As a colorectal surgeon, my patients often ask me about what they should be aware of when it comes to bowel movements. One question I’m often asked is, “Is it normal for my poop to be a different color?” 

The truth is, poop can come in come in many different shapes and colors! It’s not necessarily a bad thing for your stools to appear green or black.

Your diet is a big factor that affects the color of your poop. Green foods like leafy greens, matcha, avocados and herbs can cause your poop to appear a green color. This is nothing to worry about, and shouldn’t deter you from eating these healthy foods. If you’ve consumed a lot of black licorice or other dark-colored foods like beets and blueberries this could cause your stool to look black and tarry.

A side effect from certain medications is discolored stool. Black or green stool can be cause by taking iron supplements, some antibiotics, and even Pepto Bismol.

When it comes to green poop, the bottom line is that it’s usually nothing to be worried about. But if you’ve had a consistent changes in your movements, especially if blood is involved, this could be a sign of irritable bowel syndrome or another issue with your digestive system.

Black stool may be due to less serious causes such as mediation and certain foods. However, black stool may be due gastrointestinal bleeding, peptic ulcers and polyps. These issues come with other symptoms, so it’s crucial to pay attention to your body and to reach out to your doctor if you think something might be wrong.

I had the opportunity to share my knowledge with The Healthy where I was quoted in two articles.

Read the full articles below:


In any case, it’s important to pay attention to any changes in your bowel movements. Make sure to check in with your doctor to be sure everything is running smoothly.