Discover what the color of your cacas reveals about your health: why are they yellow-gross? Find all the answers in this informative article.

Discover what the color of your feces reveals about your health: why are they yellow-gross? Find all the answers in this informative article.

When it comes to the color of our deposits, it is natural to feel curious and wonder what the different colors can mean. Among the range of colors that can be observed, yellow-brown is quite common and usually enters normality. Although the color of the feces can be influenced by various factors such as diet, medication and the general state of health, it is important to be attentive to any significant color change that can indicate an underlying medical condition.

Normally, the liver produces a yellowish green substance called bile, which helps digest and absorb fats. As foods pass through the intestines, suffer chemical changes and end up becoming feces. The brown color of feces is the result of the decomposition of bile pigments in the intestine. Therefore, some yellow-gross stool suggest that bile works correctly and that there is no significant obstruction in the biliary system.

Important: Although yellowish brown bacons are usually considered normal, it is essential to pay attention to the symptoms that accompany them or the sudden color changes. If you look for pale or persistent clay stool, as well as jaundice (yellowish skin or eyes), it could be a sign of liver problems or gallbladder. In these cases, it is advisable to go to the doctor for a more exhaustive evaluation and diagnosis.

To better understand the color variations of the feces and what they can indicate about our health, it is useful to become familiar with the colors of the feces. This table classifies feces in different shades, ranging from brown to green, yellow and even black. It can serve as a useful tool to identify any significant change in color that may require medical care. Although the color of our feces can be intriguing, it is essential to remember that individual variations within the normal range are common and that it is always recommended to consult concerns with a healthcare professional to obtain precise evaluation and orientation.

Why is Poop Yellow Brown?

The color of the stool mainly influences the decomposition of bilirubin, a yellow pigment derived from the decomposition of red blood cells, and the presence of bile, a greenish yellow liquid produced by the liver. As foods travel through the gastrointestinal tract, they suffer a series of chemical reactions and mix with digestive enzymes, giving rise to feces. During this process, bilirubin enters the intestine, where it suffers from new transformations.


  1. The color of the feces depends mainly on the decomposition of bilirubin and the presence of bile.
  2. A predominantly yellow-brown tone is considered normal and indicates a healthy digestive system.
  3. Bilirubin, a yellow pigment derived from the decomposition of red blood cells, enters the intestine and suffers additional transformations.

As bilirubin is processed in the intestine, it is combined with other waste products and undergoes bacterial action, which finally results in the characteristic brown color of the feces. The presence of bile also contributes to color. The bile is responsible for emulsifying the fats, helping their digestion, and its presence gives stool their yellowish nuance. The degree of brown coloration can vary depending on factors such as the transit time of the stool by the intestine, the amount of bile produced and the types of food consumed.

The Role of Bile in the Color of Poop

When food is digested, they pass through the small intestine, where bile is released to help in the process of decomposing fats. The bile contains a pigment called bilirubin, which is formed when red blood cells break down in the liver. Bilirubin is responsible for the characteristic brown color of feces.

The bile production process and its role in determining the color of the cacas can be better understood through a simple breakdown:

  1. The liver produces bile, which is stored in the gallbladder.
  2. When foods enter the small intestine, the gallbladder contracts and releases bile.
  3. Bile helps digest and absorb fats.
  4. During the digestion process, bile decomposes bilirubin, a pigment derived from the decomposition of red blood cells.
  5. The decomposition of bilirubin confers to the cacas its characteristic yellow-grind color.

Understanding the role of bile in the color of the cacas is essential to evaluate digestive health. Color variations, such as pale or clay colors, can indicate possible problems with the production of bile or biliary flow in the digestive system.

How digestion impacts the color of feces

The color of stool can provide valuable information about a person’s digestive health. The digestion process involves the breakdown and absorption of nutrients from the food we consume. As food passes through the digestive system, it undergoes various chemical reactions and interactions with enzymes, which can ultimately affect the color of the resulting stool.

1. Normal bowel movements:

  • Stools usually have brown hues, which is considered normal in most cases.
  • The brown color is attributed to the presence of bile, a digestive fluid produced by the liver.
  • Bile contains bilirubin, a byproduct of the breakdown of red blood cells, which gives stool its characteristic brown hue.

Interestingly, the specific shade of brown can vary depending on factors such as diet, hydration levels, and intestinal transit speed. For example, a diet rich in leafy green vegetables may result in slightly greener stools, while dehydration may result in darker, more concentrated stools.

2. Abnormal colors and possible causes

  1. Yellow: If the stool appears yellow, it may indicate a higher fat content in the stool. This may be related to conditions such as malabsorption disorders, pancreatic disorders, or liver disease.
  2. Black: Black stools may be a sign of gastrointestinal bleeding from the upper digestive tract. This could be due to ulcers, gastritis, or the use of certain medications such as iron supplements or bismuth subsalicylate.
  3. Red: The presence of bright red blood in the stool may indicate bleeding in the lower digestive tract, such as hemorrhoids or colorectal cancer. However, if the blood is dark and tarry, it may suggest bleeding further up the digestive tract.

It is crucial to note that changes in stool color should not be the sole basis for diagnosis, as other symptoms and medical evaluation are essential to accurately determine the underlying cause.

Color Possible causes
Yellow Increased fat content, malabsorption disorders, pancreatic disorders, liver diseases
Black Upper digestive bleeding, ulcers, gastritis, certain medications
Red Lower gastrointestinal bleeding (bright red), upper gastrointestinal bleeding (dark and tarry)

What Can Yellow-Brown Poop Indicate?

1. Digestive problems: yellowish brown cacas can be a sign of digestive problems or bad absorption. When the liver does not work correctly or when there is a problem with the gallbladder, the color of the feces can change. Excessive fat content in feces due to bad digestion can also make yellowish brown color. A conditions such as celiacism, Crohn’s disease and pancreatitis can cause bad absorption and give rise to the presence of yellowish brown stools.

Important: yellowish brown stool can be an indication of liver problems or gallbladder, as well as digestive disorders such as celiac disease.

2. 2. Infections: Certain infections can also cause yellowish brown stools. Bacterial or viral infections that affect the digestive system can alter the normal functioning of intestines and cause changes in the color of the stool. In some cases, these infections are accompanied by other symptoms such as abdominal pain, diarrhea or fever. It is important to seek medical attention if yellowish brown bacons persist along with these symptoms, since they can indicate an underlying infection.

  1. Food and medicines: the color of the cacas can be influenced by what we eat or the medications we take. Foods or supplements that contain yellow pigments, such as carrots or certain vitamins, can make feces have a yellowish appearance. Similarly, certain antibiotics or antidiarrhean medications can also affect the color of the cacas.

Although yellowish brown cacas are not always a reason for alarm, it is essential to pay attention to any persistent change in the color of the stool or the symptoms that accompany them. It is recommended to consult a healthcare professional to obtain an adequate diagnosis and discard any underlying medical condition.

To carry: yellowish brown stools can indicate digestive problems, infections or be influenced by certain foods and medications. Persistent changes in the color of feces must be evaluated by a healthcare professional.

Possible Causes of Yellow-Brown Poop

1. The diet: One of the most common reasons of yellowish brown cacas is the diet. The consumption of foods rich in pigments, such as certain fruits and vegetables, can cause changes in the color of the feces. For example, the consumption of excessive amounts of carrots, sweet potatoes or spinach can cause feces to acquire a yellowish brown color. In addition, the consumption of certain food coloring, such as those found in processed foods or beverages, can also cause changes in the color of the feces.

2. Medications or supplements: Another common culprit behind yellow-brown poop is medications or supplements that people may be taking. Some medications, particularly those containing iron, can cause stools to be darker and potentially yellowish-brown. Likewise, supplements that contain high doses of certain vitamins or minerals, such as those containing iron or beta-carotene, may also contribute to stool color changes.

When to Seek Medical Attention for Yellow-Brown Feces

Here are some situations where it is recommended to see a doctor if you constantly notice yellowish-brown stools:

  1. If the yellow-brown color is accompanied by persistent diarrhea:
  2. Although occasional episodes of diarrhea may be common and self-limiting, persistent diarrhea could be a sign of infection, inflammatory bowel disease, malabsorption problems, or other gastrointestinal disorders. It is important to see a doctor to determine the underlying cause and receive appropriate treatment.

  3. If there are noticeable changes in consistency and frequency:
  4. Significant changes in bowel habits, such as increased frequency or a sudden change in stool consistency, including loose or watery stools, warrant medical attention. These changes may be indicative of infections, irritable bowel syndrome, or other gastrointestinal conditions that require evaluation and treatment.

  5. If other symptoms occur along with yellowish-brown stools:
  6. While isolated yellow-brown stools may not necessarily be worrisome, the presence of accompanying symptoms should not be ignored. If you experience abdominal pain, bloating, unintentional weight loss, nausea or vomiting, it is important to see a doctor quickly. These symptoms could indicate a more serious underlying illness that requires further investigation and treatment.

Common Causes of Yellow-Brown Feces:

Possible causes Symptoms
Infection Diarrhea, fever, abdominal pain
Steatorrhea (poor fat absorption) Greasy and smelly stools
Side effects of medications Altered bowel movements, gastrointestinal discomfort
Lactose intolerance Abdominal distension, cramps, diarrhea
Giardiasis (parasitic infection) Diarrhea, abdominal pain, flatulence

Remember that although yellowish-brown stools are not always a cause for alarm, it is essential to keep an eye out for any persistent changes in bowel movements and associated symptoms. Consulting a healthcare professional can help determine the underlying cause and ensure appropriate treatment.

How to Maintain Healthy Bowel Movements

1. Stay Hydrated

One of the key factors to maintain a good intestinal transit is to stay hydrated. Drinking an adequate amount of water helps soften the feces, facilitating their evacuation. Try to drink at least 8 glasses of water a day to guarantee adequate hydration. Other liquids, such as infusions and clear broths, can also contribute to maintaining a healthy intestinal transit.

2. Eat a Fiber-rich Diet

Fiber plays a fundamental role in the regularity of depositions. It brings volume to feces and favors its movement through the digestive system. Include a lot of fruit, vegetables, whole grains and legumes in your diet to ensure adequate fiber intake. Try to ingest at least 25-30 grams of fiber a day to favor a healthy intestinal transit.

  1. Choose whole fruits instead of juices to make the most of its fiber content.
  2. Add beans or lentils to soups, stews and salads to obtain an extra fiber contribution.
  3. Include cereals, breads and comprehensive pasta in your meals.

3. Exercise Regularly

Regular exercise not only benefits cardiovascular health, but also helps maintain a healthy intestinal transit. Physical activity stimulates intestinal muscles and favors its proper functioning. Practice activities such as walking, running or yoga for at least 30 minutes a day to improve digestion and intestinal movements.

Remember that sudden changes in depositions, accompanied by pain, blood in stool or other worrying symptoms, should be consulted with a healthcare professional.

Following the previous suggestions, it can favor regular and healthy deposits, which will result in better digestive health in general. Remember that each person is unique and that it can take some time to find the proper balance of hydration, fiber and exercise that best suits you.

Tips for Preventing Abnormal Stool Color

1. 1. Maintain a balanced diet: A balanced diet plays a crucial role in maintaining normal intestinal movements and stool color. Include a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean proteins in their meals. These foods provide essential nutrients and fibers that favor healthy digestion and regulate the color of feces. Avoid excessive consumption of processed foods, fried and sugary drinks, since they can alter the digestive system and cause an abnormal color of feces.

  1. Keep hydrated: adequate hydration is essential to maintain healthy digestion and prevent changes in the color of feces. Adequate hydration helps to soften the feces and evacuate regularly. Try to drink at least 8 glasses of water a day. If you perform strenuous physical activities or have diarrhea or vomiting, increase fluid intake to compensate for additional loss.
  2. Limit alcohol and caffeine: alcohol and caffeine can have a dehydrating effect on the body, which can contribute to changes in the color of the feces. Limit the consumption of alcoholic beverages and drinks with caffeine, such as coffee, tea and energy drinks, to maintain optimal levels of hydration and favor a normal color of feces.
  3. Control stress: chronic stress can alter the normal functioning of the digestive system and contribute to an abnormal color of feces. Look for healthy ways to control stress, such as practicing relaxation techniques, performing regular physical activity or seeking the support of friends, family or a mental health professional.

Important: Persistent yellowish brown feces must be evaluated by a healthcare professional, since they can indicate an underlying problem, such as liver or gallbladder problems, certain medications or digestive disorders. It is important not to sel f-distort or ignore persistent changes in the color of the stool.

2. Consult a healthcare professional: if you experience persistent yellowish browns or have other worrying symptoms, it is important that you consult a healthcare professional. They can evaluate their symptoms, perform the necessary diagnostic tests and provide proper treatment if necessary. Remember that early detection and intervention can help prevent possible complications and guarantee optimal digestive health.

Following these tips, you can promote healthy digestion, maintain normal intestinal movements and help prevent an abnormal color of feces. However, it is essential that you listen to your body and go to the doctor if you have any persistent concern or changes in the color of the feces.

Author of the article
Dr.Greenblatt M.
Dr.Greenblatt M.
Medical oncologist at the Robert Larner College of Medicine, MD, at the University of Vermont

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