Brown Poop

Brown is generally considered to be the normal poop color that suggests healthy digestion and well-functioning digestive tract. If that is what you have, that is good. Color isn't the only factor in determining whether your bowel movements are healthy, but it is an important factor.

Brown Stool Color Due to Bilirubin and Metabolism

The brown color in poop is due to the presence of a pigment called Bilirubin. Bilirubin results from the breakdown and metabolism of red blood cells. When Bilirubin is removed from the body through poop (feces), it gives stool its normal brown color.

If Bilirubin levels are high, the skin and whites of the eyes may appear yellow (jaundice). This may be caused by a number of things that may be going awry in the body. Some of the causes can be liver disease (hepatitis), blood disorders (hemolytic anemia), or blockage of the bile ducts that allow bile to pass from the liver to the small intestine.

Bacteria Causing Brown Poop

Bile and digestive juices come from the gall bladder and helps digest food. All of it is metabolized by the large intestine bacteria, creating a byproduct called Stercobilin which gives stool a brown pigment. The mixing of intestinal bacteria with the poop is also what creates the majority of the digestive gasses.

Poop Symptoms to Monitor

Most people have brown poop on regular basis, and that is a sign that everything is fine. There is a number of other digestive symptoms during bowel movements people can monitor to make sure they have optimal digestive health. An important dimension to poop health is poop shape. If you see narrow poop it may indicate a blockage of the digestive tract. Another symptom to monitor is the presence of excessive poop in mucus which can be a sign of a number of digestive disorders.

Diagram of the Digestive Tract

Digestive System Photo

Shades of Brown

Various environmental and dietary elements may cause slight variation in the color of your stools. Many foods and liquids such as beets, wine, or even licorice are known to make stool color appear darker or more red. If you notice your feces becoming orange-brown, or dark brown, do not begin to worry right away. These color variations may go away on their own as you resume your normal lifestyle and diet. In case your feces are frequently red or black color, you may want to seek a diagnosis by a healthcare professional.

Newborns and Pooping

Very young babies do not usually have brown stools. Some parents may find that a cause for concern, but it is actually perfectly normal. The common color of feces in newborn babies is yellow and green, no matter how strange that may sound. The reason for this occurrence is actually simple: the body just has not metabolized enough Bilirubin in order to have enough of its byproducts appear in stools, thus the lack of the common brown color. For more detailed information about greenish feces, take a look at the page about green poop.

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