A man makes a horrified face while looking at toilet paper; weird stool concept

9. Black Stool

Dark stools, also called melena or tarry stools, can occur for various reasons, some much more serious than others.

Why is it black and tarry?

Like green stool, black stool can simply be the result of eating dark foods. If this is the case, there typically isn’t a cause for concern.

What else causes black stool?

If you haven’t eaten anything darkly colored, you should discuss your stool with a medical provider, as the following could be to blame for your tarry poop:

  • Bleeding – whether it’s from ulcers or something else, intestinal bleeding can darken stool; any time you see blood in stool or suspect bloody stool, contact your medical provider right away
  • Medications – medications, especially those with bismuth, can also darken your waste
  • Too much iron – while you need iron, taking too many iron supplements can cause issues, including tarry stool

What if your stool isn’t an odd color, but an odd shape?…

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