Thursday, April 23, 2009

TMI: Part 2 -- Color My World

So, yesterday I mentioned that my evacuations are emerald. As you might imagine, I wondered about that, after a few days, and so I've done some research on what we might call dookie hues.

As you might expect, the dye of one's droppings has a lot to do with what's in it. For instance -- have you ever eaten lots of food that has food coloring in it (for instance, at a Star Trek party where the cook decided to make all the food look like it's from Klingon)? If so, you know that the food coloring doesn't quit "on entry".

So, too, certain foods in and of themselves can affect the coloration of one's ... . Beets turn poop red. Lots of lettuce can actually turn poop green. (Not exactly my problem.)

But the main ingredient in the hue of one's helping is blood. Bilirubin is a pigment created through the breakdown of red blood cells in the liver and bone marrow. It's part of the material expunged after eating. And it gives poop its natural shade.

Blood has a lot to do with poop's other shades, too. Black bowel movements are usually a sign of partially digested blood -- not a good sign. Red release usually means bleeding -- also not a good sign. And in adults yellow can means there's less bilirubin in it, or that you have a giardia parasite infection, which has to be reported to the Centers for Disease Control, and so is definitely not a good sign.

But what about bird poop, you ask? It's white. Well, I'm glad you mentioned it. Bird poop is actually a little bit different. The waste products from the kidneys of birds don’t come out as urine but as uric acid, which is a white paste. So, when you're sitting on a park bench and you get nailed by a high-flying pigeon, they didn't crap on you, they peed on you. Or they did both -- bird "pee" actually emits from the same place as their poop.

So, green -- yes, it can come from lots of leafy vegetables. It can also come from having a lot of iron in your diet -- meat, fish, greens. And apparently that's the current situation for me. It's not dangerous, just ...well, veridian.

Monday, one more set of thoughts to share on this. Be prepared...

1 comment:

Rusty said...

Jim, have I just read what I think I read??? And are you serious about it being from too much iron??
Am I concerned.....uh, yeah