Dark colored feces or stool have deeper color (usually dark green, maroon, or black) other than the usual brown or yellowish brown color. Feces is a waste product from digestion of the food we eat. It takes its brown color from the substance found in red blood cells and bile called bilirubin. Dark colored stool can be from blood deposits in it that could indicate internal bleeding from the upper gastrointestinal tract. There are however causes of dark colored stool that are not dangerous. Dark colored poop can be caused by foods that we eat (such as iron-rich foods, blue berries, dark colored foods, green leafy vegetables, and red meat).
Internal bleeding is one of the causes of dark colored stool. In this case it is medically termed as melena. It is diagnosed from a rectal exam or a microscope exam of the stool called fecal occult blood test (FOBT). There are causes of dark colored stool from melena that are considered medical and surgical emergency:
Causes of Dark Stool or Poop
- Gastritis. Gastritis is the inflammation of the stomach that can be caused by drinking too much alcohol, spicy foods, smoking, and taking high doses of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) for a long period of time.
- Bleeding ulcer. An ulcer is a sore in the stomach lining that can cause bleeding. Two types of ulcers have been identified, the gastric ulcer or the poor man’s ulcer, and the duodenal ulcer or the executive ulcer. Gastric ulcers are caused by increased gastric secretions due to starvation or decrease in stomach food content. Duodenal ulcers are caused by stress. Stomach ulcers are primarily caused by the bacteria Helicobacter pylori.
- Esophageal varices. Veins in the lower esophagus inferior to the stomach can become dilated. This is a serious complication of severe liver damage when veins become engorged due to high pressure called portal hypertension. These veins may rupture, and large amount of blood can be lost.
Home Remedies and Natural Cures for dark Colored Feces
Any abnormalities in the stool color, consistency, and odor should be reported to a medical professional. There are no home remedies for dark colored feces caused by an internal bleeding. Home remedies for dark feces are only intended for those that is caused by your diet. Unless you are very sure that the cause of your dark colored poop is what you eat, you can modify your diet. Dark colored stool from these reasons are but normal.