Drinking Milk Can Have An Unexpected Effect On The Color Of Your Poop

The value that dairy brings when it comes to our health isn't entirely agreed upon amongst the medical community. On the one hand, researchers from a 2016 scientific assessment published in Food and Nutrition Research note how some studies have linked the consumption of milk and dairy to a lower risk of childhood obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and improvements in bone density.

For some people, though, drinking a glass of milk or picking at a decadent cheese plate can soon become a gastrointestinal nightmare. After all, NPR reports that throughout history, most of us were lactose intolerant. The reason being that the enzyme that enables infants to tolerate milk didn't use to transition with us into adulthood. Several thousand years ago, however, this changed. Now, approximately 35% of people worldwide tolerate lactose just fine. Even so, that still leaves a substantial number of people for whom milk and dairy can prompt a number of uncomfortable digestive symptoms, such as bloating, diarrhea, or gas. While not generally cause for concern, drinking milk may also cause our poop to take on a yellow tint, according to Cara Care.

Drinking milk might turn your poop yellow

If you're a fan of milk, you might notice that your poop appears more yellow-brown in color (via Cara Care). In fact, the excretion of yellow poop is often a regular occurrence for young babies. Bright yellow poop, as well as mustard-yellow poop, are both normal for breast-fed infants, explains Healthline. The only exception may be if an infant's stool is excessively watery, which may indicate diarrhea.

While there may be a potential link between milk consumption and yellow stool, there are other reasons why a person may have an off-colored bowel movement. Yellow stool may alternatively be caused by antibiotic usage. If accompanied by diarrhea, bacteria or a virus may be to blame. Otherwise, smelly, greasy stool in a shade of light yellow may indicate a fat malabsorption issue like celiac disease. Without treatment, people with ongoing fatty bowel movements may experience weight loss.

Other health conditions related to yellow poop

In some cases, the presence of yellow stools in the toilet may signal a different health issue. Some of these issues may be specific to certain organs, such as the liver, which may include hepatitis or cirrhosis, reports Medical News Today. Yellow or pale stool that comes along with stomach pain, jaundice, or an accelerated heart rate may point to gallbladder problems. Pancreas issues, such as cystic fibrosis, cancer, or chronic pancreatitis, have also been associated with yellow poop.

Talk to a healthcare provider if your off-colored poops don't resolve on their own within a few days or if you also experience fever, vomiting, fainting, trouble peeing, pus in one's stool, or any other unusual symptoms. Remember, however, that yellow-tinted poop isn't always tied to a health condition. It could simply mean that you've been drinking more milk lately or eaten yellowish-colored foods such as carrots, sweet potatoes, or processed foods made with yellow dye.