Black or tarry stools with a foul smell are a sign of a problem in the upper digestive tract..
Eating black licorice, blueberries, blood sausage, or taking iron pills, activated charcoal, or bismuth medicines like 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.
The color of the blood in the stools can indicate the source of bleeding.
Peptic ulcers are the most common cause of acute upper GI bleeding. Black and tarry stools may also occur due to:
Call your health care provider right away if:
In children, a small amount of blood in the stool is most often not serious. The most common cause is constipation. You should still tell your child's provider if you notice this problem.
Stools - bloody; Melena; Stools - black or tarry; Upper gastrointestinal bleeding of the blood back to the person.