Why Is My Poop Black?

Author
By shirley
Reviewed
Reviewed: dr. stavarache
Article Sources Article Sources
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  • 3. 'Iron Supplement (Oral Route, Parenteral Route) Side Effects.' Mayo Clinic, Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 1 Mar. 2021, www.mayoclinic.org/drugs-supplements/iron-supplement-oral-route-parenteral-route/side-effects/drg-20070148.
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Medical Expert Medical Expert

Stool is normally a shade of brown. Largely influenced by the foods consumed and the amount of bile present, stool can range from light to dark brown. It may even be green under some circumstances. Usually, stool color isn't significant, but there are some instances when stool color merits medical evaluation.

Stool that's black in color may warrant a trip to the doctor because it may indicate the presence of bleeding in the upper gastrointestinal tract. On the other hand, black stool may occur as a result of eating certain foods or taking various medications or supplements.1Michael F. Picco, M.D. ‘Stool Color: When to Worry.’ Mayo Clinic, Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 10 Oct. 2020, www.mayoclinic.org/stool-color/expert-answers/faq-20058080.

1. Iron Supplements and Black Poop

The human body requires adequate iron intake to produce hemoglobin, which helps transport red blood cells throughout the body. People who experience excessive blood loss, follow a low-iron diet or have a need for higher iron intake due to conditions such as pregnancy or poor iron absorption may take iron supplements to prevent anemia.

While iron supplements are effective in helping the body build its iron reserves, they can cause unwanted side effects, such as black stools. Gastrointestinal symptoms, including heartburn, constipation, stomach pain and cramping, may also occur. People who experience these side effects should seek advice from their health care provider.2‘Iron & Oral Supplements for Anemia: Types & Benefits.’ Cleveland Clinic, my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/14568-oral-iron-supplementation.3‘Iron Supplement (Oral Route, Parenteral Route) Side Effects.’ Mayo Clinic, Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 1 Mar. 2021, www.mayoclinic.org/drugs-supplements/iron-supplement-oral-route-parenteral-route/side-effects/drg-20070148.

Black Stool

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