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What causes black colored stools?

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Posted on Tue, 26 May 2015
Question: what is the meaning of black black stools?
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Answered by Dr. Prakash H Muddegowda (30 minutes later)
Brief Answer:
presence of iron in stools, maybe bleeding in gut

Detailed Answer:
Hi,
Thanks for asking.
I am Dr. Prakash HM and I will be answering your query.
Based on your query, my opinion is as follows:

1. Black colored stools in the elderly means bleeding in the gastrointestinal tract or iron in stools from blood or iron tablets ingestion.
2. However, if iron tablets is being taken, stool can be black colored due to presence of unabsorbed iron in stools.
3. Any bleeding inside gastrointestinal tract, particularly in stomach or above it can react with acid in stomach giving black colored hematin, which will give rise to black colored stools.
4. If not taking iron tablets, endoscopy to look for bleeding spots is necessary. Also get an hemoglobin levels checked to check severity of anemia.

Test results necessary for further opinion.

Hope it helps.
Any further queries, here to help again.

Dr. Prakash HM
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Answered by
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Dr. Prakash H Muddegowda

Geriatrics Specialist

Practicing since :2004

Answered : 2138 Questions

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What causes black colored stools?

Brief Answer: presence of iron in stools, maybe bleeding in gut Detailed Answer: Hi, Thanks for asking. I am Dr. Prakash HM and I will be answering your query. Based on your query, my opinion is as follows: 1. Black colored stools in the elderly means bleeding in the gastrointestinal tract or iron in stools from blood or iron tablets ingestion. 2. However, if iron tablets is being taken, stool can be black colored due to presence of unabsorbed iron in stools. 3. Any bleeding inside gastrointestinal tract, particularly in stomach or above it can react with acid in stomach giving black colored hematin, which will give rise to black colored stools. 4. If not taking iron tablets, endoscopy to look for bleeding spots is necessary. Also get an hemoglobin levels checked to check severity of anemia. Test results necessary for further opinion. Hope it helps. Any further queries, here to help again. Dr. Prakash HM