|Stools - Unusual Color|
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|Does this describe your child's symptoms?|
Clues to Unusual Stool Colors
White Or Light Gray:
|When to Call Your Doctor|
|Call Your Doctor Now (night or day) If|
|Call Your Doctor Within 24 Hours (between 9 am and 4 pm) If|
|Call Your Doctor During Weekday Office Hours If|
|Parent Care at Home If|
|HOME CARE ADVICE FOR STOOLS - UNUSUAL COLOR|
- Unusual colors of the stool are almost always due to food coloring.
- The only colors that may relate to disease are red, black and white.
- All other colors are not due to a medical problem.
- Green Stools:
- Green color of the stools is almost always normal and due to bile.
- While it is more commonly seen with diarrhea, sometimes it occurs with formed stools.
- It usually only lasts for a few days, but it can recur.
- If you think it's due to iron medication, be sure your child is not taking too much.
- Avoid: Eliminate the suspected food or drink from the diet. The unusual color should disappear.
- Sample: For persistent unusual color, bring in a stool sample for testing. Keep it in the refrigerator until you leave.
- Call Your Doctor If:
- Unexplained color persists over 24 hours
- Suspected food is eliminated and the abnormal color persists over 48 hours
- Your child becomes worse
And remember, contact your doctor if your child develops any of the "Call Your Doctor" symptoms.
Disclaimer: This information is not intended be a substitute for professional medical advice. It is provided for educational purposes only. You assume full responsibility for how you choose to use this information.
Author and Senior Reviewer: Barton D. Schmitt, M.D.
Last Reviewed: 1/19/2009
Last Revised: 12/29/2008
Content Set: Pediatric HouseCalls Online
Copyright 1994-2009 Barton D. Schmitt, M.D.