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Boulder, CO
A 18-year-old female asked:

What does it mean to have dark stools? not tarry or bloody looking- just dark. sometimes fully dark, sometimes also with normal brown stool.

3 doctor answers6 doctors weighed in
Dr. Bruce Gingold
Specializes in Colon and Rectal Surgery
Probably increased I: Iron in diet or vitamins can do this. See md and get hemoccult stool test and physical examination.
Dr. Gregory Gallina
Colon and Rectal Surgery 29 years experience
Dilemma: There is no short answer for dark stools. It can be as simple as related to diet (iron supplements leafy green vegetables) or as complex as gastrointestinal bleeding. I would recommend that you see a gastroenterologist or a colon rectal surgeon for a formal evaluation. They can discuss your symptoms, and evaluate you more thoroughly with bloodwork and possibly x-rays or endoscopy if warranted.
Dr. Perry Milman
Gastroenterology 48 years experience
You are what you eat: If the dark stool is not related to blood, then it most likely is related to what you are eating. Big offenders include blueberries, beets, spinach and licorice.

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Last updated Aug 31, 2018

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