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Is this Blood or Beets in my stool?

by (1053) Updated February 26, 2014 at 11:07 PM Created June 03, 2011 at 3:35 PM

Hello all,

The other day while shopping I saw beets had dropped to rock bottom prices, so I picked up a bunch of 'em, took them home, wrapped them in foil and threw them in the oven for an hour. I then proceeded to eat 3 or 4 of them myself (my wife and friends it seems are not as big of fans of beets as I am.) All was good, until my next BM.

This came not the next day, but the day after. I noticed that my stool was abnormally dark in color, dark green trending toward black instead of its normal brown. I'd give 'em a 4 on the Bristol scale for consistency, and these were sinkers. I took a look at them after I wiped (you can learn a lot from your poo!) and noticed what appears to be blood dissipating off of the poo. I had no difficulty in passing them, no abdominal pain / discomfort since the last BM.

At first I was alarmed: I work in health care and my wife is a nurse, so I know black tar stool is a bad sign. But then I remembered all the beets I ate, and wondered if this could be the cause.

2 days later, I had my next BM and these were still green, although less dark. There was a little bit of the bloody colored dissipation again, but less than before.

My question is: Could this be coloration from the beets? or is this something that I need to worry more about? I have the rest of the beets to eat for lunch today, but I'm worried about eating them preventing me from ruling them out as the cause. Any thoughts?

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12362 · June 03, 2011 at 3:56 PM

I would suggest not eating the beets for lunch if you want to find out if they are the culprits - and if you have another BM that is suspicious I would go see your doc!

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15261 · June 03, 2011 at 3:53 PM

I commented on this earlier. In my experience (it's amazing the things we talk about here), eating a lot of fresh beets (by that I mean roasted or boiled whole beets, rather than canned) leads to a noticeable pink/purple color in both pee and poop for about 12-24 hours. It does look somewhat like blood, which freaked out my friend.

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38 · June 03, 2011 at 5:07 PM

Generally beets will appear more pinkish in your stools or urine. Blood will appear black after going through the digestive system. Unless you are suffering from hemorrhoids, then the blood will appear red, but thicker. Beet juice will be thin and watery and mix with the toilet water creating a Kool-aid effect. Blood will be thicker and won't mix with toilet water as easily. My advice, be comfortable with who you are, and don't look for too many answers in the toilet before you flush!

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21258 · June 08, 2012 at 4:14 PM

I had a binge one time on the TerraChip "Sweets and Beets" chips.

The next day, I swore I shat a kidney, same color and everything.

No lie, I freaked out. I called my wife and told her I think I need to go to the emergency room.

I could hear her roll her eyes through the phone. She simply replied "You ate a whole bag of beet chips yesterday".

"Oh... yeah. So... how is your day?"

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158 · April 29, 2012 at 2:08 AM

Minus 1 for no photo of beet stool

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886 · April 02, 2012 at 11:42 PM

Just for future reference...stool that is dark due to blood will also likely smell like onions. My mom had this issue, but didn't realize it was blood at first. She kept trying to figure out when she had eaten enough onion to cause the odor. (She had Crohn's disease and colon cancer, so she was VERY aware of her diet and BM relationship)

She ended up in the hospital after noting frank blood in the toilet after BM. After she used the toilet in the hospital a nurse went in to take the sample. As soon as the nurse walked in we heard her exclaim "Woo! Someone has blood in their stool!" and told us the onion smell was common with that.

So, short story long...if you ate a lot of beets and your poo is dark and does NOT smell like onion, its probably the beets (as you already deduced).

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1053 · June 06, 2011 at 3:46 PM

Over the weekend, everything was back to normal, brown Bristol 4's. Looks like beets were the issue. Scared me for a bit. Now to finish off all those beets in my fridge... :)

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5852 · June 03, 2011 at 3:59 PM

Anytime I eat beets, I pee pink and poo red. And fast, like stinky asparagus pee, right after you eat it.

Freaked me out the first time.

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609 · April 03, 2012 at 7:25 AM

Sometimes we get bulk beets and we feed them to the animals. When I feed my goats and chickens beets, we have red goat pellets and burgundy red chicken poo everywhere. The goat pee is hot pink too. It's quite the color fiesta! And, yes, mine is the same.

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1490 · June 06, 2011 at 2:45 PM

A friend and I had the same experience and it was beets.

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0 · February 26, 2014 at 11:07 PM

Beets and many of the berries, along with some medications, all have the ability to color urine or stool. Beets are the most notorious culprit, causing urine to redden within hours, and depending upon transit time, can cause stool to look more red (bloody) for days.

A rule of diagnostics is that immediate onset = proximate cause. You were in good health, no previous hx of any GI related bleeding/pathology, you eat a food known to redden stool, and you immediately develop reddened stool.

Voila, beets!

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7989 · December 23, 2013 at 4:48 AM

Lol, first time I ate beets it scared me, too.

Funniest was trying to get my daughter, who was then 7 to try beets. We promised her it would make her poop red. So she took one bite and ran to the bathroom to see. ;o)

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0 · December 23, 2013 at 1:58 AM

THANK GOODNESS I found this posting in my Google Search. I was freaking out this morning over my pinkish pee and then reddish stool in the afternoon! Looks like the culprit is most likely the bag of delicious Kiwa vegetable chips I had yesterday evening. The bag includes purple beet chips!

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0 · October 22, 2013 at 9:18 PM

I found this because I just had a pretty reddish stool. I wasn't sure if I had my period. I say that because I only get my period twice a year. since I just read that blood is black, it must have been the beets. I have never had fresh beets in my life (I'm 43) and never experienced this with canned. However I only ate them 4 hours ago.

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10 · August 17, 2013 at 7:07 AM

i had some worms come out right before i experienced a bowel emptying redness. at first i was sure i was dying but then i realized i didnt have severe abdominal pains at all. im sure i have parasites... but then i remembered, i also had beets for 2 days in a row... and i practically have never eaten beets in my life. so... i guess thats the cause. now on to my extermination of these bugs in side me... maybe i will use more beets and see more red. (i still hope to god its not blood.) lol. heh.

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273 · April 28, 2013 at 5:16 PM

Im concerned that your BMs are two days apart. That is a lot of toxic waste to be holding in your body on a regular basis. Not to mention the discomfort, bloating, bad breath... You may want to consider adding psyllium husks and powdered greens to your diet, perhaps several servings throughout each day.

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0 · April 28, 2013 at 4:54 PM

Thank you so much! I have been freaking out. For some reason everything happened at once (okay, so maybe not EVERYTHING, just a sinus infection and cuticle infection) right before I noticed the red in my stangled-looking BM. Since I am normally a very proud, once a day, easy-peasy pooper, I couldn't figure out for the life of me why I hadn't gone in a couple days and when I finally did, why it seemed to be wafting blood. Apparently, thanks to my recent search (and browser history that would make a demure lady blush), beets can cause constipation (although usually not the case) in addition to red stool. And, low and behold, there are gazillion other folks asking the same question. Crazy.

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0 · March 22, 2013 at 10:30 PM

At this point I am cracking up at some of these posts. I too came here because of a couple BMs being tinged a reddish color. Had beets in a "Nutriblast"(smoothie) several days ago but that seemed too long ago. Then I remembered that I over-indulged in Sweets and Beets the past couple days. Apparently that'll do it! Hope nobody has an actual serious problem and thank you to those that posted. :)

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0 · March 19, 2013 at 8:37 PM

Thanks for the info, Not a big beet fan, but deceided to have a large fresh cooked on for dinner one evening, Next morning at work went to the loo, end result bright red water. OMG google bowell cancer etc,Panic make will etc. Two days later still bright red water, so deciededto go to the doctor efter work. This am went to the loo no red tide so far so i think its possible i am a victem of beetroot juice, well i hope so. However cant believe how red the water and paper was, and so like blood to look at. Im never eating fresh beetroot again.

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0 · February 24, 2013 at 5:35 PM

I just wanted to add that beet capsules (dried beet root) will also do this. I take them for blood pressure and took more than usual and it had the same colorful effect.

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0 · February 01, 2013 at 7:24 AM

Thank you God for my sweet husband who prayed for me tonight. And thank you for Google! And particularly for people who don't balk at discussing poop publically. And with such detail! You've saved a number of people copays, headaches and unnecessary embarassment. Thanks be to God!

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0 · January 23, 2013 at 10:00 AM

Man, I had the same thing happen to me today... I tend be a kind of a hypocondriac anyways, so natural I freaked out when I saw a pink cloud around my poo. Then, just like was posted above, my girlfriend reminded me I ate a whole huge bag of those "sweets and beets" chips the day before yesterday while we were on a road trip. I just popped one out when i got home tonight and the same thing, but significantly less koolaid effect, and the actual log is normal brown. Probably driving for 6 hours two days in a row slowed things up a bit..

Anyways, this thread was really helpful and reassuring for me, so i just had to comment. Now I can poo in piece!!

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0 · December 30, 2012 at 5:32 PM

I am so glad I found this tread online. I have been stressing for a few days about the red kool-aid in my BM. I went on a beet bing this past week and expected my pee to be red but never a BM - I really freaked out after this morning's BM (I ate the beats on Thursday)and was about to start crying. Then I thought about it a bit...i tend to get constipated a lot so it took a while for my system to move. I am sure it'll be a couple more days until i'm totally cleansed. Thank you for your candor:) So happy I found ya'll.

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7989 · December 08, 2012 at 6:38 AM

Lol, we made beets for dinner one night and teased the kid that it would turn their poop red. The little one took one bite and ran to the bathroom to see.

Kids aren't too crazy about beets but we like them. I especially like beet kvass whi h I've been making lately.

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0 · December 08, 2012 at 3:32 AM

I ate a can of beets twice and both times I had the Kool aide effect once the next day and the other the same day. I figured it was the beets, but I needed confirmation, thanks every one. I do love those little bastards chilled right out of the can.

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0 · October 22, 2012 at 3:39 PM

Thanks for this website. I too thought I needed to call the doctor. I juiced three whole raw beets over a period of two days and my BM was red today. It looked like reddish oink in the toilet and little tiny clumps of red. I am glad to read that it's the beets rather than something serious!

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0 · September 30, 2012 at 5:59 AM

I almost had a heart attack a few moments ago.... Went to the bathroom, did my thing, checked the results before flushing and saw a dark thing sunk in the middle of a reddish pond.....my heart started pounding super fast, palpitations, sweaty hands.... then I thought may be my wife is in "those" days and forgot to flush? I was ready to wake her up either to diss her for not flushing or if it wasnt her fault to drive me to the ER.... Then reading one of the replies I remembered that I ate a bag of beet chips yesterday....God I can go to bed now...

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11157 · September 13, 2012 at 8:13 AM

Taste it and see?

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2192 · September 13, 2012 at 7:11 AM

I clicked on this linking cringing but anticipating a picture. Son, I am dissapoint.

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0 · September 13, 2012 at 6:34 AM

+1 for the beets. Every time I have raw beats in a smoothie, I get that nasty moment of fear that I am hemoraging internally! As with dogs, best test is a 'challange' ...... Once you are back to 'normal' try a large serving of beats and see what happens. Be warned, the more raw the more intense the color!

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0 · July 31, 2012 at 4:38 PM

Hey, I got really scared, too. But then i recalled i had plenty of boiled beets for dinner a day before. Two days ago I also started taking ZANTAC because i had problem with too much acid..... anyway what i think happened, zantac decreaed the amount of acid and therefore beets have not been completely dissolved.... I`m glad i found this website, just for reassurance..

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0 · July 19, 2012 at 6:34 PM

Thank you ALL for posting about your pee and poo...without it I would have gone to the emergency room for sure. Today I had 1/2 of a Veggie Berry smoothie by Naked. 1 hour later during my regular morning trip to the restroom I thought I was DYING. My stool was blood red and there was a ton of the red stuff. I read the label of the smoothie and found out that the first 3 ingredients were Cherry Juice, Purple Carrot Juice and Beet Juice. That's when I went to net to find out if I was justified in panicking or if it was the beets. Thank you for the piece of mind.

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0 · July 08, 2012 at 10:20 PM

I have heard of beets showing up in poo but NEVER heard of it showing up in pee. So now I'm on my way to a urologist when in fact I ate beets. Three huge ones, I had to eat them over a period of 4 days so when the red pee started I never never connected. Thanks for all these comments. Must cancel other appts....haha

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0 · July 02, 2012 at 1:49 PM

Thank the Lord I read this, I was sooo scared, my poo seemed to have alot of blood in it, and I then thought could it have been all the beetroot I ate yesterday, it seems it was, thank you all, thankyou, thankyou.

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0 · June 19, 2012 at 11:54 PM

I had beets on Friday, pees pink and pooed red sunday, pooped red again on tuesday and then in cleared up. The red in the poo eminated from the poo like cool aid when you put the powder in water. i was relieved to read similare experiences on this site. Whew, Thanks!!!

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0 · June 13, 2012 at 12:00 AM

I don't know about the beets, though this past week I have been on a Parsley eating spree. Got a good deal on a big bunch. Eaten a little bit each meal. Great for the breath I heard. I also have been sitting in this nice chair watching a bit more television than I should and not drinking enough water lately hasn't helped. Had blood in my stools and I am worried. Worst is I don't have insurance. I always thought I had problems with Symptoms of Hemorrhoids. Sitting in one spot too long. I had an episode after seeing a movie awhile back. My Boyfriend got really worried too, said it was from drinking a few beers that weekend. I haven't had a drink of any alcohol for the last 10 days. I am really confused. I try to eat healthy and this year I have planted a few vegetables out in the backyard. Working outside is so relaxing as long as it's cool enough and with summer here I have to watch out how long I stay outside. Any help and/or suggestions is greatly appreciated ?!!

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4176 · June 08, 2012 at 3:59 PM

I'm sure it's beetroot, I ate some the other day and thought for a split second there was loads of blood in my stool! But yea it was just the beets

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0 · June 08, 2012 at 3:57 PM

I recently found a recipe for fresh beets and experienced the red pee and poop both times I ate the beets. Funny, I have been eating canned beets all my life with no problem. Tells u something about the processing.

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0 · April 29, 2012 at 1:48 AM

Thank You!! I too was freaking out thinking I had a kidney infection because of pink pee after eating beets. I was ready to go to the doctor. Who knew?

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524 · April 02, 2012 at 10:48 PM

It's the beets, I'm guessing. Supposedly, this is also a sign you have low stomach acid. Try taking some HCL next time you have a beet binge, and see if that changes anything.

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0 · April 02, 2012 at 10:43 PM

Thanks so much for this! Whew!

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331 · June 03, 2011 at 3:55 PM

I would imagine it's the beets. My poop has been mainly greenish since starting paleo, and I read up that (though green poop CAN be an indicator of a more serious issue, like poor digestion for example) this can be caused by having a lot of greenstuffs in your diet, green=chlorophyll. I remember when I was 6 or 7, I binged on blueberries and pooped purple for a few days. I was enthralled!

You work in health care - isn't there a test or something you can do, or some way to actually find out? I would imagine that might be more reliable than a interweb forum..

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1053 · June 03, 2011 at 3:43 PM

I forgot to add:

I've been easing into Paleo for 2 months now. Last Friday I broke 2 weeks of very strick paleo (+wine) and had some legumes and a sugary desert, which resulted in my vomiting 15 min later. Since then I've been a strict conformist to paleo (no grains, legumes, or dairy) with the exception of occasional bits of cheese, and some wine. I also started taking Now Foods Super Enzymes the day before the first BM in question.

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