Black Specks in Stool: Causes, Symptoms &Treatment

Evelyn Attia, M.D is going to walk you slowly through the common causes of black specks in stool and some of the available treatment options.

Black specks in poop of adults occur as a result of undigested food materials, but it could also imply something more severe in the body.

On the other hand, black flecks in stool of babies could be meconium. This is something that should not trouble your nerves at all.

In this article, you will explore more information about the causes and some of the possible treatment options available. You will also get to know when to see a doctor.

black specks in stool

What are Black Specks in Stool?

The human stool is composed of undigested food material, water, bacteria, and mucus. The color of the poop is usually brown due to bile, which is broken down by the intestinal bacteria.

You should note that the color of the stool is prone to changes since it largely depends on our diet or what we eat.

The dark spots in stool occur as a result of the diet. Sometimes, the black flecks or chunks can be the old blood present in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract.

When you notice blood in your stool, it is advisable to seek immediate medical help since this can be a signal of something serious.

What Causes Black Spots in Stool of Adults?

The presence of black chunks in stool when wiping can be caused by several factors. Let’s find out more about the causes of black pieces in stool:

Diet

There are certain foods the digestive system find a hard time to digest. Some of these foods include seeds and skin of fruits.

You will notice black seeds in stool after eating blueberries, blackberries, black beans, and plums since they contain some dense fibers.

Also, the digestive system will find it challenging to process dyes from foods; thus, the reason behind the specks in the stool.

Certain Medications

The black particles in stool can also be brought about by some certain medicines such as Bismuth. The compound has the capability of changing the color of your stool though temporary.

The saliva contains Sulphur which combines with bismuth to result in the black coloring of your stool. The good thing is that the color change after some two days.

Intestinal Bleeding

Dark blood in the stool is as a result of upper intestinal bleeding. The blood has overstayed in the gastrointestinal tract for long hence the darker color.

The bright blood in the stool is usually as a result of low intestinal bleeding, which is caused by a cancerous lesion, inflammation, and damaged intestines.

Sometimes you will notice a stool looks like coffee grounds since the blood took longer to travel through the gastrointestinal tract.

Also, other non- steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs can cause irritation and bleeding that may result in black bits in the stool.

Parasitic Infections

Parasites are an organism that lives within a host, and they tend to consume the host resources for survival. These organisms are quite common in contaminated water, food, and blood.

The waste products and eggs of these organisms are therefore manifested as the black stuff in stool or as white seed like spots in stool.

Liver Disease

The stool from a person with a healthy functioning liver is brown. Liver diseases tend to reduce the production of bile, and this can make coffee grounds in the stool.

Also, it can result in portal hypertension and esophageal varices. These two conditions can later trigger intestinal bleeding, which causes black specks in diarrhea.

Colon Cancer

This is one of the most severe possible cause of black spots in stool abdominal pain. These malignant growths tend to bleed, and this can leave the stool speckled with blood.

It is advisable to visit your doctor once you notice the symptoms for early treatment. Cancer is treatable at early stages. 

Iron Supplements

Taking foods with high iron content or iron supplements can make your poop to turn black. A sudden change in poop color could imply the person is using too much iron supplements.

Causes of Black Specks in Stool of Babies

The black stuff in stool of a baby is due to meconium. Newborns tend to have under developing digestive system since it tends to lack the friendly gut bacteria that facilitate proper digestion and bowel movement.

The first few days after birth, the stool of the child is lighter, and after some weeks, it tends to have black specks due to meconium.

You should note that older babies can also get black stuff in stool, just like adults. According to medical research, children are more vulnerable to infections and diseases than adults.

Consult your pediatrician once you notice some weird symptoms in the poop of your baby. This will help to treat any dangerous condition on an early stage.

Treatment Options of Black Specks in Stool

How to get rid of black spots in stool usually depend on the cause. A doctor will take a medical history and also ask for a sample of tool for further testing.

You will also be expected to undergo imaging tests of the colon, stomach, and other parts of the gastrointestinal tract.

You will also be required to take medication, change diet, and spend some time in the hospital in case of liver diseases.

In the case of internal bleeding, your doctor will explore the root cause and determine the possible treatment method to follow.

When to Seek Medical Help

If you happen to have no chronic disease and you feel healthy, then it is advisable to wait for a couple of days for the black spots in the stool to disappear.

If you have the history of liver disease, severe diarrhea, fever, yellow skin, and a sign of parasitic infection, then consider visiting your doctor.

Babies are supposed to be seen by a doctor in case the dark spots in the stool is not as a result of meconium.

Also, if you’re not taking any medication and the black stuff in stool persists for more than a week, then seek medical help.

If you are unable to explain the color of your food also seek medical help since the black spots in the stool could be a sign of a more severe condition in the body.

Sources and References

  1. Editor. “Bloody or Tarry Stools.” Nicklaus Children’s Hospital.
  2. John M. Wilkinson, M.D. “Undigested Food in Stool.” Mayo Clinic
  3. Editor. “Baby’s First Bowel Movements.” Healthy Children.