Home Care Advice for Stools - Unusual Color
- Unusual colors of the stool are almost always due to food coloring.
- The only colors that may relate to disease are red, black and white.
- All other colors are not due to a medical problem.
- Green Stools:
- Green color of the stools is always normal and usually caused by bile.
- Green stools are more common in formula fed than breast fed infants, but normal with both.
- Green stools are more common with diarrhea (rapid transit time), but also seen with formed stools.
- If you think it's due to iron medication, be sure your child is not taking too much.
- Avoid: Eliminate the suspected food or drink from the diet. The unusual color should disappear.
- Sample: For persistent unusual color, bring in a stool sample for testing. Keep it in the refrigerator until you leave.
- Call Your Doctor If:
- Unexplained color persists over 24 hours
- Suspected food is eliminated and the abnormal color persists over 48 hours
- Your child becomes worse
And remember, contact your doctor if your child develops any of the “Call Your Doctor” symptoms.
Disclaimer: This information is not intended be a substitute for professional medical advice. It is provided for educational purposes only. You assume full responsibility for how you choose to use this information.
Author and Senior Reviewer: Barton D. Schmitt, M.D.
Last Reviewed: 9/15/2011
Last Revised: 8/1/2011
Content Set: Pediatric HouseCalls Symptom Checker
Copyright 1994-2012 Barton D. Schmitt, M.D.