Fact Sheet For The Changing Colour of Poo Have you noticed your poo colour will vary at different times? Poo also known as stool, faeces, or poop, consists of waste products that need to be eliminated from the body and it can vary in colour, texture, volume, and smell from person to person. It is the presence of bile in the stool that gives it the characteristic brown colour. Any shade of brown ranging from light to very dark brown is considered normal. Certain foods will temporarily change the colour of your poo, and once they are digested your poo will return to a brown colour. If colour changes occur only irregularly, they are less of a concern than those that are persistent. Please contact your doctor if colour changes are persistent. The colour of your stool can be a helpful indicator about what’s going on inside your body. Black If it’s not sticky in texture and has no odour, the black colour can be caused by the ingestion of substances such as iron supplements, black liquorice, and bismuth-containing medications. Black poo that is sticky, tar-like and foul smelling may be an indicator of gastrointestinal bleeding. Red or Maroon Vegetables with deep colours such as beetroot, cranberries, or red and purple food dyes can turn poo red or maroon or may indicate gastrointestinal bleeding. Small amounts of blood in the stool may indicate haemorrhoids. White If it’s white, grey or clay-coloured, the poo contains little or no bile which may indicate a problem with the liver or gallbladder. The colour change usually occurs gradually, as these medical conditions progress relatively slowly, and the stool becomes pale over time.