What are tiny black specks in your stool?
No one wants to look at their stool after having a bowel movement but there may be a lot of information about your health that can be gathered by just taking a look at it. The consistency, form, color, texture, and general appearance can give you some clues on the condition of your gastrointestinal tract. The black specks in stool is usually from something you ate or drank like pepper or coffee but it could also a symptom of a disease that could be serious.
Causes of black specks in stool
- A coloring agent from food you may have eaten or a supplement you took
- Gastric ulcers — this is a break in the lining of your stomach, occasionally in your lower esophagus, or the first part of your intestine. It is also known as a peptic ulcer.
- Gastritis — this is an inflammation of the lining of your stomach that is caused by medications, aspirin, H. pylori, NSAIDs, ibuprofen, autoimmune disorders, and anemia
- Having an imbalance in the normal intestinal flora, which a bacteria that exists in your small intestine and does not cause a problem unless there is an imbalance. The imbalance can occur when there is an overgrowth of the bacteria.
- Your diet — such as eating certain foods like black licorice, foods with excessive animal blood, undercooked or raw red meat, blueberries, bananas, red wine, and more. If you eat an excessive amount of foods that are abundant with fiber it can cause your stool to quickly pass across your digestive tract and cause loose stools that have undigested food particles, making it look as if there are black specks in stool. Eating foods that are rich in iron such as dark green leafy vegetables like spinach and legumes
- Medications that contain iron supplements, bismuth, or lead such as Pepto-Bismol.
- Diarrhea — if it is a severe case, especially those that are caused due to gastrointestinal conditions or intestinal parasitic infections could be marked with black specks in stool.
- Digestive tract bleeding — this refers to any type of bleeding in your upper small intestine, stomach, duodenum, or any other sections of your digestive tract could cause you to have stools with black specks along with a smell that is foul. This is due to any chemical action that is experienced by the blood in the tract and hemoglobin oxidation.
- Parasitic infections in your intestine — this is the intake of foods and beverages that are contaminated with parasites such as the Entamoeba histolytica or Giardia lamblia can cause conditions like amoebiasis or giardiasis, respectively.
- Cancer — when there are tumors in your abdomen or intestine the can sometimes bleed and lead to black specks in stool.
- Ulcerative colitis — this is the inflammation of the lining or wall of your colon
- Inflammatory bowel syndrome (IBS) — this is the inflammation of your intestinal lining or wall
- Crohn’s disease — it is a type of IBS that can affect any part of your gastrointestinal tract
- Bacterial infection of your intestine — this is due to the intake of contaminated beverages or foods such as cholera, or small intestinal bacterial overgrowth,
- Wounds in your digestive tract that could be caused by surgery, direct trauma, injuries, or punctures
- Allergic reaction to medications
- Bacteria, yeast, or parasites dying off in your stomach could cause you to have black specks in stool. This can be due to taking medications such as a probiotics, antibiotics, laxatives, antifungal medications, or supplements.
Treatment for Black Specks in Stool
There is no treatment required for a temporary case of black specks in stool but if there are prolonged instances or other symptoms such as pain, loss of appetite, foul smell to your stool, cramps, or diarrhea along with the black specks in stool then you should see your physician to find out the underlying cause. What treatment would be used then depends on the underlying cause. At home if you think it could be a food you eat withhold eating that particular food for a few days to see if the black specks in stool clear up. If they do not then look at the medications you are taking along with any supplements to see if any of these could be the problem.
Pictures of Black Specks in Stool
Picture of tiny black spots in stool
Black dots in stool in toddler