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What causes black stools and diarrhea? 9 possible conditions

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


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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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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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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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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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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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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Hypersensitivity (Allergic) Vasculitis

Vasculitis is inflammation of blood vessels. It can damage blood vessels by thickening, scarring, and weakening the cell wells. There are many different types of vasculitis; some are acute and last a short time, whil...

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