How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Nurse Milli, RN Your Own Question
Nurse Milli, RN
Nurse Milli, RN, Nurse (RN)
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 4139
Experience:  20 years experience in many areas of Nursing. Both Hospital and Private Practice experience.
Type Your Health Question Here...
Nurse Milli, RN is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I have charcoal black stools. Also have mild abdominal cramps,

This answer was rated:

I have charcoal black stools. Also have mild abdominal cramps, constipation a few days, diarrhea yesterday and today the dark black stool came out. No change in diet. Slight fever, 99.6. No headache, been taking stool softener for a month (100 mg docusate sodium) once in morning, once in evening.
Hi there and thank you for the question. I am a Registered Nurse and will be happy to help you today.

Have you eaten anything dark in color such as dark chocolate or a piece of cake or other treat that had dark colored icing?

Have you taken any Pepto Bismol lately?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

No change in diet, no dark foods. No Pepto.


Okay thank you for the added information.

I need to also mention that blueberries and iron supplements can also cause a black stool. However, in your case, if you have had no dietary changes, along with your other symptoms, you may have Ulcerative Colitis or other bowel disease such as Diverticulitis where you are having some possible bleeding. Black stool is indicative of old it could be occurring in the large intestine but with you being constipated somewhat, it could be having a chance to turn dark before ever exiting. Another thought is the possible bleed could be occurring up a little higher such as with an ulcer in the small intestine or stomach. Either way, with your current symptoms, I would at least let the Dr confirm that it is blood and then find out where it's coming from. Not what you want to hear I'm sure, but better to get things checked out.

Reply back if I can help further...
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

OK. It's more like a black diarrhea, so that doesn't sound good. I just need to confirm that it's blood and not something else in it. Isn't there some kind of test stick to do that?

Diarrhea or formed stool...doesn't really matter as long as it's black. The blood does need to be ruled out. There is a test that can be done called a FOBT (fecel occult blood test) where some of the black stool is placed on a card and chemicals are then placed on top of that. Depending on what color changes there are, will depend on whether or not blood is the cause here.
Nurse Milli, RN and 5 other Health Specialists are ready to help you

Related Health Questions