Why is my poop black
Most of us get on just fine without ever really thinking about our digestive system, but if your poop suddenly changes color it can be very worrying. Eating too much of a particular thing can often cause changes throughout your body and you may find to a certain extent that fecal matter and even urine can change color and smell due to your diet. There have been stories of people having blue pee from blueberries, green poop from spinach, and so on. Most of these causes are perfectly harmless aside from having an unbalanced diet, but black poop may also be a sign of internal bleeding. Read on to find out more about why your poop may turn black and what to do about it.
The regular brown color of poop is caused by metabolites of the bile pigment bilirubin which is broken down in the liver and intestine and then excreted. This same pigment is responsible for the yellow color of pee. When poop changes color, it is usually a sign that something else has been added. This could be something that the body can’t break down at all, or if we eat too much of one thing, the surplus could pass straight through. It could also be blood from somewhere inside the digestive system mixing into the waste. We will consider some of the dietary and medical conditions for black poop now, but this is not an exhaustive list by any means and you should still consult your doctor if you are unsure.
The dietary causes for black poop include Bismuth, an ingredient in Pepto-Bismol, and could also be excessive amounts of iron in your food. It can also be caused by Beetroot or Liquorice. Certain medications can have an effect on your poop as well. Also, as our bodies age sometimes we develop new allergies and react differently to certain foods, so sometimes a change of diet may in fact fix the problem. You may develop Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) or a stomach ulcer, both of which can cause bleeding which turns your stool back from time to time.
If you cannot identify a simple dietary reason for your black poop, if you are bloated and especially if you have discomfort or pain in the stomach, bladder or anal area, you should definitely see your doctor. Although it can be embarrassing for some to talk about these things, it really is in your best interests to get checked out. In these situations, if your doctor doesn’t recommend one you should ask for a scan of the gastro-intestinal tract just to be safe. The bleeding itself could be for many reasons, ranging from the mild and easily treatable to the life threatening. Such illnesses include stomach, colon and rectal cancer, diverticular disease, cirrhosis of the liver and peptic ulcers or gastritis. The sooner you find out what it is, the sooner you can get it treated and the better off you will be.