The Colour Poo

WARNING – This post will contain photos of stoma output for reference

“No Natalie, you are not haemorrhaging internally, dying or suffering from some sort of tropical disease – you ate beetroot didn’t you?”

Living with IBD you get used to inspecting your poo and it really doesn’t faze you to do it and then talk about it.    Do you remember that feeling as a new mum where you discuss everything your baby does with anyone who will listen?  Even going into excruciating detail about their toilet habits?  Yes, that’s pretty much daily life for me about my own!  Then you go and get a stoma and BAM!  It is even more just a regular part of your everyday life due to it being sat there in a bag on your belly and having to empty it umpteen times a day.  Then the day comes where something unexpected comes out your bag.  That is, a very different colour.  Red, green…blue?!  What is this all about?  Should I worry, panic, call my Mum, an ambulance?  Fear not…most of the time it is completely ‘normal’ but here is your guide to stoma output colour and when you should be worried and when you shouldn’t.


It seems obvious but when you see something different and the panic sets in, obvious is not always the first place you go.  What you eat affects your output immensely, from volume to smell to consistency and colour.  Some of the biggest troublemakers for changing your output colour include:

BBETROOT – My stoma nurse discussed output colour with me prior to leaving the hospital.  She had had two patients come in through Accident & Emergency believing they were bleeding internally, only to find out they had eaten beetroot earlier in the day.

IRON SUPPLEMENTS – They warn you about the constipation but don’t always tell you that they also turn your poo/output black!

TOMATO SAUCE – I find that whenever I eat things in tomato based sauces (eg. bolognaise) I get very red output

Some of the other things that can change the colour of your output include liquorice, asparagus, food colourings, red jelly and strawberries


So your bag is producing green sludge?  Is it some kind of weird tropical disease?  No!  More often, this is bile from your stomach and can be coming out your stoma due to a stomach bug, after a blockage clears or because you haven’t eaten.


Eating smaller but more frequently with an ostomy is ideal.  This ensures a constant supply of ‘stuff’ for your stomach and remaining bowel to be processing and will help prevent you from flushing and possibly encountering the dreaded dehydration.

green poo

Stomach bugs when you have an ileostomy are no fun, and you can read more about my advice on what to do when you have one here


Similarly, not eating can often result in foamy output.  It can be quite alarming to see bubbles coming out of your stoma (like you have been swallowing Fairy liquid) but it is just due, again, to your digestive system being empty.


Bile output is usually dark green in colour, but if you have bright green ‘ Ghostbuster slime’ coloured output, you need to see a doctor straight away.  This can indicate the presence of C-Diff infection and can make you extremely poorly, so time is of the essence.

Thanks to my lovely friend Rachel over at Rocking2Stomas, I learnt this important information and what to watch out for.  Rachel will be writing a more detailed post about this soon and I will pop a link here when it is live.

You can also get blood in your bag, indicating a possible flare.  If you know you haven’t eaten any of the red coloured foods that can alter the colour of your output, make sure you speak to your doctor as soon as possible so they can get you checked over.


Is glitter poop really a thing?  I have heard that glitter shots and glitter jelly can result in glitter output.  In the interests of science I have purchased some glitter jelly to test this theory and once I have carried out my (very important, scientific, ground breaking) experiment I will update you all!  Make sure you are following me on social media, especially Instagram for those all important live updates!

pink poo

So there is a round up of what your stoma output colour can mean.  Obviously I am not a medical professional and please, please, please always consult your stoma nurse or doctor if you are worried or are having unusual symptoms.  Please let me know in the comments below about any other stoma related posts you would like me to write about and enjoy the rest of your Wednesday.


24 Comments on “The Colour Poo

  1. The first time I noticed red output I totally freak out for a few minutes… then realised it was the first blackcurrant cider I’d had since the ostomy!! Phew. Great post – this is pretty important stuff for reassurance and knowing when to seek further help, too. x


  2. I’m 51 and I say suffering with but not really just still getting usto my 2 lovely stones. And searching for links to my questions all the time. BINGO…. Thank you for being so blunt and telling it like it is. 👍. Amen for you darling. You may hear from me often. Sincerely cathleen


  3. I drank a 2 leter of grape soda in 2 days time the result of my poo was so so so green then i remember b 4 my stoma when i had grape kool-aid my poo was the same colour GREEN


  4. Pingback: TOP TEN MOST READ POSTS IN 2020 – The Spoonie Mummy

  5. Hi recently I’ve been having mustard coloured output and felt nauseous at the same time. Is this normal because my output is usually a black/green watery output or normal coloured. I’ve also recently got 2 kittens and 1 of them in particular has had loose stools and done it on my bed once and I put my hand in it. I washed my hand and even although I had been treating my kittens with medication for parasites in their bowel which can be passed onto humans too. My vet recommended a different worming medication so I got this and a few days after my kittens poo has hardened. But basically is mustard coloured output and feeling nauseous normal? Sorry to go on!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Do not worry about going on! It could be some type of tummy bug and if it’s gone on for more than a few days I would suggest maybe seeking advice from your GP – always better to be safe than sorry! Hopefully it’s nothing to do with the kittens and will just clear up by itself but I always think it best to get it checked out. Could also be something g you have eaten but as it seems to have been happening for a while and is a definite change for you I’d seek some medical advice. Make sure you are keeping your fluids up as hydration can be hard enough with a stoma, never mind if you have a bug on top of it and your output is watery x


  6. Thanks for the info! Was having a hard time finding info about green mucus. That’s a help!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sounds like a possible tummy bug if it is still like it and you haven’t eaten anything you think might have changed its colour. Main thing is to stay hydrated – diarolyte is great as has the correct levels of sugar, salt amd electrolytes you need


    • No not at all! I sometimes use the Brava Tape Extenders for added peace of mind but those aren’t needed, just make me feel more secure! If I’m swimming as opposed to being in a hortus I will also wear a swimming costume or high waisted bikini so I have some support around my bag x


  7. I recently had surgery for a bizarre condition. My now redundant large bowel was strangulating my small bowel; another segment of large bowel had set up residence in a large parastomal hernia; part of it had made another hole in the hernia and burrowed through my flesh towards my groin. It sounds like the plot of a 1950s horror film, but it’s true. Post-surgically, a segment of small bowel has found its way into the gouged out space the large bowel created, and so the pain goes on. I haven’t been able to eat much and, you guessed it – an ileostomy bag full of green dark green sludge! Either that or green liquid. Thank you for allaying my anxiety. I will ring my stoma nurse tomorrow, though.


  8. My ilistomy was dark so I just got out of the hospital . They found no bleeding this time to clamp but removed pulps in my stomach. This didn’t just start after procedure actually I saw the dark the next day I saw orange then dark again after procedure I’m only putting out orange a little mustardy color but lots of it . The nurse at the hospital looked at it and just said welll that’s new to me . I was sent home that day . I also add I have what they think is a Hermes behind my stoma . Sometimes it seems bigger that others this morning it felt huge .and basically all day I’m draining the bag .is this normal . If it is I hope I really hate to have to go thru the er at the hospital again since that is what my gi /liver doctor will tell me to do . It’s not water as it was a few days ago probaly normal consistency. It always smells and I usually have a good bit of drainage during the day and a couple at night . But it’s been every little while. Can u help .
    Sorry this is so long . My body has been thru a lot since 4 major surgeries in 3 days in October of 2022 kept in coma for 7 hospital mostly till end of year . Some of my colon and intestines was dead . Blood clots ruptured intestines . Tips procedure to try burst huge bloodclot heart attack after . This is why I don’t want er visit if not needed

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Frankie, sounds like you have been through a lot!
      It sounds like you have not had your ileostomy too long and you’ve had further surgeries since which can definitely make your output a little higher – it does start to settle after a while though! How often do you empty it? With an ileostomy emotying 6-8 times a day is pretty normal. You say it isn’t wager which is a good sign, they normally say ain for porridge like consistency.
      What is it making you think a trip to the ER is needed? The colour of the output or frequency you are experiencing? Do you know roughly how often or how many times a day you are emptying?


    • The color and amount
      The nurse at Uab Birmingham said she’d never saw that color it reminds me of a cremesickle color it’s orange and right at atoms the color looks sorta milky but comes on out orange
      Sometimes a yellow tint


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