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Black Specks in Stool Meaning, Causes, Adults & Babies

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Any changes in the color of stool could make you worried from time to time. There are many explanations that could be given for the black specks in your stool. Generally, the color of your stool gives an indication of your body’s state of health. Diseases, malfunctioning of your body and diet are all possible causes of the black specks in your stool.

What does Black Specks in Stool mean?

The habit of turning back to look at your stool to examine the color is not a common practice. When you evaluate and examine the characteristics of your stool, then you are able to get information on the functioning of your digestive organs among other physical processes.

The normal color of your stool is brown or lightly dark. This forms what is called the chemical makeup of the stool. Several changes in your body can make the body to pick up different colors over time, based on the food you eat and state of your body.

black specks in stool causes and meaning

According to the John Hopkins Medical Center, iron supplements in your diet are likely to contribute to the black specks in your stool.[1] According to the WebMD, there are about 21 conditions associated with black specks in your stool.

Mostly, when you report black specks in stool, it is likely that you will also have a lot of pain in passing out the stool. This should therefore drive you to knowing what the underlying cause is in this case.

  • Black specks could mean a benign medical condition along your digestive system. Further, it could mean that there is an inflammation along your colon or an internal or external tissue within your anus. In this regard, you could be diagnosed with colon cancer.
  • The specks could also mean that you have gastritis. This is the inflammation of the stomach tissue. This is often a common condition that is brought about by a number of causes. The symptoms tend to improve although they could even become worse.
  • Internal infections could be the other meanings of black specks in your stool. In other scenarios, poor digestion of fat and digestive track bleeding could also lead to black specks in your stool. In addition, black specks also mean that you may be having an underlying medical condition.

What are the black chunks, bits, seeds in poop

The texture, smell and color of your stool could be a source of real bother. The appearance of white specks in your stool changes it texture and thus a cause of concern. In most cases, this is a real bother and thus an immediate medical attention should be sought. It could mean an underlying health condition ascertained only by a health professional.

What do they indicate?

There are various things that this scenario could indicate.

  • It could be an indicator of the meal that you are eating. In this case, you should not be worried. In the event that you don’t like the color, then you could consider changing the meal.
  • Further, it could indicate a complication in the upper part of the gastrointestinal tract. This requires a visit to the gastroenterologist and thereafter treatment to follow immediately.

Causes of Black Specks in Baby & Adults

The outline below gives some of the commonest causes of black specks appearing in your stool. A point of caution is that you should see your doctor immediately especially when you present other symptoms like pain in the abdomen, cramps, fever, loss of appetite and even diarrhea.

Some particular foods

There are some foods that when you take, you will see black specks in your stool. For instance, black pepper is more likely to give you black specks in almost all cases. There are also some fruits that when you take, black specks come along in your stool; they include bananas, blueberries, plums, figs and cherries. Beetroots have also been found to cause black specks in stool.

When you are eating fruits like bananas, Dr. Grzegorz, a neurologist in Humble, Texas at Kingwood Medical Center, recommends that you should not worry because it is a normal occurrence. Paparika, undercooked meat, spinach and red wine are also suspects in making you have black specks in your stool.

Excessive fiber in your diet

Fiber is important for your diet. However, if your consumption is beyond the recommended dietary allowance, then you will get black specks in your stool. It is observed that when you reduce or normalize the consumption of fiber, the black specks are likely to go away.

Digestive tract infection and bleeding

In most cases, if you have the upper gastrointestinal tract infection, then you will have bleeding which will in the long run make you have black specks in your stool.[2] This is in most cases brought about by ulcers and diverticulosis. On the other hand, if you have bleeding on the lower part of your digestive tract, then you will have red stool.

Usually, seeing the doctor is the best thing to do. This is because there are other conditions that could be secondary to the primary conditions causing the black specks. The doctor will always prescribe the medication that best alleviates the condition.

Some medications

Food is could be the commonest cause of black specks in stool. It is however followed by the medications that you take. In the event that you have anemia, deficiency of blood, your doctor could recommend some iron supplements. In the course of trying restore the levels of blood, the iron could lead to black specks formation in your stool. This is according to the US National Library of Medicine.[3]

There are some non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications that could lead to black in your stool. This is because the medications irritate the lining of the digestive tract. In the long run, this leads to the bleeding of the upper gastrointestinal tract.

These medications include Pepto Bismol among others. They contain salicylic acid which is the active ingredient of aspirin and thus responsible for the irritation. These medications have been shown to cause the opening of the sores from the lining of the gastrointestinal tract.

There are various scientists who have tried to explain the connection between the salicylates and the damage but to a limited extent. It is suggested that these medications alter the buffer system of the stomach, interfere with the functioning of the mitochondria and thus lead to the death of the cells.[4]

The antimicrobial medications and more so the antibiotics and antifungal drugs could cause black specks in stool. These medications cause death of the most important microorganisms which are thereafter eliminated through stool black in color.

According to the University of Maryland Medical Center (UMMC), vanadium, which is a trace mineral medication is likely to cause black specks in your stool. The reason behind this is that it is linked to internal bleeding.[5]

Disorders of the digestive system

There are so many disorders of the digestive system. The most significant ones that are related to black specks in stool include inflammatory disorders like ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease and the irritative bowel syndrome. Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research notes that the conditions cause a lot of internal bleeding and thus black specks in your stool.[6]

The physical injury and trauma to the gastric tract like gastric ulcers that are caused by H. pylori and Mallory-Weis tears (that damages the lining of the esophagus) lead to formation of black specks in stool. This is because they cause some blood to escape and find its way to the stool. There are other traumas like anal fissures that could cause darkening of stool especially during bowel movement.[7]

What causes the tiny black bits in Baby, Toddler or Newborn Stool

There are many reasons for the specks and bits in the stool of your baby.

  • The first thing that you should look for is to check whether your baby is on iron supplements. If it is, then that is the first suspect. Always consider reducing the dose or terminating the intake immediately.[8]
  • There are some foods that could be responsible for appearance of black specks in your baby’s stool. On the other hand, the specks could be as a result of a severe infection or an anal tear. This is a situation that calls for admission to the emergency room for proper diagnosis and thereafter treatment.
  • Excessive mucus in the stool of your baby that is accompanied with blood could be a sign of infection. This thereafter leads to the formation of black specks in stool. You should check with the doctor so as to rule out infection of the digestive tract.[9]
  • Your toddler is also likely to react to particular foods. These foods reacted to lead to change in the color of the stool. These are especially the foods that contain high levels of proteins like soy and cow’s milk. In as much as they might not cause medical concerns, it is good to have them eliminated from the diet as soon as possible.

Excessive suckling

If you breastfeed your baby for so long, it is likely that it could make your baby to have bloody stool. This is according to the breastfeeding experts at the kellymom.com. There is also information that some types of vitamins cause mucus and blood to be deposited in the stool of your baby. This leads to black spots in the stool.

black specks in stool pictures baby or toddler

Black specks in baby poop

Causes in Adults’ Stool or Diarrhea when Wiping

Black specks that come with diarrhea is in most cases is associated with the consumption of junk food. On the other hand, some foods that have high content of salt, sugar and fat are likely to make your stool dark.

They are also likely to induce the symptoms like diarrhea. In most cases, when you suffer from diarrhea, bile comes out of the system before it is completely used by the body.

Black Specks in Stool Parasite Eggs

Can the specks be parasite eggs? What are the possibilities?

There are very high possibilities that the presence of black specks in stool could be indicative of parasite eggs deposition. This is a fact but in most cases lab reports indicate negative results despite their presence. This is because medical professionals fail to check for these parasites in the stool.

Black Spots in Stool Abdominal Pain & IBS

The presence of abdominal pain and irritable bowel syndrome when at the same time you have black spots in stool could mean various things.

What do the specks mean when they are accompanied;

with abdominal pain

There is no direct link between abdominal pain and black spots in your stool. In most cases, the pain in your abdomen appears on the left side. When this occurs, it could be because you have some inflammation of the colon. You should never confuse it with the presence of colon cancer. There is a very big percentage of those people who report to have abdominal pain and at the same time abdominal pain.

black specks in poop with abdominal pain and ibs

Abdominal pain

IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome)

This is a condition that is likely to present with rapid activity of the bowel and at the end of the day show no evident causes. Further, your bowels appear to be swollen.

This condition is to a less extent compared to ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s diseases likely to cause cancer. Because of the irritation it offers to the gut wall, it could lead to bleeding and thus black spots in stool.

What to do-How can you get rid of them

In order to get rid of the black specks in stool, it is good to note the treatment is based on the type of cause. The specks caused by food or medication can be dealt with just by stopping their use or changing their use.

In the event that you suffer from diarrhea as a result of the black specks, then you will be put on an electrolyte replacement therapy so as to restore the normal level of body electrolytes. As you heal from this condition, it is advisable that you keep away from foods like red meat and maintain a particular diet at a time.

There are standard medications that are available for the treatment of certain parasites that cause black specks in stool. For instance, prescription medications such as metronidazole treat a number of conditions.

When should you see a doctor

You should always be on the alert to seek medical attention any time you notice anything weird or different with your stool. More so, you should see you doctor if you have added symptoms like vomiting, changes in the movement of the bowel, loss of appetite, cramps and diarrhea.

References & Sources

[1] https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/articles-and-answer/wellbeing/5-things-your-poop-can-tell-you-about-your-health

[2] https://www.webmd.com/digestive-disorders/bleeding-digestive-tract

[3] https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/000584.htm

[4] http://www.sciencedirect.com/sdfe/pdf/download/eid/1-s2.0-0006295277901551/first-page-pdf

[5] http://www.umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/supplement/vanadium

[6] http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/crohns-disease/basics/definition/con-20032061

[7] http://www.medicinenet.com/anal_fissure/article.htm

[8] https://www.babycenter.com/0_baby-poop-a-complete-guide_10319333.bc

[9] https://www.momtricks.com/babies/blood-mucus-baby-stool/

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