Black Tar Stool Symptoms

What are Black Tar Stool Symptoms?


Black or tarry stools with a foul smell are a sign of a problem in the upper digestive tract. It most often indicates that there is bleeding in the stomach, small intestine, or right side of the colon. 


The term "melena" is used to describe this finding.

Achalasia

Considerations


Eating black licorice, blueberries, blood sausage or taking iron pills, activated charcoal, or medicines that contain bismuth (such as Pepto-Bismol), can also cause black stools. Beets and foods with red coloring can sometimes make stools appear reddish. In all these cases, your doctor can test the stool with a chemical to rule out the presence of blood.


Bleeding in the esophagus or stomach (such as with peptic ulcer disease) can also cause you to vomit blood.