Reasons Your Poop Might Turn Orange (and What to Do About It) (2024)

Orange stools are likely caused by foods that are orange in color (either natural or artificial color,which tends to last much longer and have deeper color). Orange poop can also happen after taking certain medications.

While it is less common, a medical condition, such as a problem with the gallbladder, could also be the cause of orange poop.

Reasons Your Poop Might Turn Orange (and What to Do About It) (1)

Why Poop Changes Color

Stool can come in a variety of colors. What is considereda "normal" stool color is unique to each person and is often a spectrum rather than one color all the time.

Stool coloris affected by thedigestive process. As it moves through thedigestive tract, the digesting food changes from green to yellow-orange to brown, and the final brown color is due to the bile and bacteria in the stool.

Poop can also change color due to food,drink, and even vitamins and supplements.

So, while something unexpected can be a surprise, it is not always a concern. However, it can be. For example, black stool can indicate bleeding in the upper gastrointestinal tract.

Orange poop can be a sign of a health condition, but having one orange bowel movement with no other symptoms is most likely OK.

The Meaning of Different Poop Colors

Causes of Orange Poop

With orange poop, it's more likely that the color change is due to food or medication than a health condition. Still, any concerns about your poop color should be brought to your healthcare provider's attention.

Food, Medication, and Supplements

There are several common and benign reasons for passing orange poop that are not a cause for worry.

Supplements and medications that can cause orange poop include those containing beta-carotene (which is sometimes found in vitamin A) and aluminum hydroxide (which can be found in antacids).

Foods that can cause orange poop include:

  • Any food with an artificial yellow or orange coloring
  • Apricots
  • Carrots
  • Cilantro
  • Collard greens
  • Fresh thyme
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Turnip greens
  • Winter squash

What Is Carotenemia?

Digestive Problems

In most healthy people, orange poop would most often be the result of eating one or more of the foods or supplements listed above.

Still, it's important to note what's going on with the rest of the body when the orange poop is happening.This is becausesome medical conditions cause stool to turn the color orange.

If the stool is still orange when it is eliminated as a bowel movement, it could mean that the stool is not being exposed to enough bile salt or is not absorbing enough. Bile is yellowish-green, and when it reacts with the natural enzymes present in the bowel, it turns the stool brown.

What Bile Is, Where It's Made, and What It Does

Not Absorbing Bile

One reason the stool is not absorbing bile is that it is moving through the digestive tract too quickly.

This rapid transit could be caused by one or more of several different conditions, including diarrhea, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), or short bowel syndrome (SBS).

Lack of Bile

Another possible medical cause of orange poop is an actual lack of bile. Not having enough bile could be because the body is not making enough of it. A second reason could be that the bile ducts are blocked.

Bile ducts are the way bile travels from the liver, where it is produced, to the gallbladder, where it is stored, and to the small intestine, where it comes into contact with the stool. Gallstones, inflammation, cysts, or tumors could cause a blockage in the bile ducts.

When to Call a Healthcare Provider

One orange poop isn't something to be too worried about because it's most likely from a food or supplement and not from an underlying medical condition.

When you cannot trace the color change to one of these reasons, it's time to see your healthcare provider.

Also, make an appointment for an evaluation if you have ongoing orange poop or if any of these symptoms accompanies it:

  • Stomach pain
  • Orange diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Weakness
  • Dizziness

Diagnostic Tests

A physician will most likely first ask about diet, especially orange or red foods, and then determine if other tests are needed to determine what's causing the orange stool.

The tests a healthcare provider runs are dependent on the symptoms that are happening along with the orange stool. Blood tests and stool tests might be some of the first tests done.

If it's suspected that there is a digestive conditionbehind the orange poop, it may be necessary to get a referral to a gastroenterologist, who is a specialist in digestive disease. A gastroenterologist may order other tests based on the problem, such as a computed tomography (CT)scan if a gallbladder problem or bile duct blockage is suspected.


Orange poop caused by diet or a supplementprobably isn'tsomething to be worried about. If it is stressful, consider making changes that reduce the foods or supplements causing the orange.

If any other symptoms occur along with the orange color, or if it lasts more than a day or two, it's time to look into why it might be happening. Call a healthcare professional if you have any pain, diarrhea, constipation, or other symptoms such as dizziness or weakness.

The Meaning of Poop Colors, Shapes, Sizes, and Consistency

4 Sources

Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.

  1. Eljaaly K., Alshehri S. Cefdinir-induced red stool and purple discoloration of nutritional formula: A case report.J. Infect Chemother.2020;26(2):286–288.doi:10.1016/j.jiac.2019.08.014

  2. Smile S. Case 2: Persistent skin discolouration in a child with autism spectrum disorder. Paediatr Child Health. 2016;21(2):67–68.

  3. Enck P, Aziz Q, Barbara G, et al. Irritable bowel syndrome. Nat Rev Dis Primers. 2016;2:16014. doi:10.1038/nrdp.2016.14

  4. Yamabe A, Irisawa A, Shibukawa G, et al. Inflammatory bile duct obstruction during the healing stage of severe acute pancreatitis. Intern Med. 2017;56(9):1037-1040. doi:10.2169/internalmedicine.56.7859

Additional Reading

Reasons Your Poop Might Turn Orange (and What to Do About It) (2)

By Amber J. Tresca
Tresca is a freelance writer and speaker who covers digestive conditions, including IBD. She was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis at age 16.

See Our Editorial Process

Meet Our Medical Expert Board

Was this page helpful?

Thanks for your feedback!

What is your feedback?

Reasons Your Poop Might Turn Orange (and What to Do About It) (2024)


Reasons Your Poop Might Turn Orange (and What to Do About It)? ›

While some unusual stool colors suggest a potential health problem, orange is usually a harmless and temporary color change. Typically, orange stool is caused by certain foods or food additives. Once they are digested, your stool should return to normal.

How do you fix orange poop? ›

Diet. If a person notices their poop is suddenly orange, they should consider the food they have eaten that day or the day before. If they have consumed an excessive amount of beta-carotene or artificial dye, limiting the intake of these foods and drinks could stop the problem.

Does orange poop mean liver problems? ›

Rarely, poop can be orange if you have a problem with your liver that causes it to make less bile than normal, or a blockage that keeps bile from leaving the liver and entering your system. But usually, if this is the case, your poop will be pale or clay-colored.

What does almost orange poop mean? ›

In many cases, orange-colored poop is a temporary change triggered by consuming a lot of beta-carotene, a pigment found in many fruits, vegetables, and supplements. Once digested, your stool should return to its normal color. If orange-colored poop persists, reach out to your medical provider for more information.

What does rust-colored poop mean? ›

The most common cause of bright red-colored stool in adults is bleeding from hemorrhoids. One of the most concerning causes is bleeding in the gastrointestinal tract.

How long does orange stool last? ›

If any other symptoms occur along with the orange color, or if it lasts more than a day or two, it's time to look into why it might be happening. Call a healthcare professional if you have any pain, diarrhea, constipation, or other symptoms such as dizziness or weakness.

Can pancreatitis cause orange stools? ›

Diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting. Foul-smelling fatty or oily stools. Pale or orange-colored stools. Chronic pancreatitis can lead to pancreatic cancer.

What is an unhealthy stool color? ›

Consult your health care provider if you're concerned about your stool color. If your stool is bright red or black — which may indicate the presence of blood — seek prompt medical attention.

Can anxiety cause orange stool? ›

Anxiety does not specifically affect the color of stool, but it can affect how food moves through the digestive tract.

What does stress poop look like? ›

Mushy stool with fluffy pieces that have a pudding-shaped consistency is an early stage of diarrhea. This form of stool has passed through the colon quickly due to stress or a dramatic change in diet or activity level.

Why is my poop orange and oily? ›

People with keriorrhea will experience oily, orange bowel movements. The condition typically occurs after eating the indigestible wax esters in oilfish and escolar fish. Although it can be uncomfortable and unpleasant, a person with keriorrhea will likely recover at home without needing medical treatment.

What color is your poop when you have acid reflux? ›

Yellow stool can indicate that food is passing through the digestive tract relatively quickly. Yellow stool can be found in people with GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease). Symptoms of GERD include heartburn, chest pain, sore throat, chronic cough, and wheezing. Symptoms are usually worse when lying down or bending.

Why is my poop yellow, orange, and watery? ›

Orange: If you consume excess beta-carotene from supplements or produce, such as carrots, sweet potato, squash, some leafy greens, and some herbs, then your stool can appear orange. Yellow/Pale Brown/Grey: Bright yellow diarrhea can signify a condition known as Giardiasis (see sidebar).

What color is stool with liver damage? ›

The liver releases bile salts into the stool, giving it a normal brown color. You may have clay-colored stools if you have a liver infection that reduces bile production, or if the flow of bile out of the liver is blocked. Yellow skin (jaundice) often occurs with clay-colored stools.

Does IBS cause orange poop? ›

IBD is a group of digestive conditions—like Crohn's disease, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and ulcerative colitis—that cause inflammation in the GI tract. This causes bowels to move through the digestive tract too quickly, which means it doesn't absorb enough bile to give it a brown color, and it may appear orange.

What does poop look like with diverticulitis? ›

Frequency: The frequency can also be affected if you experience diarrhea or constipation. Effort: Stools may become more strained or painful. Shape: Diverticulitis stool shape is often thin and pellet-shaped, which is caused by distorted colon shape.

What color poop indicates a problem? ›

Normal stool color is brown. This is due to the presence of bile in the stool. Normal stool color can range from light yellow to brown to almost black. If stool is red, maroon, black, clay-colored, pale, yellow, or green this may signify a problem.

What is the orange solution for constipation? ›

Some social media influencers are claiming that eating an orange (with its peel) topped with cayenne pepper and cinnamon can produce an instant bowel movement. Though whole oranges contain fiber and water, experts say they're not necessarily a quick fix for constipation.

What does unhealthy stool look like? ›

What is an unhealthy stool color? Stool is typically brown in color. Other colors – such as red, black, yellow, green, orange, white, or pale – can indicate an underlying condition. A person should contact a doctor if they experience changes in the color of their bowel movements.


Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Jonah Leffler

Last Updated:

Views: 6119

Rating: 4.4 / 5 (45 voted)

Reviews: 92% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Jonah Leffler

Birthday: 1997-10-27

Address: 8987 Kieth Ports, Luettgenland, CT 54657-9808

Phone: +2611128251586

Job: Mining Supervisor

Hobby: Worldbuilding, Electronics, Amateur radio, Skiing, Cycling, Jogging, Taxidermy

Introduction: My name is Jonah Leffler, I am a determined, faithful, outstanding, inexpensive, cheerful, determined, smiling person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.