Black feces: what does it mean?
Stool staining black does not always become a dangerous symptom, although normally the stool of a healthy person is brown in various shades. Almost everyone notices the slightest changes in the color and consistency of feces, because they know the features of their own stool.
The brown color of the feces is due to the fact that they contain particles of undigested food eaten within the last 2-3 days, and bile that has participated in the processing of the food lump.
- What is black feces talking about?
- Common symptoms with black stools
- Causes of black feces
- What to do if children have black feces?
What is black feces talking about?
Possible causes of black feces can be pathologies of the stomach and intestines, complications of serious diseases.
What to do if an adult or child has black stools:
- Analyze the set of foods eaten in the last few days;
For several days, observe changes in color, consistency and frequency of the stool.
The food list should include all beverages, vitamins, and medications taken by a person. If the cause of the change in the color of feces is certain foods or medicines, you should not be afraid that negative changes have occurred in the body.
This could be:
- Activated carbon,
- Medicines containing iron.
It is important to carefully study the instructions for use of the medicine in order to anticipate such side effects as a black tint of feces.
If the set of foods consumed has not changed recently, and there was no need to take medication, when black feces appear, you should urgently seek medical help. A possible cause of such changes is internal bleeding due to the intake of drugs that reduce blood clotting. They do not change the color of feces, but they provoke bleeding in the gastrointestinal tract, which is extremely dangerous if the patient does not receive medical attention in a timely manner.
When your normal stool color changes to black due to the alleged use of food or medicine that stains the faeces, it is worth observing your stool. If, after removing the product from the diet or withdrawing the medicine, the color of feces returned to normal after a few days, you can not be afraid of pathological changes in the body.
If, after these measures, changes in the color of the stool are periodically observed, and its consistency becomes liquid, an examination should be carried out to determine the cause of such changes.
Common symptoms with black stools
A person whose stool has changed color may change appearance, mood and well-being. Looking from the outside at an adult or a child with this symptom, it is easy to see whether his appearance has remained the same or has become painful. The absence of discomfort and well-being against the background of the use of certain foods or drugs that provoke the appearance of a black tint of feces confirms the norm of the state of health.
The fact that the patient needs the help of a doctor is evidenced by the following manifestations:
- Nausea and vomiting;
- Alternating constipation and diarrhea;
- Pain in the epigastric region.
It is worthwhile to be wary if you have a history of hepatitis, cancer, cirrhosis, stomach ulcers. It is possible that the black color of feces is a sign of complications of existing diseases.
Dangerous symptoms arising from a change in the color of feces:
- Increased body temperature;
- A history of gastric or duodenal ulcers, cirrhosis, cancer;
- Nausea and vomiting;
- Alcohol poisoning, accompanied by severe vomiting, shortly before the appearance of a black tint of feces;
- Repeatedly detected anemia in the study of blood.
Causes of black feces
The black color of faeces with the use of certain foods or drugs can be either uniform or have a granular structure. Dark blotches in feces are the remnants of undigested food and drugs that give feces color as a result of a biochemical reaction.
Sometimes parents panic when they find black worms in the child's feces, mistaking them for worms. Meanwhile, these are the undigested remnants of the banana eaten the day before. Parasites are almost always light in color.
The black tint of feces in some cases indicates the presence of internal bleeding in the gastrointestinal tract. It can be provoked by an ulcer, polyps, varicose veins of the esophagus. After the blood enters the stomach, it falls under the action of gastric juice, its color changes from red to black. The feces take the same color. Additional symptoms of such a pathology are pallor, weakness, dizziness. If they appear, you should urgently seek medical advice.
The reasons for the appearance of blood in the stool:
- Ulcerative colitis,
- Crohn's disease,
- Acute lymphoblastic leukemia;
When bleeding in the lower intestines, the blood does not undergo transformation and enters the feces, maintaining a red color. With a weak intestinal peristalsis, blood from the bleeding focus, even located at the beginning of the colon, stains the feces black. In this case, blood hemoglobin is processed into hemin, which has a dark color.
If black feces appear immediately after surgery, dark feces indicate internal bleeding and the need for immediate medical attention. In the presence of black stool in combination with an elevated body temperature, the symptoms indicate a possible intestinal infection and the need for the intervention of an infectious disease doctor.
Pregnancy is not a reason for stool color change and gastrointestinal disturbances, therefore, a similar symptom of stool color change in a woman expecting a baby has the same reasons as in a normal state.
What to do if children have black feces?
Serious pathologies, a symptom of which may be internal bleeding and a dark shade of feces, are very rare in children. When black feces appear in a child, parents should pay attention to the children's diet and the products filling it.
The original feces, or meconium, excreted in newborns, has a very dark hue. This is a natural phenomenon, so there is no need to worry about it. After 2-3 days, the child's stool becomes light yellow against the background of breastfeeding, it has a liquid consistency.
Feeding a baby with milk formulas with vitamins and iron supplements can darken the stool. If the baby has a normal appetite, he is not capricious, sleeps peacefully, the dark shade of feces will not harm the child's body. When you add temperature, restless behavior and other negative symptoms, you should consult a doctor, regardless of the age of the children.
If feces atypical in color and consistency appear in a child, you should contact a pediatrician to determine the tactics of treatment and diagnose the cause of the pathology. Symptoms such as pain syndrome, high fever in a child against the background of black feces are a reason to call an emergency ambulance. They indicate poisoning or internal bleeding, therefore, the sooner professional medical care is provided, the better the future prognosis of the child's condition.
The author of the article: Volkov Dmitry Sergeevich | c. m. n. surgeon, phlebologist
Education: Moscow State University of Medicine and Dentistry (1996). In 2003 he received a diploma from the Educational and Scientific Medical Center of the Presidential Administration of the Russian Federation.