stool, green

Green stools are basically normal. They are usually seen with more forceful diarrhea. Bile is a fat-digesting substance that is secreted in the first part of the small intestine. It has a brilliant green color. That color is how the mixture of food and digestive juice actually appears in the small intestine. Eventually the remaining mixture of undigested food material and digestive juices, which is now a waste product, reaches the colon for elimination. Bacteria then break the bile salts down into simpler substances which are darker in color. Hence the material that will be passed as stool normally undergoes a progressive color change from green to more yellow to brown. So green stool simply means that the mixture of food and digestive juices is passing through the large intestine faster than normal (a "decreased colonic transit time"). That is no surprise when a child has diarrhea. If the reverse situation occurs, in that the stool remains for an abnormally long time in the colon (as with constipation), then the color of the stool can become quite dark.

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