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Noticed black specks in stool. What could be causing this?

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General Surgeon
Practicing since : 2008
Answered : 5632 Questions
What causes black specs (pepper sized) spots in a normal bm? I've eaten bananas daily for about 10 days but I also take aspirin, calcium, Vit. D3, Centrum Silver Ultra for women and xanax .25 once or twice daily.
Posted Fri, 29 Mar 2013 in Digestion and Bowels
Answered by Dr. Grzegorz Stanko 20 minutes later

Thank you for the query.

Such black specs spots can appear due to bananas intake. It is quite common and usually there is nothing to worry about.
Other possible reason is blood from stomach or duodenum. Aspirin intake can cause stomach mucosa bleeding from many small areas.

I suggest you to eliminate bananas for few days and see if it will solve the problem (first two stools still can contain this spots). If not, stool tests should be performed and upper GI endoscopy.

Hope this will help. Feel free to ask further questions.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Noticed black specks in stool. What could be causing this? 9 minutes later
The specks are 'sandy', not mushy at all.
Answered by Dr. Grzegorz Stanko 10 minutes later

Please make a banana slice and take a look on it. It contains black dots like poppy-seeds. Does it look similar to what the stool contains?
Such XXXXXXX specks are simply undigested parts of bananas. Please try to avoid bananas for few days and see if it works for you. This is the best and simplest way to check what it is.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Noticed black specks in stool. What could be causing this? 2 hours later
Some are 'seed' like but most are very tiny and XXXXXXX Is it the XXXXXXX texture that assures you it's food?
Answered by Dr. Grzegorz Stanko 50 minutes later
I am not 100% sure that this are food parts in your stool. I havent seen it, and even if I have, still nothing wont be certain as long as you wont perform stool tests.
But what I am sure is that stool is composed of undigested food parts mixed with bile (it is brown because bile gets changed by bacteria), intestinal wall cells and bacteria. And I also know that lots of banana intake can give such XXXXXXX like small parts in it. As you have mentioned that for the last 10 days you have been eating bananas, this makes it the most probable reason of such stool.
That is why I kindly ask you to make simple test at home (stop eating bananas) which will either rule out or confirm this theory.
For sure such stool appearance is nothing urgent and you can wait few days with it. And if this simple home test wont make this XXXXXXX texture disappear, than you should have stool tests.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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