General Question

tan235's avatar

Does anyone know the reason for black stools?

Asked by tan235 (877points) August 2nd, 2010

I recently noticed that my stools are a little black, not all black just small bits but they are tar like, in fact the whole poop is tar like… I’ve been taking physillium husks which could it make it mucilage like?

Does anyone know?
i hate a lot of blueberries yesterday as well… so could that account for it?

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17 Answers

sleepdoc's avatar

Because you painted them black… No in all seriousness. Black normally means Bleeding. It is the iron which causes the change. If you are taking something new I would stop that and get an appointment to see your doctor. If you are over 40 and haven’t had a recent scope you need one.

misstrikcy's avatar

Too much iron can make your stools black. Not sure if this effects the consistancy though..
Also, slow bleeding (e.g from a gastric ulcer, or a hernia) can also make your stools appear black.
Lots o’ blueberries may account for the consistancy of your stools.

marinelife's avatar

“Black, tarry stools with a foul odor can be the result of eating certain foods, taking iron supplements, or possibly from internal bleeding. If the black color is from blood, it is known as “melena.” The dark color indicates that the blood has been in the body for some time, and is coming from higher up in the gastrointestinal tract.
False Melana

A black stool caused by food, supplements, medication, or minerals is known as “false melena.” Iron supplements, taken alone or as part of a multivitamin for iron-deficient anemia, may cause stools to be black or even greenish in color. Foods that are dark blue or black in color may also cause black stools. Substances that can cause false melena are:

* Black licorice
* Blueberries
* Iron supplements
* Lead
* Bismuth (Pepto-bismol) ”


Rememberme's avatar

Most likely the food you ate, however its possible its blood.

Response moderated (Unhelpful)
Rarebear's avatar

Pepto Bismol can turn stools black also. Best to go to the doctor and get it checked for blood. Bring in a stool sample.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

I have problems with both black stools and black menstrual clots. My doctor told me it is because I have endometriosis.

tan235's avatar

hmm i may have endometriosis i had the worst period ever last week, it’s pretty scary… could the physillium husks make it gluey?
ah sorry kinda gross

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

Not sure about the husks, but other symptoms of endometriosis, besides horrible menstrual cycles are: painful cramping during ovulation, severe mood swings, severe depression, migraines, hormonal imbalance (including thyroid disorder), and so on. Maybe you should get yourself checked out.

tan235's avatar

yeah i have all of those things… i hope that’s it, as horrible as that is…rather than what else it could be… I also drank red wine last night as well if it could be that?

Ludy's avatar

Maybe you ate Oreos ?

JLeslie's avatar

Stop eating the husks and see if it changes back. Black tarry stool is a bad sign @marinelife gave a great answer. Stop all vitamin and mineral supplements, black foods, and red meat for 72 hours and see if it changes back, if not I would see a gastrointerologist. I would not even bother with a GP.

perspicacious's avatar

It can be old blood, but that’s not the only thing. Best to see your doctor.

MissAusten's avatar

I’m voting for the blueberries. I will never forget when my son was a baby/almost toddler and had blueberries for the first time. He loved them and ate so many. The next day he had a diaper that almost gave me a heart attack. I thought poop like that had to be a sign of imminent death until I remembered the blueberries.

Still, I am a big fan of “better safe than sorry” and, like others, suggest you call your doctor, especially with all of those menstrual symptoms.

rooeytoo's avatar

Have it checked soon. Your profile says you are a young hypochondriac woman so it is probably nothing, but have it checked to put your mind at ease and to be sure.

xStarlightx's avatar

Honestly it could be a lot of things.
Just to be safe go into your doctor and have them do a rectal exam, no it doesn’t hurt I get it done all the time because I take blood thinners and I do have had black tar stool.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

Yes, red wine can affect the color as well.

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