Sunday, December 07, 2008 Lorraine, Community Member, asks

Q: What causes black bowel movements?

What causes black bowel movements?

Answer This
Answers (3)
12/ 7/08 10:49am

Hello, Lorraine; thank you for posting.


Sometimes, BMs seem to be black, but they are really not; they can be a reflection of a variety of dark products that we recently consumed. Digested cooked spinach, purple grape juice, and beets are good examples.


However, truly black stools, also often described as looking like tar, are suspect of upper GI bleeding, as blood, when digested, turns black.


If you are concerned that your BMs look black, or tarry, make a "first available" appointment with your doctor. If you are having severe pain as well, you should be seen at an urgent care center, or an E.R.



STEFANI, Community Member
12/15/08 6:16pm


Bobo, Community Member
9/14/09 7:54pm

I have had dark  or black stools for about 4 days.  Now they seem to have a slime on it, also.  They are solid.  I have taken Pyrantel Pamoate for pinworms about 3 days ago.  Should I be concerned?

Answer This

We hope you find this general health information helpful. Please note however, that this Q&A is meant to support not replace the professional medical advice you receive from your doctor. No information in the Answers above is intended to diagnose or treat any condition. The views expressed in the Answers above belong to the individuals who posted them and do not necessarily reflect the views of Remedy Health Media. Remedy Health Media does not review or edit content posted by our community members, but reserves the right to remove any material it deems inappropriate.

By Lorraine, Community Member— Last Modified: 10/26/11, First Published: 12/07/08