What causes black stools?

1 answer | Last updated: Oct 14, 2016
Curious f. asked...

What causes black stools?


Expert Answers

Jennifer Serafin, N.P. is a registered nurse and geriatric nurse practitioner at the Jewish Homes for the Aged in San Francisco.

Black stools are commonly caused by blood loss in the GI tract, which turns black as it passes through your digestive system. Stools can also turn black from medications, like Pepto bismol and iron tablets. The best advice I can give you is to tell your health care provider RIGHT AWAY that your stools are black. They can easily order the stools to be checked for blood, so you can know for sure. I cannot emphasize enough how important this is to do ASAP, as this is something you do not want to "wait and see" about.