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What causes black stools and dark colored stool? 16 possible conditions

See a list of possible causes in order from the most common to the least.


Stomach Ulcer

Stomach ulcers are painful sores in the stomach lining or small intestine. They occur when the mucus that protects the stomach from digestive juices is reduced.

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Peptic Ulcer

Peptic ulcers are painful sores in the lining of the stomach, esophagus, or small intestine. Peptic ulcers are a fairly common health problem.

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Bleeding Esophageal Varices

This condition is considered a medical emergency. Urgent care may be required.

Bleeding esophageal varices occur when swollen veins in your lower esophagus rupture and bleed due to excess pressure. This condition is a medical emergency and must be dealt with promptly.

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Necrotizing Enterocolitis

This condition is considered a medical emergency. Urgent care may be required.

Necrotizing enterocolitis is inflammation and death of intestinal tissue. It may involve just the lining or the entire thickness of the intestine. This very dangerous disease is most common in premature infants.

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Colorectal (Colon) Cancer

Colorectal cancer is a cancer that originates in the rectum or colon. Both of these organs are located at the lower portion of your digestive system. The colon is at the end of the large intestine and the rectum is a...

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This condition is considered a medical emergency. Urgent care may be required.

Most common in boys, intussusception occurs when a portion of the intestines become enfolded, causing a blockage. Symptoms include abdominal pain, vomiting, bloody stools, and others. It is potentially life-threatening.

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Colonic (Colorectal) Polyps

Colonic polyps are growths that appear on the surface of the large intestine. A person may have more than one polyp, and they may be flat or raised, benign or cancerous.

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Stomach Cancer (Gastric Adenocarcinoma)

Stomach cancer occurs when cancerous cells form in the stomach lining. Because it's difficult to detect, it's often not diagnosed until it's more advanced.

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Enteritis is the inflammation of your small intestine. In some cases, the inflammation includes the stomach and large intestine. Ingesting food and water contaminated with bacteria is a leading cause of enteritis...

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Colitis is inflammation of the colon, often causing discomfort and pain in the abdomen, as well as other gastrointestinal symptoms. Colitis has many possible causes, which determine the type.

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Crohn’s Disease

Crohn's disease is a chronic bowel disease that causes severe inflammation of the digestive tract. It is associated with abdominal pain, diarrhea, and may affect your quality of life. Crohn's disease is characterized b...

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Diverticula are bulging sacs that can appear in the lining of your large intestine. Diverticulitis occurs when these sacs get acutely infected or inflamed.

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Weakness in your stomach lining allows digestive juices to damage and inflame it, causing gastritis. It comes in both acute and chronic forms.

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Alcoholic Liver Disease

Damage to the liver from excessive drinking can lead to ALD. Years of alcohol abuse cause the liver to become inflamed and swollen. This damage can also cause scarring known as cirrhosis. Cirrhosis is the final stage o...

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Esophageal Cancer

Esophageal cancer occurs when a malignant (cancerous) tumor forms in the lining of the esophagus, which is the muscular tube responsible for moving food from the throat to the stomach. As the cancer grows, it can affec...

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This condition is considered a medical emergency. Urgent care may be required.

Anthrax is a serious illness caused by a microbe that lives in soil, called Bacillus anthracis. Inhalation may result in cold and flu symptoms; signs of ingestion include nausea and abdominal pain.

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This feature is for informational purposes only and should not be used to diagnose.
Please consult a healthcare professional if you have health concerns.