Black specks in stool are not a common sight and are often seen when there is an underlying medical condition in your body. In some cases, black specks can also appear because of certain foods that you eat. The colour, consistency, texture and general appearance of your stool speaks a lot about the overall well-being of your body.
Black specks in stool are definitely a cause of worry and great concern and you should immediately see your doctor if you are sighting them in your stool frequently.
What are Black Specks in Stool?
While some causes of black specks in stool are very trivial, some may indicate a more severe condition that requires immediate medical attention. Stool may appear dark or black where there is bleeding in the upper section of the gastrointestinal tract. In this particular case, the appearance is diffused black. The stool and the blood diffuse and may not appear as black specks in stool. The black spots appearing in your stool can be undigested food bits.
It is important to know that if bleeding is occurring in the lower part of the gastrointestinal tract, then blood will appear as red and not black specks as it cannot be digested there.
How does normal stool look like?
There are three important characteristics that define the normalcy of stool:
Colour :- The colour of your stool can tell a lot about your body’s health. A natural brown colour is usually perfect and shows that you have an absolutely healthy body. Yellow colour may indicate fat absorption, green colour indicates lot of green veggie intake, white colour usually means jaundice and dark or black specks in stool are usually indicative of some problem in the gastrointestinal tract.
Odour :- The odour of stool is naturally not good as it contains dead cells, mucus an bacteria that produce foul smelling chemicals and compounds. However, it the smell is very strong and pungent, you must get it checked from your doctor.
Consistency :- A compact sausage shaped stool is consistent and denote a healthy body. If it is lumpy, it means your body is dehydrated and requires a lot of fibre. Watery stools clearly signify an infection in the body and require medical attention. If you stool is very soft and sticky, it means that your body is not absorbing fats properly which can lead to cholesterol issues.
What are the possible causes of black specs in stool?
Not just one, there are several causes of black specs in stool as given below:
Particular Foods Items :- Certain food like lentils and black pepper can appear as black specks in stool if left undigested in the body. Other food items like bananas, beet root, blueberries, plums, figs, cherries, black pudding, undercooked or raw meat, green leafy vegetables and alcohol can also be responsible for dark stools. If they do not suit you, try eliminating these food items from your diet and see if the black specks disappear. If not, then visit a doctor immediately.
Excessive Fibre Intake:- Excessive consumption of fibre rich food can cause digestive problems or appearance of black specks in stool. If you have a hint that fibre is the culprit, try cutting down your fibre intake and see if the black specks disappear.
Bleeding In the Gastrointestinal Tract or Digestive System :- If the stool appears as black and diffused, there may be bleeding in the upper gastrointestinal tract. There are several causes for bleeding in the upper gastrointestinal tract like a severe intestinal infection, inflammation, gastric ulcers, ulcerative colitis, irritable bowel syndrome, Crohn’s disease and diverticulosis. If bleeding is taking place in the lower gastrointestinal tract, then stools with appear red instead of black as the blood will be undigested in this case. Your doctor may ask you to undergo a series of stool tests and other laboratory tests to find out the right cause.
Ibuprofen :- Excessive intake of Ibuprofen, can lead to bleeding in the digestive system an presence of black specks in stool.
Parasites :- Certain parasites like Giardiasis are responsible for the appearance of black spots in the stool. It is often found in contamination soil, water and food and can easily enter your body. It can lead to Giardiasis and Amoebic dysentery.
Liver Damage :- Liver is an important organ of the body that produces bile and helps in regulating blood sugar levels. Liver diseases like Hepatitis and Cirrhosis can also be responsible for the appearance of black specks in stool.
Colon Cancer :- This is a very rare cause of black specks in stool.
Polyps :- Polyps are usually benign growths that become malignant over a period of time. They can cause bleeding and lead to the presence of black spots in the stool.
Iron Supplements :- Iron supplements are often responsible for the presence of black spots in stool.
When should I see a doctor?
You must visit a doctor, if the appearance of black specks in stool is accompanied by other symptoms like:
Foul smelling stool
Loss of appetite
Though black specks in stool clearly do not indicate any serious medical conditions, it is important to rule out life threatening diseases like colon cancer.
If the cause is a severe infection, then you doctor will prescribe you antibiotics for 5-10 days and if the cause is a parasitic attack then your doctor will prescribe you ant parasitic drugs.
What is the treatment for black specks in stool?
The treatment for black specks in stool can only be administered if the root cause of the same is found. Your doctors will ask you to undergo stool test and other laboratory tests like complete blood count, ultrasound of the whole abdomen and CT scan of the abdomen if required.
Are there any home remedies for eliminating black specks in stool?
Yes! There are many tried and tested home remedies that can help you do away with black specks in stool if the cause is not a very serious medical condition.
Exclusion of certain food items from your diet:- Getting rid of food mentioned in the “causes of black specks in stool” section can help you deal with it. Since you the cause, it should not be very difficult to eliminate it.
Probiotics:- Using probiotics can help in keeping bad bacteria in check. You can easily find probiotic drinks and supplements in medical stores.
Use of Garlic:- Garlic is very effective is fighting bad bacteria and parasites. Add garlic to your daily meals or opt for garlic supplements.
Add Lemons to Your Diet :- Lemons contain tetrazine and coumarin, compounds that are useful in fighting parasite and other pathogens. They are also very good when it comes to boosting the immune system. You can add lemon juice to a glass of warm water and honey or have herbal lemon tea which also helps in detoxification of water.
Increase Your Water Intake :- Dehydration of the body can also be responsible for the presence of black specks in the stool. Have plenty of fluids to keep your body hydrated.
Honey :- Honey has amazing anti-microbial properties that can help your digestive system in dealing with dirty micro-organisms. It’s best to take few spoons of raw honey every day.