Green Stool from Stress and Reduced Eating?



This morning I had green liquidy output... I have been very stressed and not eating as much as I am used to. I ate at 6:30 pm last night and had normal output in the middle of the night and then I didn't eat until 9:30 am this morning. I had the output sometime at 8:30 am - could it be caused from not eating, and stress?
Would love feedback from others.. thanks so much in advance!

Past Member

Hi there,

I only know that if I eat something high in iron, I used to do that before my ostomy happened. Just a thought? I hope it's something simple.


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Hello gardengirl. 

Without knowing more precisely what it was you have been eating, it is difficult to comment on the colour of the output. However, as a rule of thumb, if the output is not indicating signs of blood, (either fresh or old - red or black) then there is probably not much to worry about.  Nonetheless, people new to this 'game', including myself many years ago, might inevitably become concerned at any changes in their output.  In those early days, I would write rhymes about anything and everything that happened stoma-wise, and so it was with the multiple changes of coloured output. My effort to capture this concept in rhyme is reproduced below:

( My apologies to all those who have read this before, but it is still possibly relevant to those who haven't).

Best wishes



Right from the start.
I sensed there was art.
In my colour-full rag-tag-bag.

I’ve so often said
The cherries stay red.
In my colour-full rag-tag-bag.

And to my delight.
All nuts stay white.
In my colour-full rag-tag-bag.

There in my sack
The currants stay black
In my colour-full rag-tag-bag.

I tell you my fellow
The sweet corn stays yellow.
In my colour-full rag-tag-bag.

Blueberries too
Will keep their dark hue.
In my colour-full rag-tag-bag.

Those carrots stand out.
Bright orange they shout.
In my colour-full rag-tag-bag.

I perplex and frown
As I ponder the brown
In my colour-full rag-tag-bag.

A vortex soup of colours blend
A pot of gold at rainbows end.
In my colour-full rag-tag-bag.

Were I an artist like Matisse
I would paint a masterpiece.
From my colour-full rag-tag-bag.

But I am just a simple poet.
Rhyming words is how I show it.
From my colour-full rag-tag bag.

I use the rhythms and the rhymes
To tell of smell and raw enzymes.
From my colour-full rag-tag-bag.

The subject matter won’t get worse.
By placing it within a verse.
The ostomate as graduand.
Will be the one to understand.
My colour-full rag-tag-bag.

B. Withers 2011


I'll share with you my fellow

ostomates, when blue and yellow

are mixed, they will be sort of green 

but this, with me's not often seen.

Maybe it's the watercress,

or spinach, but it's not the stress,

because I rarely suffer this.

No wait! it might be cannabis. 

                              B. Withers 2020


Bill, this is such a beautiful collection of words! Informative and humorous. Art and poetry, you certainly have a knack! Your poem made me smile so big and giggle. I appreciate it. Thanks! Hope you have a lovely day.


Hi Garden,

I don't know your deal or how much bowel you've had removed, but two things you said jumped out at me... you didn't eat in a long time... and your output is green. Your small bowel constantly makes bile to aid in digestion of what's released by your stomach. Many think all the food you eat is completely broken down by stomach acid, but that's not the case. Food is continually broken down by the bile generated by your bowels as it travels along. The bile, if not mixed with anything, is green in color. Not a bright Irish Kelly green, but more a greenish brown. Seen by itself, the color is a bit alarming, but totally normal. So... your bowels make bile whether you eat or not. If your colon is not currently connected, that bile can't be re-absorbed back into your body... so it ends up in your bag. If you eat, it mixes with your output and is not noticeable... but if you don't eat, then it's very noticeable. Hope that helps.



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Hey Gardengirl. I'm 4 years post ileo and my output has run a rainbow of colors during this time. For me personally, fruits will almost always alter the color of my output. The only color I am concerned with is red as this may be blood and that would prompt me to see my GI doctor (provided I did not eat cherries lol).


I was having a summer party a few months after getting my ostomy, and not thinking, I ate some cherry red Italian ice. You can kind of guess the result. Pure panic for a few seconds... until I realized what a dumb thing I just did. Blue raspberry was a much more appealing color!




Beets are an alarm of red as well! Asparagus and green veggies come back green as well! When I eat Fruit Loops, it always adds a colorful green to the poo! And I wanted some rainbow colors! Dang! Never get that but will work on it!

Past Member

As w30bob said, it's probably bile.

I have it very often since I don't eat much in the morning and I don't have a gallbladder anymore. Nothing to worry about, but visit a doctor/ostomy nurse to put your mind at ease.



May I respectfully offer a correction. Bile is produced by your liver and stored in your gall bladder until it is needed. Its function is that of fat digestion. There are bile salts in the bile that emulsify fats so that the fat digesting enzymes produced by the small intestine (called lipases) can break them down further so the products (fatty acids) can be absorbed. Bile does not contain digestive enzymes. The stomach's function is primarily that of protein digestion by secreting pepsinogen (activated by the acidity of the stomach to pepsin). The product is then passed on to the small intestine where digestion is completed and absorption takes place. Ultimately, the small intestine is invaluable because it completes digestion and absorbs the nutrients (sugars, amino acids, fatty acids etc.) and some water.



Hi Xerxes,

  Of course you can!   And thanks.   I really should have said "secreted" instead of "makes"...........I was focusing too much on brevity and just trying to point out that green output can be totally natural, depending on what's going on....or not going on in your bowels.   Your correction is much appreciated.   I was just reading about breaking protein down into amino acids during digestion........and was wondering why folks with digestive issues don't simply take amino acids  individually, instead of consuming protein.........very interesting stuff!    



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