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What causes a black stool?

Robynne K. Chutkan, MD
Gastroenterology
Black stool should trigger a search for bleeding from the upper part of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract (esophagus, stomach or small intestine), but can also be seen with iron therapy, heavy meat consumption, and bismuth-containing compounds.
Marjorie Nolan Cohn
Nutrition & Dietetics

In general brown is the 'normal' stool color. However, there is a wider variation of colors that may indicate other things about your health. Black stool may be a result of taking iron supplement. Black stool is also a sign of upper, or lower GI bleeding.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.