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A Doctor's View on Stool Color and Intestinal Bleeding

Read the Comment by John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP

The color of stool is normally brown. Changes in your stool color may often be harmless and could be due to dietary changes. However, if your stool color changes to black, tarry, and foul-smelling stool, maroon or purple stool, or bright red stool could signify gastrointestinal bleeding. Read the entire Doctor's View

What are the causes of stool color, texture, and form changes?

In most cases, stool color changes are not symptoms of disease. Changes in stool color may be due to:

  • Diarrhea may cause green or yellow stools.
  • Some foods (beets, Jell-O, licorice)
  • A few OTC and prescription medications
  • Diseases affecting the liver, pancreas, and intestines
Return to Stool Color, Changes in Color, Texture, and Form

See what others are saying

Comment from: Ann, 75 or over Female (Patient) Published: December 22

I have been diagnosed with inoperable and incurable bile duct cancer. The cancer has spread to both lobes of the liver. Lately my stools have been mostly black.

Was this comment helpful?Yes
Comment from: freida, 75 or over Female (Patient) Published: November 19

Taking too much aspirin was the cause of my stool color to change.

Was this comment helpful?Yes
Comment from: Samuel, 75 or over Male (Patient) Published: November 13

After a bout of diarrhea stools now are black. I am worried if this is a matter of concern.

Was this comment helpful?Yes

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