What your POOP COLOR means | A gastroenterologist explains

Should you be alarmed when you see black feces?

Agree that the contents of the toilet are of the least interest to us? A separate issue is when each trip to the toilet is accompanied by pains and other unpleasant sensations, forcing to evaluate the color and consistency of feces.

In the meantime, doctors are actively insisting not to disdain even occasionally cast a careful look at the stool, because this can prevent serious health problems in general.

For example, black feces, which normally can have a light brown, brown or just a characteristic brown color, should become the reason for justified excitement. If it looks more like coal, it is better not to postpone a visit to a therapist, but even to a gastroenterologist.

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Influence of diet

Before you rush to find out from the doctors why the bowel movements turned black, remember your menu from the last few days.

Some food products have the ability to change the color of feces, in particular, they include:

Should you be alarmed when you see black feces?
  • beetroot;
  • prunes and black berries;
  • liver and other by-products in which animal blood is present;
  • tomatoes and black coffee;
  • wines fermented with undivided grape seeds.

In this case, situations are not uncommon in which black grains, like poppy, are found in the feces. We hasten to reassure you: what you mistake for poppy is nothing more than undigested food fragments: seeds of berries or exotic fruits, even the same poppy bun eaten the day before or a couple of days ago.

Again, the grains can be the remnants of drugs that have not experienced a complete decay, which is also not a reason for worry. If the problem persists when changing the menu, then its causes are more serious.

The effect of drugs

Medication can also be a logical answer to why the stool suddenly turned black. Usually this side effect is written in the instructions, and you need to be prepared for it.

Drugs that provoke a change in the shade of feces are as follows:

  • Vitamin complexes and remedies for anemia, which contain iron;
  • Medicines containing bismuth, intended fordesignated for the treatment of gastric or intestinal ulcers;
  • Large doses of activated angle (more than one tablet per 10 kg body weight);
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are the most common causes of sudden black feces. It is their abuse that leads to microscopic internal bleeding, blood penetration into the gastrointestinal tract and a change in the shade of stool. If the problem appeared after the uncontrolled treatment of respiratory illness with Ibuprofen or Nimesil , go to the hospital immediately.

Pathology of the intestinal or gastric tract

If the reasons for the appearance of abnormal stool color do not relate to any of the points mentioned above, you should look for them together with your doctor.

You should be especially attentive to the problem that is accompanied by the following symptoms:

Should you be alarmed when you see black feces?
  • fever and vomiting;
  • nausea, pale skin;
  • profuse cold sweats;
  • painful and enlarged liver;
  • stomach pains and colic.

All these are signs of internal bleeding, provoked by ulcerative pathology of the upper intestine, malignant formations in the stomach or its cirrhosis, varicose veins related to the esophagus, etc. Internal bleeding is diagnosed by laboratory examination of blood or stool.

Recovery period after surgery

Unprofessional surgery involving the intestines or stomach can also be the answer to why the stool has acquired an unnatural color. If it is the surgery that has been experienced that caused the problem, you need to look for a solution immediately, since all the same internal bleeding takes place.

Only a doctor can establish the severity of complications, the method of their treatment, or prescribe a repeated intervention in the gastrointestinal tract.

Pregnancy and blackened stools: is there a cause for concern?

Black feces during pregnancy is a completely common occurrence, accompanied by anemia or the need to constantly take multivitamin complexes. In 90% of gestations, doctors insist on the additional intake of iron-containing drugs, which increase the hemoglobin count in a woman and exclude oxygen starvation in her fetus.

Should you be alarmed when you see black feces?

As mentioned above, activated charcoal can overshadow all other reasons for the formation of black feces in a pregnant woman, because it is prescribed to eliminate bloating and intestinal colic. The fact is that this drug does not enter the mother's blood, and, therefore, does not penetrate the placenta to the child. The least common source of the problem is internal bleeding, especially if a mother carrying a baby regularly visits a gynecologist.


You need to worrystart only if the stool has acquired a tar color, and all other factors have nothing to do with this.

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