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Normal And Abnormal Bowel Movement Videos

The Frequency, Consistency, And Color Of Your Stools Is Important

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Updated June 03, 2014

How many times a day should you move your bowels? Should you worry if your stool is black or green? Find the answers to these questions and more in this video series featuring leading gastroenterologists.

1. Why You Should Pay Attention to Stool Color

Stool Colors Video
Image © Getty Images

Many people do not realize that the size, shape, and color of your stool can tell a physician a great many things about your current health. In fact, most people probably do not think to look at their stool from time to time in order to ascertain that it is healthy. In this video, Dr Robert G. Lahita talks about why it is important that you know how your stool appears, and especially what color it is. The color in stool, especially colors such as red, black, or white, can indicate that there may be a problem with your digestion.

Articles about stool colors:

2. What Is a Normal Bowel Movement?

Normal Bowel Movement Video
Photo © Getty Images

In this video, Dr Anthony Weiss explains that when it comes to bowel movements, "normal" is more of a range than it is a target. In fact, what's normal for an individual may even change from day to day based on a number of different factors. A general overview of what different colored stools can mean is also presented, with special attention given to black and red stools.

Articles about bowel movements:

3. What Causes Black Stool?

Black Stool Video
Photo © Getty Images

In this video, Dr Weiss reviews how blood comes to be present in stool, which is one reason stools can look black in color. When stool contains blood and is black, it is referred to as "melena." Stool that is black for a reason other than blood (such as from taking iron supplements) is called "false melena." Dr Weiss goes on to explain which tests are used to diagnose the possible causee of melena, as well as what patients should do if they experience symptoms such as dizziness, shortness of breath, chest pain, or bloody vomiting.

Articles about black stools:

4. What Causes Green Stool?

Green Stool Video
Photo © Getty Images

Dr Weiss discusses the many and varied reasons why stool can become green in color, as well as how stool gets its typical brown color. Foods that can cause green stool (here's a hint: they're not always green) are explained, as well as medications and diseases that can also result in green stool.

Articles about green stools:

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