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Black stool refers to a state in which feces are extremely dark or black in colour. This condition may be usual in some instances and caused by the ingestion of certain medications or substances for instance, by iron supplements. This condition can also be caused by a serious illness and therefore, this article will extensively discuss the causes of black stools.

What is black stool?

Black stools caused by supplements, food, medication or minerals are called “false melena.” Black stool that has a foul smell and is tarry in terms of texture is frequently a symptom of gastrointestinal bleeding from the stomach, esophagus or small intestine.

Consequently, one should seek immediate medical care if the person has abnormally dark stools or any variation in texture or stool colour.

What are the causes of black stool?

This condition can be a symptom of several diseases or disorders. The following are some of the causes of black stool:


This is a condition typified by an inflamed stomach lining which can either be chronic or acute. In whichever case, it can be as a result of excessive intake of alcohol, using excessive pain-relieving medications or the outcome of severe stress. Some of the indications include vomiting, bloating and black faeces.


As people grow older, they at times form small pouches on the intestinal walls called diverticula. When these pouches become visible, they are frequently not accompanied by any symptoms and this state is known as diverticulosis.

When these diverticula undergo inflammation and infection, the conditions gets converted to diverticulitis. Signs of diverticulitis include abnormal pain, constipation and black stools.


Ulcerative colitis is a form of inflammatory bowel illness that causes the swelling of the large intestines. This illness is typified by diarrhea, abnormal pain and dark stools.

Another type of inflammatory bowel condition that can generate black stools is known as Crohn’s disease which is comparable to colitis in that it is characterised by inflammation. However, it is not restricted to a particular area and thus, it can take place anywhere from the mouth to the rectum.


There are two kinds of ulcers that take place in the stomach: Gastric and peptic. In peptic, the stomach lining and the first component of the small intestine (duodenum) become eroded. When an actual break in the stomach lining occurs, a gastric ulcer emerges. In both conditions, abdominal pains, nausea and tarry stools can occur.


There are different foods and supplements that can cause dark stools. Supplements and iron pills for instance are used during low-iron levels in the body and can cause the emergence of dark stools. Blueberries can equally cause dark stools.

1 Gastritis; FDG PET/CT exams can display inflammatory diseases and ma
By Lucille - Posted in: Health
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