8 doctors weighed in:

What does it mean when you have black stool?

8 doctors weighed in
Marianne DiNapoli
Obstetrics & Gynecology
4 doctors agree

In brief: 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.

In brief: 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.
Marianne DiNapoli
Marianne DiNapoli
Answer assisted by Marianne Di Napoli, Medical Student
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1 comment
Dr. Eric Kaplan
Black tarry stools are often an indicator of an upper GI source of bleeding, such as gastritis or gastric ulcer or tumor. You should see your PCP and confirm that the color is due to blood and then rapidly be evaluated by a gastroenterologist.
Dr. Camil Sader
Surgery
3 doctors agree

In brief: Oxidized Blood

Assuming you are not taking iron supplements, guzzling peptobismal, or munching on licorice sticks like they're going out of style, persistent black stools are an indication of a trickle bleed originating from the upper GI track like the stomach.
You must get this checked by an endoscopist.

In brief: Oxidized Blood

Assuming you are not taking iron supplements, guzzling peptobismal, or munching on licorice sticks like they're going out of style, persistent black stools are an indication of a trickle bleed originating from the upper GI track like the stomach.
You must get this checked by an endoscopist.
Dr. Camil Sader
Dr. Camil Sader
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