Black stool suggests bleeding in the upper gastrointestinal (GI) tract. Maroon-colored or bloody stool suggests bleeding lower in the GI tract. See your doctor if you experience bloody or tarry stool. They can check for the presence of ulcers, hemorrhoids, diverticulitis, and other GI conditions.
When should I be concerned about black stool?
Stool that is black due to blood indicates a problem in the upper GI tract. Blood in the stool can be detected through a stool test. See your healthcare provider right away if you have black stool along with pain, vomiting, or diarrhea.
What medical condition causes black stool?
Esophageal and Gastric Cancers If you have bleeding in the upper GI tract — the esophagus, stomach, and duodenum — you could have black, tarry stools that are called melena. It could be a sign of esophageal and gastric cancers. Some other symptoms of esophageal cancer are: Problems with swallowing.
Is black stool a medical emergency?
Scar tissue on the liver, often due to cirrhosis, is the most common cause of esophageal varices. Esophageal varices signal a serious liver problem and need to be treated as a medical emergency. Signs of liver disease include: black specks in stool that come and go or worsen with time.
Is black poop alarming?
Is it healthy? Having stool that is black and tarries with consistency can be pretty alarming. In truth, almost any color that deviates from the normal brown can be cause for concern.
Does liver disease cause black stool?
Black tarry stools can happen in advanced liver disease and are caused by blood passing through the gastrointestinal tract – this needs urgent medical attention. Yellow skin or eyes (jaundice). Jaundice is due to the build-up of bilirubin (a bile pigment) in the blood because it can’t be processed effectively.
How long does black stool last?
Dark colored / black stools are a common side effect and can last for several days after you stop taking Pepto-Bismol. This is not a serious side effect. Give it a few more days and it should disappear.
What foods cause dark stools?
Dark stool may be caused by foods or medications including:
- Black licorice.
- Iron supplements.
- Medications containing bismuth subsalicylate (for example, Kaopectate or Pepto-Bismol)
Can stress cause black stool?
Damage to your stomach lining can happen for a variety of reasons, including stress, an autoimmune response, or an infection. Other causes include NSAIDs, smoking, or drinking alcohol or eating foods that irritate the lining of the stomach.
Can drinking too much cause black stool?
Internal Bleeding Long-term alcohol abuse can cause bleeding in the stomach and intestines as well. If there is bleeding in the upper GI tract, the blood will turn dark (almost black) when it makes its way to the large intestine where stool is formed.
Can dehydration cause black stool?
Stool that appears blackish or reddish in color can be a concern. It can indicate blood in the stool and may be a more serious gastrointestinal tract issue. But stool that simply seems darker than normal may be the result of dehydration, constipation, or eating dark-colored foods or iron-rich foods or supplements.
What color is your stool if you have liver problems?
Considerations. The liver releases bile salts into the stool, giving it a normal brown color. You may have clay-colored stools if you have a liver infection that reduces bile production, or if the flow of bile out of the liver is blocked. Yellow skin (jaundice) often occurs with clay-colored stools.