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A 48-year-old member asked:

What does it mean to have almost black or very dark brown stools?

1 doctor answer2 doctors weighed in
Dr. Heidi Fowler
Psychiatry 25 years experience
Not sure: Tarry / sticky? Bad smell? Dark? - could possibly be related to a GI bleed. Or can be related to meds or foods.

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A 48-year-old member asked:

Should i be worried if my stool is very dark brown, almost black?

1 doctor answer2 doctors weighed in
Dr. Heidi Fowler
Psychiatry 25 years experience
Tarry? Sticky?: Foul smelling? - if yes then get it medically checked out to ensure that you don't have GI bleeding.
A 36-year-old member asked:

What does it mean if my stool has brown patches?

1 doctor answer1 doctor weighed in
Dr. Richard Rafoth
Gastroenterology 51 years experience
Probably nothing: The only bad colors for stool are white (bile duct blockage), black (could be old blood) and red (blood). Spots of brown are probably diet related (some food you ate which is not completely digested).
A 38-year-old male asked:

What does it mean if my stool is almost black and runny?

1 doctor answer2 doctors weighed in
Dr. Tony Ho
Dr. Tony Hoanswered
Infectious Disease 14 years experience
See your doctor: It could mean anything from high iron in your diet, iron supplementation, or an upper GI bleed. Black, tarry stool is called "melena", and is the signature for an upper GI bleed; i would get it evaluated by a doctor soon, and if it is persistent or is associated with fatigue, low blood pressure, high heart rate, or bleed elsewhere, i would go to the er quickly.
Australia
A 21-year-old male asked:

What causes dark brown stools (not black)?

2 doctor answers2 doctors weighed in
Dr. Philip Miller
A Verified Doctoranswered
A US doctor answeredLearn more
Normal food: digestion. The brown is a result of gastric acid and bile acids in digesting foods.
A 36-year-old member asked:

Where are these black and dark brown stools from?

1 doctor answer3 doctors weighed in
Dr. Charles Cattano
Gastroenterology 39 years experience
Rule out melena: Dark-colored stools may result from iron supplements, foods you eat (like a lot of spinach), substances (like peptobismol), but most significantly suggests bleeding. When blood is denatured by acid in your stomach, as from ulcers, stools will turn tarry ("melena"). Blood may also be ingested from nose bleeds, bleeding gums... Persistent melena (without obvious cause) & symptoms warrants md visit.

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Last updated May 3, 2019

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