Orange Colored Stool

Stool is usually yellow or brownish in color. This happens due to huge amount of bilirubin and iron found in feces. Bilirubin which is yellow- orangish in color, is typically present in the colon at first, and later it mixes with feces. This makes the poop look yellow or brown in color.

Causes of Orange stool

Orange feces could occur due to many reasons. Some of these are as follows:

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  1. Food items: Consumption of certain food items regularly can lead to orange colored feces. This is particularly true if foodstuffs containing beta carotene or vitamin A are consumed every day. Food items containing vitamin A and beta carotene in large amounts are carrots, kale, pumpkin, sweet potato, cilantros, apricot, spinach, collard green and thyme.
  • Some other food items causing orange stool are:
    • Escolar:Human beings cannot digest escolar. It is a kind of fish which is sticky and has high level of fat. Fat from this escolar fish cannot be absorbed and is comes out with the stool. This causes the color of the feces appear orange.
    • Consumption of food items that have orange colorings can also lead to orange colored feces.
    • Food stuffs like jelly, soda, fruit juice (artificial), junk food etc., which are preserved, contain colorings. Human body cannot digest these colorants and they get removed through feces. Therefore, intake of such food items might lead to orange stool.
  1. Medicines and supplements: Consumption of medicines which contain betacarotene, antacids, aluminum hydroxide can also lead to orange stool. Also supplements of betacarotene and vitamin A can result in orange feces.
  2. Digestive disorders: Orange stool is also a sign of various disorders such as Crohn’s illness, IBS – irritable bowel syndrome, SBS – short bowel syndrome. Such conditions can lead to loose motion as well and poop will be orange in color.
  3. Gallstones: Gallbladder stores bile fluid as well as secretes some fluids. Buildup of such fluid triggers the formation of gallstones. These gallstones in turn obstruct the bile duct which can lead to various problems, one of which is orange stool.
  4. Bile salt deficiency: Feces has its usual yellow color because of presence of bile salt. The color of the bile is greenish yellow. Reaction occurs between enzymes wherein bile imparts brownish yellow color to feces. If food is not mixed with bile salt or there is deficiency of bile salt in body this can lead to color differences, which includes orange colored feces.
  • Causes for lack of bile salt may vary. It can be due to scarce production of salt or obstruction of bile duct. This obstruction might be due to gallstone, cyst, tumor or soreness.
  • Gastro esophageal reflux (GERD)is an illness that can be classified as a digestive disorder, wherein bile abnormally flows upward. It flows from abdomen to throat through esophagus. This causes deficiency in bile which lowers the quantity of bile salt passing to the small colon where it mixes with feces; such bile salt deficiency triggers orange stool elimination. Some symptoms of gastro esophageal reflux are chest pain, severe cough, heartburn.
  • Increase in secretion of bilirubin bile salt can be due to various reasons like damage to liver, liver disease, hepatitis. This also leads to change in color of feces. Due to this patient could also suffer from jaundice, itchy feeling etc.
  • Reduction in use of bile or incomplete absorption of bile with stool might be because of various conditions such as gallstone, cyst or fast movement of stool in bowel, all of it is generally linked with illnesses such as SBS, diarrhea etc.
  1. Parasites: Parasitic infections are also one of the causes for orange stool. It normally causes diseases and signs such as nauseated feeling, loose motion, vomiting and so on.
  • If harmless bacteria are present in the body, it can also result in color change in stool. However, these bacteria may be harmless and may not show signs apart from orange stool.
  1. Other reasons for Orange stool: Anyone suffering from fissures or hemorrhoids could also suffer from orange stool due to constipation.
  • Tests like CT scan, MRI leaves out at times coloring for short period. Feces can get some of these colors which include orange color resulting in orange poop.
  • A chemotherapy session leaves out toxins like cytotoxin; these are also one of the reasons for orange feces.

Treatment of Orange stool

  • Orange stool can be due to various reasons as discussed above. It can be due to our diet or some serious health condition. People suffering from orange stool could visit a medical expert, if symptoms like weakness, nauseated feeling, vomiting, dizzy feeling, loose motion etc. are seen along with orange stool.
  • If the person suffering from orange stool can modify diet and limit the consumption of beta carotene, keep away from artificial food, junk food; it can aid in resolving harmless cases of orange stool.
  • Treatment of orange stool caused by underlying illnesses depends upon the cause, its diagnosis, and the appropriate and available treatment methods.


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