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Dr. Andrew Rynne
MD
Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

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Reasons for black stool in a baby

Male, 5 months old, history of blood/mucos in stool. Born at 34 weeks and on Neosure formula. After 2 months started to have maroon/dark red/brown blood and mucus mixed in stool. Switched to Nutramigen and the blood continues. Switched to Elecare and the blood got signif. worse. Switched to Neocate and the stool turned black. There will be small, random spots of regular stool mixed in and on occassion the stool will be about 50/50 black/normal. Lately it has been 97% black. No medications are being taken and there has been no increase in iron. Nutramigen, Elecare, and Neocate all have the same amount of iron. There are no supplements being taken. The consistancy is kind of sticky, but nor tary. The smell is aweful. If it is blood, wouldn t the origin be from the upper GI? (stomach/esoph) If it were coming from there, wouldn t his spit-up have blood in it? (spit-up is white/normal) He sees a pedi. GI who is of no help and hasn t run a single test (no blood tests, stool tests, imaging, etc). We are in the process of switching gastros, but it will take several months to get in to see the new gastro (only one in my town that accepts our insurance) Any ideas on what it may be? Is it something that can wait a few months until the new gastro sees him or should he be taken in to the ER? He doesn t seem to be more uncomfortable than usual, but he is still in some pain/gassy.
Tue, 20 Sep 2011
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Lab Tests
Pediatrician, Neonatology 's  Response
Not sure what the exact cause is.Never heard any complaints from parents about dark stools following neocate. Some more information will be useful.For example, how are the growth and developmental parameters .Did the baby get vitamin K soon after birth ? Best to get the stool seen by a doctor or get stool examination done to confirm if there is blood and also worth doing a culture(If growth is not adequate).
I would be very cautious before ruling this out as normal.
Thank you
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  Anonymous's Response
Anonymous's  Response
Neocate actually causes the stool to be black. (its actually just really dark green) But with your history, it is possible that something else could be going on as well. Only time will tell whether or not the neocate is helping. But just wanted you to know that neocate does cause black stool. It's actually bile. The FAQ on their website has more information.
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