I have passed some black stool. Is this unusual?
Stool color is sometimes an important sign of abnormalities within the GI track. Black colored stool is caused by three main things: Pepto-Bismol, iron pills, or blood. If you have not been taking iron or Pepto-Bismol, then black stools should be reported to your physician. It does not take much blood to turn stools black- as little as a couple tablespoons may cause a color change- however, bleeding is usually a sign of a significant problem. Ulcers often present with bleeding. Older patients frequently experience no pain with ulcers and black stool may be the only sign that something is wrong. Stomach or bowel tumors may also present with black stool due to bleeding. Please call our office to speak with one of our board-certified Gastroenterologists for more information.