Black Specks in Stool – Causes
If you have looked at your stools and discovered that they have black specks or dots in them. Then you maybe wondering why and what this means.
The causes of black specks in your stool very from minor to serious.
Therefore it’s very important to find the cause.
Below, you will find all the information you need to workout the cause of black specks in your stool and what you can do about it.
Spotting blood in the stool can be a most worrying and troubling issues. Many people get scared since it may be a sign of a serious medical disease. Of course, it is not normal to have blood spots in stool. In case of such a situation, it is important you seek medical help.
The video below gives you a quick over view of a number of causes for black specks in your stool:
The presence of blood spots/specks may take certain forms such as black or red. It is important to note the difference between black spots/specks in stool and a black stool. Black stool may not be a sign of a serious medical condition. It is important to know that black spots or specks in the stool is a sign that things are not right.
These specks may not be necessarily related to bleeding in the gastrointestinal tract(1), but it is important to seek medical attention especially if it happens often.
Possible Causes of Black Specks in Stool
In normal circumstances, stool begins out with green colour and turns yellow when moving down the digestive tract. It mixes with bile and bacteria to turn brown. A normal person would release a brown stool. If the stool is black, green or yellow, it may be a sign of a problem.
If specks are seen, it may be another problem that requires medical attention. It could be a sign of a gut problem.
It is unlikely that blood from gastrointestinal would appear as dry spots on stool. Of cause blood turns black when it is digested, however when you see black specks, never assume that there is blood in the gut.
Black specks may be caused by particles from food, ie stuff one may have eaten.
Bleeding from upper gastrointestinal may be caused by churning and digestive actions of your gut. In such a case, the stool including the presence of blood is diffusely black. This may not indicate black specks on the surface. Bleeding in the lower segment of gastrointestinal may occur; this will make your stool appear red.
Black Pieces in Stool May Be Result of Food
The black dots you see on stool may be as a result of food stuff such as banana. This is very common and should not cause any alarm.
Blood from stomach or duodenum may also cause or contribute to black specks in stool. Taking aspirin may cause small areas of your stomach mucosa(2) to bleed resulting to black specks. If you see black specks on stool so often, you need to watch what you eat.
If you have taken bananas, don’t be surprised. This may be a possible cause. These specks may not always be as a result of bananas. There may be some other reasons. If you take bananas so often, minimise the intake and examine whether there is changes in your stool.
The stomach bacteria may also break down bile acid which is necessary for fat absorption. When bile acids are broken by the bacteria, there may be a reduction in fat absorption and fat-soluble vitamins such as vitamin D, A and E.
It is important to note that the bacteria may also damage intestinal walls thus impairing the absorption of carbohydrates and protein. This results in conditions such as malnutrition.
Various Causes of Black Flakes in Stool
Hot pepper may also cause black specks. Undigested seeds of fruits may also present in the form of black specks/dots in stool. If you take bananas and fruits and get black dots on your stool, you shouldn’t worry, this is normal. You just have to reduce the intake of such stuff.
Black spots may also be an indication of Oxidized blood or Hemoglobin that is as a result of bleeding upper gut.
Taking iron supplements or beetroot may also cause your stool to appear black or have some black dots. Gut bleeding may be caused by conditions such as infections, inflammation, gastric ulcers, gasophageal varices, growth within gastrointestinal walls or diverticulosis.
Black Specks in Stool or Black Stool
There are some medications or drugs that cause bleeding in the stomach such as ibuprofen, naproxen and aspirin among other NSAIDS. These medications may cause the stool to be black. Your doctor may advice you to stop taking such drug, or prescribe alternative medications.
Black stool should not be confused with black spots or dots. They are two different things even though both may require you to consult your doctor depending on the cause or condition.
Supplements such as iron may make your stool to appear black. As we have said, black stool is not the same as black specks on stool. Lead poisoning may also be another cause of black stool. Black stool has symptoms such as foul smelling odour.
Black diffused colour of stool is caused by oxidation of iron that is present in the blood or hemoglobin. When black stool is smelling foul and appears sticky, you should consult your doctor as soon as possible. This is not a normal condition and may require medical attention. The doctor will give you some medications and advice you on what you need to stop eating.
When to seek medical help/attention
It is crucial to seek medical attention to rule out the possibility of bleeding within the upper part of gastrointestinal. If you have other symptoms accompanying the black dots in stool such as abdominal pain, change in bowel movements, cramps, lack of appetite, and diarrhea, you need to consult your doctor.
The doctor will perform some tests to help determine the cause of black dots. If the cause is from eating specific food or fruits, it will be easily detected or determined. The doctor may advice you to stop eating such stuff for a period. You may avoid such food but still find black specks in stool. This is a medical problem that needs to be checked and treated.
Most common reason black dots may be caused by particles from food you’ve eaten.
- Foods or fruits like banana
- Food high in fiber
- Foods which contain seeds/dark pigments, (plums, figs)
- Iron-rich foods (beets and spinach)
- foods that containing blood, (undercooked meat)
- Red wine, black pepper
- Foods containing dark dyes, (licorice)
After food, medications are another common reason.
- Iron supplements
- Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) cause a small amount of bleeding and result in those black specks.
- Antibiotics, probiotics and laxatives cause microbes to die which leads to dark-speckled stools
- Crohn’s disease
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Gastric ulcers
- Ulcerative colitis.
These can cause small amounts of bleeding which appear as black spots
Liver Disease or Damage
- Infection in the digestive tract can causes black specks in stool.
- Eating contaminated food can lead to bacteria. Hence, the dark specks/spots can be caused by clumps of bacteria.
So now the have a idea what might be causing your black specks in stool. To find out for sure follow these steps:
- Stop eating food food discussed above
- Stop taking NSAIDs
- See your Doctor
In case of any medical condition, it is important you consult your doctor. Your doctor will determine the problem, the root cause and the solution to your problem. Black spots should never worry you at all. Every person who is a victim should visit his doctor for check up. You will be advised what to do. The physician may decide to give you some medications depending on the condition or situation of your stool after testing.