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Doctor insights on: Black Stool Not Tarry

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I had abd pain 1 week ago lasting 3 days. Pain subsided. Today I had a formed black stool. Not tarry. What could this be. Dr has not called back yet.

I had abd pain 1 week ago lasting 3 days. Pain subsided. Today I had a formed black stool.  Not tarry. What could this be. Dr has not called back yet.

Peptic ulcer...: A peptic ulcer commonly causes upper abdominal pain and can bleed leading to black stool(s). Your doctor may want to start you on an acid suppressive medication like Prilosec (omeprazole) and/or order an endoscopy to try to diagnose the ulcer (if present). Good luck! ...Read more

Dr. Creighton Wright
347 doctors shared insights

Melena (Definition)

Melina is blood in the stool that is black, tarry, sticky, and smelly. The blood in melena comes from high up in the gastrointestinal tract, and gets partially digested which is why it changes to melena. Bright red blood comes from lower ...Read more


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I have stomach pain and black stool not tarry just started today hurts occasionally how long should I wait before going to the doctors?

I have stomach pain and black stool not tarry just started today hurts occasionally how long should I wait before going to the doctors?

If melena, go NOW...: 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. ...Read more

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Just been diagnosed with crohns disease, I have had black stools but they are not tarry they are quite loose as well, should I be worried?

Depends: Black stools can be caused by medications like iron or even some mesalamines. If your doctor is not concerned that it's a sign of upper GI bleeding, it may be due to the medication you're taking. ...Read more

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Black stool this morning. Was NOT tarry, didn't disperse in the water. I poop an hour later, it was dark brown, not black. Had pepto on wed. & thurs.

Black stool this morning. Was NOT tarry, didn't disperse in the water. I poop an hour later, it was dark brown, not black. Had pepto on wed. & thurs.

Likely Pepto Bismol (bismuth subsalicylate): Pepto Bismol (bismuth subsalicylate) can cause a change in the color of stool and turn it black. As long as you are not otherwise noticing any significant associated symptoms like abdominal pain, change in bowel habits, this is not a worrisome concern. ...Read more

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I have a black and tarry stool. At the same time i have a constipation; but after endoscopy I don't have an ulcer. What is the main reason to have a black stool and constipation if not an ulcer?

I have a black and tarry stool. At the same time i have a constipation; but after endoscopy I don't have an ulcer. What is the main reason to have a black stool and constipation if not an ulcer?

See below: Generally black tarry stool indicates upper gastrointestinal bleeding. Iron supplements and bismuth subsalicylate(Pepto-Bismal) can also turn stool black, although usually not tarry. If the endoscopy was normal you may be bleeding from the small intestine from Vascular anomalies(Angiodysplasia). Special studies are needed to diagnose these. Speak with your GI specialist. ...Read more

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I've been diagnosed with gastritis about 4 months ago and now my stool is black and tarry again. I'm not feeling like I have an ulcer but could i?

I've been diagnosed with gastritis about 4 months ago and now my stool is black and tarry again. I'm not feeling like I have an ulcer but could i?

GI bleeding: Yes, stool that is black and tarry represents bleeding in the upper intestines/stomach area. It could be gastritis, esophagitis, ulcers, tumor. You need to get evaluated now! GI bleeding is unpredictable and can be very serious so don't delay! ...Read more

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My stool is black but not tarry or foul smelling does this still indicate an upper GI bleed? I have no weight loss or appieteite loss

My stool is black but not tarry or foul smelling does this still indicate an upper GI bleed? I have no weight loss or appieteite loss

Could be iron?: Black stool could be caused by taking iron supplements or pepto bismol (bismuth subsalicylate). If you have not taken either of these recently, then you should be evaluated by a doctor. ...Read more

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Could gallstones in the pancrias cause blood loss? I have an occasional flair up where my stool is black and tarry (once or twice a month). Nov. 2009 my blood count was 5.6 and was given 4 units of blood. 9 months later my blood count was 6.7 and I was

Could gallstones in the pancrias cause blood loss? I have an occasional flair up where my stool is black and tarry (once or twice a month).  Nov. 2009 my blood count was 5.6 and was given 4 units of blood.  9 months later my blood count was 6.7 and I was

Hemobillia : Hemobillia (blood in gastrointestinal tract from biliary oirign) is very rare.
Obscure causes of intestinal bleeding are mostly from small bowel av malformations, tumors etc. Intermittent episodes of gastrointestinal bleeding remain difficult to diagnose despite capsule endoscopy. Angiography during an active episode of bleeding may provide a diagnosis.
Laparoscopy with small bowel examination is some times helpful.
Due to the intermittent ocassional episodes of blood loss a definite diagnosis is difficult to make. ...Read more

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Can IBS sometimes cause black spots in stools, not tarry??

Can IBS sometimes cause black spots in stools, not tarry??

Sometimes is blood: Black spotting 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. Silver-colored stool suggests bleeding from the biliary tree. Get checked pls. ...Read more

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Indigestion for last four weeks, psychosis, lump in throat and trouble swallowing. Noticed a few small, dark, almost black spots in stool. Not tarry.?

Indigestion for last four weeks, psychosis, lump in throat and trouble swallowing. Noticed a few small, dark, almost black spots in stool. Not tarry.?

See your doctor ASAP: This could be a medication side effect if you are on meds- if wheezing and trouble breathing develop you need to go to the ER. You dr needs to do a stool guiac to test for GI bleeding ...Read more

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What do I do if I have black tarry stools?

What do I do if I have black tarry stools?

depends: If you have not taken pepto-bismol or other bismuth containing products, you need to see a GI doctor sooner rather than later. This could be due to a serious life threatening condition in your stomach. Don't delay. ...Read more

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What causes black tarry stools, i always heard it was cancer?

What causes black tarry stools, i always heard it was cancer?

Bleeding in GI: Bleeding in the intestine causes black tarry stools. It could be bleeding from ulcers in the stomach, duodenum, vascular malformation of cancer in the GI tract. In any case, you should consult your doctor for a proper evaluation. ...Read more

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Is it normal to have dark brown/charcoal grey (not black or tarry) stools?

No worries...: Dark brown or charcoal grey stools are of no clinical significance. Tarry black stools might indicate GI bleeding. Taking an iron supplement might turn your stool dark grey or black. ...Read more

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I have black tarry stools after a night of partying?

I have black tarry stools after a night of partying?

Too much 'partying': Did you take any pepto before you went out 'partying'(which can turn your stool black), or did you drink to such excess that you caused bleeding within your esophagus/stomach?
If you are young and otherwise healthy, and this happened only once, I'd advise caution- if you are light-headed, dizzy, or this continues to happen, get to the doctor at once. ...Read more

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What is meant by a black or tarry stool?

Agree w Dr. Hemming: If stool is black, tarry and has a foul odor — this could be melena which is due to GI bleeding. Seek prompt medical attention if that the case. ...Read more

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Is it possible to have bleeding in your colon without black or tarry stools?

Is it possible to have bleeding in your colon without black or tarry stools?

Yes: Tarry stools (melena) is usually due to a higher gi tract source of bleeding (I.e. stomach or small bowel). As the source of bleeding gets closer to the anus, it is usually red as there is less digestion by bacteria (which is why it turns black) ...Read more

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I am so confused about how bloody tarry stool looks like...compared to black stool. Aren't they the same thing?

I am so confused about how bloody tarry stool looks like...compared to black stool.  Aren't they the same thing?

Be cautious: If you have black stools and are not sure if these are tarry black, treat it as if it were black tarry stool and get a sample tested for blood. ...Read more

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I read on webmd about black tarry stools, I have one maybe 2 to 3 times a month, what does that mean?

Upper GI Bleed: Profile indicates history of cirrhosis, ascities and esophageal banding. In this case the number one concern is portal hypertension leading to bleeding esophageal varices or other associated upper GI condition, which should be ruled out as the cause of your melenotic (black tarry) stools. Recommend consultation with gi/hepatology. ...Read more

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Do iron supplements cause black tarry stools?

Do iron supplements cause black tarry stools?

Usually: You shoud check with a md, because it could be something serious, but yes, it can be from iron. ...Read more

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Can drinking red wine cause you to have black tarry stools?

Can drinking red wine cause you to have black tarry stools?

No, test stool: Black tarry stool or melena is typically associated with blood from a proximal GI source. Ulcers in the stomach and vascular lesions can be types of causes. Wine itself and the pigment of the red grape do not change the color of the stool. Beets and other pigmented foods do alter the color. You should be tested for blood in the stool and possible anemia. ...Read more

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I have tarry black stools which looked like clotted blood. Can celiac disease be a cause?

I have tarry black stools which looked like clotted blood. Can celiac disease be a cause?

No: This is not a typical symptom of celiac disease. More common would be diarrhea, loose, watery stools, and failure to gain weight. Tarry stools is a symptom of intestinal bleeding. ...Read more

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Black tarry stools and feeling of stomach not emptying... since 2-3 weeks... age is 32 and hard tummy?

Black tarry stools and feeling of stomach not emptying... since 2-3 weeks... age is 32 and hard tummy?

Black stools: Black tarry stools indicate gastrointestinal bleeding unless you are taking peptobismol or iron tablets. It is a medical emergency and you should go to the ER. ...Read more

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My four month old baby has smelly black tarry stools. She has recently started formula fully. Very fussy and crying. Any ideas?

Bleeding: Black tarry stool indicates bleeding from the intestines. The most common cause of GI bleeding in babies is milk protein intolerance. Your 4 months old just started formula which contain cow milk protein that may be causing black tarry stool. Need to be evaluated by your doctor. ...Read more

Stool Is Black (Definition)

Stool is black is a symptom in which there is black, reddish-black, or very dark coloring to stools. Black stools can be due to old blood in the stools ...Read more


Feces (Definition)

Feces is the product of ...Read more