hemorrhoids, anal fissures, or diverticulosis.
Clay color or pale white stools may indicate a lack of bile flow or obstruction in the bile ducts. This can occur due to conditions like gallstones, liver disease, or pancreatic disorders. Absence of bilirubin in the stool causes the pale appearance. Large doses bismuth subsalicylate, such as Kaopectate or Pepto-Bismol, may also cause clay color stools.
Green stools can be caused by a rapid transit of stool through the intestines (diarrhea), or consumption of green leafy vegetables like spinach or with artificial green food coloring.
Yellow, greasy stools can indicate a condition known as steatorrhea, which is characterized by excessive fat in the stool. Excess fat in the stool can be due to a malabsorption disorder such as celiac disease.