Green feces in children
Kids get into a lot of different things and put most of those things in their mouths. Because of this, most parents are extremely thankful for non-toxic crayons, paints and markers. While eating a green crayon may result in green faeces there may be more to it.
Understanding bile's role in stool and how the digestive process may be affected will help you determine what is going on. Always consult your paediatrician when concerned about your child's heath.
Bile and Poop
The liver produces bile as it metabolises fats in the body. Bile produced by the liver and stored in the gallbladder is bright green in nature. As it travels down the intestinal tract it changes colour to brown. Normal digestive processes give bile enough time to turn from green to brown. When things speed up, you may find green stool because the bile has not had time to be broken down with bilirubin.
Diarrhoea is stool that doesn't have time to harden and travels down the intestinal tract very fast. As a result, children with infectious diarrhoea will have bright green diarrhoea. Your child may get this condition from poor hygiene, contaminated food, pet faeces or just have caught the flu bug. Consult your paediatrician as to whether your child needs antibiotics. If your child has diarrhoea make sure he frequently washes hands and is drinking a lot of fluids. It is imperative to remain hydrated while dealing with diarrhoea. The colour should return to normal once your child begins to feel better.
Children often react to stress in subtle physical ways. While a child may not tell you about the stress of starting school or a problem at school, you may notice that her stool is a different colour. This may be the result of the digestive system reacting to the stress and speeding up the process of bowel movements. In many cases you child's stool will probably normal aside from the colour. Talk to your child to see if there is anything that is bothering them. If the new is getting used to a new situation, such as a new school, it may just be some time before the digestive tract adjusts, giving the bile enough time to turn brown. Medically, this is not a great concern but speak with your paediatrician about the stress if there seems to be a long-term change.
Your child may have coeliac disease, which is an absorption condition triggered by the consumption of gluten or products with gluten such as bread, pasta, cookies or pizza. This can lead to malabsorption of nutrients and create liver problems among nervous system abnormalities, joint pain and other symptoms. Have your child tested if you feel there may be an allergic reaction to gluten and remove gluten products from his diet. There is no cure for this condition, but with smart eating your child can live a healthy life without any long-term risks. Speak with your paediatrician about dietary programs if your child has coeliac disease.
If your child has a sweet tooth, expect to see some interesting things in the toilet on occasion. That bright blue ice cream or slushie may have enough food colouring to find its way to the toilet. If your child's stool is otherwise normal in size and harness, think about what snacks your child has eaten that may have coloured the faeces. Many candies, ice creams and frozen treats use high quantities of food colouring with preservatives that your body will not metabolise. This will line the intestines and be removed with bowel movements. Remove the source and your child's stool will return to normal. Also if your child eats an unusual amount of spinach or other green leafy vegetable, you may see the stool become more green.