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A 61-year-old male asked:

darker than normal stool.

1 doctor answer1 doctor weighed in
Dr. Jason Hemming
Gastroenterology 17 years experience
Depends: If melena (black, tarry) this may represent bleeding. Otherwise likely a consequence of what you consumed.

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Similar questions

A 35-year-old member asked:

Is it normal to have a dark brown or black color in my stool?

1 doctor answer3 doctors weighed in
Dr. Heidi Fowler
Psychiatry 25 years experience
Possibly not: Black tarry, malodorous stool can be due to blood in bowel movements. Stool may also turn black if one takes iron pills or bismuth medications. A stool guiac can distinguish if there is blood in stool or not.
Australia
A 27-year-old female asked:

My stool often comes in 2 stages in one sitting. First stage is firm and light brown, 2nd stage is very loose and very dark brown. Is this normal?

1 doctor answer3 doctors weighed in
Dr. Leslie Leighton
Internal Medicine 43 years experience
Not unusual: The sigmoid colon acts to solidify and compact stool so what you are seeing first probably comes from that area of the colon. What is up higher may not be so firm because it has not reached the sigmoid yet so it can be somewhat looser. Unless this represents a recent change in bowel habits would not be too concerned but if it is a change would have it checked out by your doctor with rectal exam.
A female asked:

I have been having dark green almost black soft stools. Is this normal?

1 doctor answer4 doctors weighed in
Dr. Charles Cattano
Gastroenterology 39 years experience
Define melena: Melena, by definition, is passage of dark stools stained with denatured blood. As we established in prior healthtap answers, all dark stool is not melena. Your doctor, or even an over-the-counter test that you can purchase, can check to see if your dark stool contains blood. Needed is for you to provide a sample of the dark stool. False positive results can occur based on diet & stool additives.
Spring Valley, NY
A 23-year-old male asked:

Stool is darker in one area. Stool was normal sized and also normal in color. Mostly brown but at the end seemed way darker ?

1 doctor answer2 doctors weighed in
Dr. Julie Abbott
Preventive Medicine 45 years experience
All brown colors: of stool are normal. Abnormally light stools ("clay-colored") may be due to reduced bile associated with liver disease. All dark brown stools are normal UNLESS they are BLACK which suggests upper GI bleeding. Sometimes more or less hydration in one part of the stool may affect its brown color. I wouldn't worry about this any further. Stay well:)
Champaign, IL
A 39-year-old female asked:

How light brown is too light for normal Stool? Mine is darker than a caramel candy but lighter than a milk chocolate bar.

2 doctor answers2 doctors weighed in
Dr. Lori Lange
Specializes in Family Medicine
Depends: Fecal stool color has alot to do with what you ate. Over St. Patty's day a lot of green BMs from Green milkshakes, green beer, candy etc. No worries Brown stools come normally in different shapes of mocha.

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Last updated Apr 24, 2018
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