When Should I Worry about Orange Diarrhea?

Anyone reading this post has probably had the nerve-racking occasion of experiencing diarrhea. Unfortunately, when you see that your diarrhea is orange, this can be very scary for many people. Since the color typically is not orange, we immediately think something is wrong. So, if you are pooping the wrong color and it looks orange, you might be suffering from a legitimate medical issue that needs immediate treatment.

As an example, some potential reasons for this problem include a plethora of digestive issues, parasites and GERD. Throughout this article, we’ll take a look at the potential issues and see if we can come up with a real solution for the problems causing your orange diarrhea.

How Stool Color Is Affected

The color of your stool will change depending on the digestive process. And even more important, the foods that you eat will also play a major role as well.

Depending on your most recent meal, its color can definitely have an effect on the color of your excrement. When food goes through the digestive tract, the color of the waste will change.

At the end of the digestive process, the color of your stool should be brown. So, if you have orange colored diarrhea, this really isn’t considered normal. So something is definitely going wrong inside your body.

In fact, your stool color tells us much about your health. If you have black specks within your stool, you are eating too much iron. If it’s really dark, you have tarry stool which means your digestive tract is bleeding somewhere within your body.

Overall, the color of your poop and the health of your body go together like peanut butter and jelly. So if your poop is an odd color, it’s time to consider the possibilities.

Can My Stool Turn Orange Because of the Food I Eat?

You bet it can. In fact, certain beta-carotene containing supplements can also turn your poop orange as well. Basically, there are even medications that can change the color, but food is typically the largest culprit.

Some foods to potentially turn your stool orange include:

  • turnip greens
  • sweet potatoes
  • Kale
  • winter squash
  • carrots
  • spinach
  • apricots
  • cilantro

Besides these fresh vegetables, other foods orange in nature like orange sherbet or other processed foods, as well as those containing artificial yellow and orange food colorings can also turn your stool orange from these substances.  Sometimes even from a juice.

If you have orange stool and you’re worried about it, eliminate these foods from your diet and see what happens. If your stool colors return normal, then it was the food and you have nothing else to worry about.

Can Poop Turn Orange Because of Digestive Problems?

If you are young and in relatively good health, your diet is most likely the reason why your stool is orange. Older people could have the same problem because they are experiencing digestive problems.

One issue is lack of bile salt. Your body may not absorb enough of it when you get older. Bile is what makes your stool turn dark brown. So if it isn’t coming out that color, the lack of bile is certainly a potential reason why.

How does your body lack bile for stool? One way is the food moves through the digestive tract too fast when you have conditions like short bowel syndrome or irritable bowel syndrome. Otherwise it could happen because your bile production is sorely lacking.

Still another reason is blocked bile ducts. If they are obstructed by tumors, inflammation, gallstones, or cysts, they aren’t going to produce the correct amount of bile salts.

So, if you avoid eating color changing foods and fail to struggle with digestive issues, checking in with the doctor seems like a good idea if you are dealing with orange stool.


If you struggle with gastroesophageal reflux disorder a.k.a. GERD, you ultimately experience heartburn too often. This happens because bile begins to travel back up your throat, and this could have a negative effect on your digestive system.

If you struggle with GERD, be aware that you’re at greater risk of getting esophageal cancer. So if you do have this problem, take steps to correct it immediately.

How so? Your doctor can hook you up with proton pump inhibitors, or you can make lifestyle changes to eliminate the symptoms.

Are There Supplements That Can Make Your Stool Orange?

As mentioned earlier, there are some supplements that can change the color of your stool. Particularly, supplements containing large amounts of vitamin A can cause your poop to be brightly colored.

Besides supplements, some antacids are also responsible for this issue. So if you’re taking antacids that contain large amounts of aluminum hydroxide, this could cause your stool to change colors.

Are you experiencing these symptoms regularly? And are you taking supplements containing vitamin A or aluminum hydroxide? If you are, it’s possible that they are the reasons why your stool color is changing. So eliminate them if you can and if your stool turns back to normal, then these were the culprits.

Parasitic Infections

This may not be as common as some of the other issues mentioned above, but it’s important to know that parasites also can turn feces the color orange. So if you discover that you have a parasite problem for one reason or another, this could be the reason why your stool colors changed. Besides the discoloration, you’ll also experience chills, nausea, and vomiting.

Most people get parasitic infections from particular water sources. So when you have to drink water, make sure it’s coming from a source that you can trust. By drinking from known and safe sources, you can feel confident in knowing that it’s not contaminated with parasites and you don’t have to worry about getting some type of parasitic infection.

As always in every situation, if you feel that you are suffering from this condition but you aren’t 100% certain, you should immediately contact a doctor to find out if he or she can test for the problem. As well, they will help you by providing effective treatment options to overcome the parasitic infestation.

When Do I Need to See a Doctor?

If you have orange diarrhea for any reason, and you’ve eliminated the possible culprits mentioned above, then you should definitely contact a doctor for an appointment as quickly as possible. If you aren’t eating any foods or taking supplements that could cause your stool the change colors, then it could be another problem and it needs to be dealt with quickly.

As well, if you have other symptoms like weakness, dizziness, pain, and other digestive problems, you should talk to your doctor and schedule an appointment immediately. The quicker you contact them, the faster you’ll be able to get treated and the sooner you’ll be able to become well. Plus, they’ll catch any serious problems and they can begin treating you fast so you can overcome these conditions before they get too serious.

When Should I Worry about Orange Diarrhea?
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