What does lime green diarrhea mean?


Any shade of green stool most commonly indicates that food has moved through the digestive tract faster than usual, according to About.com. Laxative use, food poisoning, Celiac disease, certain medications, ulcerative colitis, Crohn's disease, irritable bowel syndrome, bacterial overgrowth, infectious diarrhea, cancer and excessive alcohol use can increase food's transit time through the digestive tract and result in green diarrhea.

The liver secretes a bright green fluid, known as bile, into the small intestine, according to About.com. During the process of digesting food, bile works to emulsify, absorb and digest fat and fat-soluble vitamins. As bile travels through the small intestine and into the large intestine, it changes in color from green to yellow and then to brown on account of its contact with bacteria in the large intestine. When this process is sped up, such as in the case of diarrhea, bowel transit time decreases, and the occurrence of green diarrhea can occur. In some cases, green diarrhea can be caused by foods, dyes and supplements that cause feces to turn green. Examples of these include spinach, kale, blueberries, supplements containing chlorophyll, iron supplements, green and purple food coloring or dyes in cakes, ice cream and other foods.

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