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Doctor insights on: What Does Black Tarry Stool Mean

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What is meant by a black or tarry stool?

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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Dr. Ana Adelstein
341 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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What does "tarry stool" mean?

What does "tarry stool" mean?

Black like tar: Or melena, usually indicates there may be a bleeding site from your upper GI tract that the blood on exposure to stomach acid turns tarry black. This needs prompt attention to diagnosis and treatment. ...Read more

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What does it mean if I have black stools?

What does it mean if I have black stools?

Blood or iron: Vitamines containin iron, iron tablets, and pepto bismol (bismuth subsalicylate) can all cause black stools. Bleeding in the stomach can also cause black stools. ...Read more

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What does it mean if you have black stools?

What does it mean if you have  black stools?

Dark-colored stool: 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. Silver-colored stool suggests bleeding from the biliary tree. Get checked. ...Read more

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What to do if I have black stools, what does it mean?

Nothing or something: Many things turn stool black - like iron pills or bismuth (pepto bismal). So, unless it is a continuing problem, don't worry. However, blood from the upper intestine - stomach ulcer, polyp, inflammation does cause the stool to be black. If it is a continuing problem, see a doctor. Tests like an upper GI series or an upper endoscopy can easily detect a problem. Peter wilk, md. ...Read more

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I have had black stools. What is going on and what does this mean?

I have had black stools. What is going on and what does this mean?

Bleeding?: It may represent bleeding somewhere in your GI tract so go see your doctor. ...Read more

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What doea greasy jet black stool mean?

What doea greasy jet black stool mean?

Dark-colored stool: 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. Silver-colored stool suggests bleeding from the biliary tree. Get checked. ...Read more

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What does it mean when you have black stool?

Could be blood: Black stool, especially if it has a tarry consistency, could be a sign of blood in the stool. Medications, such as pepto-bismol, can also turn stool black. Just to be sure, you should see your doctor to check for the presence of blood in the stool. ...Read more

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What could it mean when you have black stool?

What could it mean when you have black stool?

Black stools could: Be related to medicines/ vitamins such as peptobismol or iron. However, black, tarry, malodorous stools are like melena (gi bleeding). This would warrant medical evaluation. ...Read more

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What does black stools mean in a 5 month old?

What does black stools mean in a 5 month old?

Diet or: If there is a lot of iron supplementation in the milk or milk supplement this could explain black stools also of course an upper G.I. Bleed which is unlikely send foods can also cause black stools especially ones rich in iron and minerals. ...Read more

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Speaking of black stools, do you mean very dark brown or truly black?

Speaking of black stools, do you mean very dark brown or truly black?

Black: Black stools (melena) are potentially worrisome as this can be a sign of intestinal bleeding. A few other things can cause black stools (like iron supplements) but regardless, you should have it checked by your doctor. ...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 with orange cloud. What could this mean?

Black stool : Regardless of what color cloud is needs workup. Most commonly its related to an upper GI bleed. You will need a full history to assess other symptoms and then workup. Please see a GI doctor. ...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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What exactly does it mean if somebody has black stools, but no nausea?

What exactly does it mean if somebody has black stools, but no nausea?

Blood in stool: Black stools, known as melena, are from blood in the stool.It looks black, not red, due to the action of the intestine.See your doctor immediatly.This can develop into a medical emergency suddenly. ...Read more

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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.

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 a acid suppressive medication like Prilosec (omeprazole) and/or order an endoscopy to try and diagnose the ulcer (if present). Good luck! ...Read more

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