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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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