What's the right bowel movement color?

The uniqueness of the most intimate manifestations of our bodies is relevant for the overall condition of every individual. From the beginning to the end of the digestion, every system reacts in a particular way to diet changes, bacteria and environment in general. And though we tend not to think too much about what a normal bowel movement implies, the stool remains a good indicator of our health status. Generally speaking, the regular bowel movement color varies from dark to light brown and even yellow, usually depending on diet. The specific pattern that includes size, color, texture and bowel movement frequency represent the final digestive “habits” of every person.

Bowel movement color changes

There are a multitude of factors that influence the bowel movement color, some of them are harmless and unimportant like diet, hydration level, psychological changes while some others indicate a pathological condition and require treatment. Fruit and vegetables are the first to influence the color of the stool: blackberries, blueberries and any other food that contains organic iron will make the bowel movement turn black or dark brown, for instance. A persistent abnormal color of the stool is the one that should ring an alarm bell and make you seek medical council immediately. 

When to get worried about the bowel movement color

Contact a health care provider immediately if the abnormal bowel movement color is accompanied by changes of consistency and severe abdominal pain. Reddish or bloody stools as well as green, tarry black and discolored stools are usually a clear indicator of a health condition that requires medical intervention and treatment.