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Doctor insights on: Black Tarry Stools

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Dr. Irina Medwin
115 doctors shared insights

Black Tarry Stools (Overview)

Black stool is a symptom in which a person's stool (poop) has a black color, or sometimes a very dark red color. Black stools are usually due to old blood (fresh bleeding is red in color).


Dr. Irina Medwin
115 doctors shared insights

Black Tarry Stools (Overview)

Black stool is a symptom in which a person's stool (poop) has a black color, or sometimes a very dark red color. Black stools are usually due to old blood (fresh bleeding is red in color).


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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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Diagnosing Blood in Stool (Checklist)

Get a heme test of stool
daily
Make dietary changes
3x day
Take a stool softener
3x day
See your doctor
once
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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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I read on webmd about black tarry stools, I have one maybe 2 to 3 times a month, what does that mean?

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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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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Do iron supplements cause black tarry stools?

Do iron supplements cause black tarry stools?

Usually: You shoud check with an 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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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

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I have pan diverticulosis and recently had black, tarry stools. I just had a colonoscopy. It was clear. My diet and Meds haven't changed. Any ideas?

I have pan diverticulosis and recently had black, tarry stools. I just had a colonoscopy.  It was clear. My diet and Meds haven't changed. Any ideas?

Symptoms: Your symptoms will be definitely critical in further defining the best plan, but with a suspicion of Gi bleed you will need an upper endoscopy +/- capsule endoscopy to try to identify the source for bleeding. ...Read more

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Have black tarry stools that comes and goes, sometimes bright red but do not have hemorrhoids. Since the stools are not constant should I see GI doc?

Have black tarry stools that comes and goes, sometimes bright red but do not have hemorrhoids. Since the stools are not constant should I see GI doc?

Yes!: Black tarry stools are often a sign of bleeding in the GI tract. Finding the source requires specific tests performed by a gastroenterologist. Once the cause is identified, it can be treated. ...Read more

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Not much of an appetite hardly eaten much in last 3 days. Sleeping a lot, black tarry stools what is the next step. Cirrhosis with inguinal hernia.

Stools: Hello it seems like you have portal hypertension and bleed in the stomach which become brownish black and comes out in the stool sign of decreased appetite is also a sign of impending or worsening liver failure and you must go to the er or 911 if you are weak and cannot drive. ...Read more

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Is this esophageal cancer? 21 years old. Black tarry stools, bad acid reflux, discomfort in chest and throat area

Is this esophageal cancer? 21 years old. Black tarry stools, bad acid reflux, discomfort in chest and throat area

Please see your: doctor as soon as possible. This is probably not esophageal cancer at your age, but black tarry stools can signify bleeding in the intestinal tract. With acid reflux symptoms and the stools, you need to rule out an ulcer that is bleeding. If you don't have your own doctor to see today, please go to the emergency room. ...Read more

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I get heartburns randomly, i burp a lot, and sometimes feel nauseous. But no stomach pain or passing out black tarry stools. Is it cancer? I'm scared.

I get heartburns randomly, i burp a lot, and sometimes feel nauseous. But no stomach pain or passing out black tarry stools. Is it cancer? I'm scared.

Don't worry!: What you're describing sounds like heartburn, also called acid reflux. Keep a diary of food you eat before you have these symptoms. You may have an intolerance to lactose, or gluten. Spicy foods, fruit juices, chocolate, alcohol, and tobacco all contribute to symptoms of heartburn. You could try an over-the-counter antacid to see if that helps. But given your age, cancer is not a concern. ...Read more

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Can colitis show black, tarry stools? Also, is it possible for colitis to initially show watery diarrhea and then progress to black, tarry stools?

Can colitis show black, tarry stools? Also, is it possible for colitis to initially show watery diarrhea and then progress to black, tarry stools?

Yes to both: GI bleeding in colitis may cause black tarry stools. Some colitis, e.g, C diff, may present as watery diarrhea and later have bleeding and black tarry stools. If you have any of these, you should consult a doctor. ...Read more

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I have had a pain in the left side of my stomach since last night. No black tarry stools, no signs of GI bleeding. What could be the cause? Is it gas?

I have had a pain in the left side of my stomach since last night. No black tarry stools, no signs of GI bleeding. What could be the cause? Is it gas?

Stomach pain: It's good that you're not having signs of GI bleeding. Other thoughts include a viral gastroenteritis, gastritis, an ulcer. It could aso be gas. If you start to get fever, vomiting, intense pain, then i'd be more concerned and you should get it checked out. ...Read more

Dr. Linda Callaghan
352 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


Feces (Definition)

Feces is the product of ...Read more