If you have looked at your stool closely and noticed that they have black specks or dots on them, you might get worried about it.
The black specks in your stool indicate something about the food you have eaten. It may also be a sign of some disease, which may be serious. Some of the causes that lead to this problem are minor.
But, some might requires immediate medical attention.
Taking a look at your stool regularly, might not be your perfect idea of a good time, but it is a wise habit to get into.
The question is- Why?
The color of your stool and other characteristics related is an important sign of your general health. The consistency, color, texture and the general appearance of your stool can give you some clues on the condition of your gastrointestinal tract.
Let us have a look at causes:
What Could Be The Causes For Black Specks That You Are Seeing In Your Stool?
There are mainly three board categories the causes can be classified. They are:
1. Harmless And Temporary Causes
i. Food Intake
One of the most common causes for black specks in your stools is your diet! Bananas top the list. They cause black, fibrous-looking specks in your stool after you eat them.
Not just bananas, any food that has a high fiber content, causes your stool to take on such an appearance. Foods with seeds and/or dark pigments, such as figs, plums, strawberries, and blueberries, also contribute to this phenomenon.
The other foods are the iron-rich fruits and vegetables like spinach and beetroots or foods containing a lot of blood, such as an undercooked steak. Black pepper, red wine, and foods containing dark dyes, such as candy, can also be responsible.
If you take bismuth-containing medications such as Pepto-Bismol; ibuprofen, aspirin, and NSAIDs in excessive amounts. Moreover, iron supplements might cause black specks in stool as well.
2. Underlying Conditions As Causes
i. Inflammatory Diseases
Crohn’s is a disease marked by inflammation of the digestive tract. The causes are unidentified but a family history of this illness increases its threat. The inflammation related to Crohn’s disease affects both the upper layers and the deeper tissues of the bowel. This can cause bleeding and gradual changes in the color of the stool.
ii. Tears In The Body
Mallory-Weis tear is the situation where the mucous membrane lining the esophagus and stomach ruptures. It might happen due to persistent and violent coughing or vomiting.
The tear will cause bleeding. When this blood is eliminated from the body it appears as black specks in your stool.
Gastritis is a condition marked by inflammation and irritation of the stomach lining. It happens due to infection and proliferation of the stomach wall.
It is due to excessive use of anti-inflammatory medications, H. pylori bacteria, and alcoholism.
Inflammation of the lining cells can eventually damage it and hamper digestion. Such partially digested food is removed as black specks in your stool.
iv. Colon Inflammation
Ulcerative colitis, irritable bowel syndrome and other inflammatory gastrointestinal conditions like IBS also cause black specks in the stool.
The cause of both the conditions is unknown. The latter is typified by inflammation of the colon wall and the former by intestinal wall inflammation.
v. Colon Cancer
Malignant growths in the colon ( colon cancer) happens to be one of the most serious causes of black dots in the stool. The tumors that are formed, can bleed at times. As a result, this blood appears to speckle your stool.
Your chances of survival are better if the cancer is caught in the early stages. Treatments for colon cancer includes removing polyps during a colonoscopy. A laparoscopic surgery to partially remove the colon is also recommended.
Chemotherapy and radiation may also be used.
Ulcers are open wounds that bleed. They are formed by the stomach wall due to abuse of aspirin, H. pylori infection and other anti-inflammatory medicines.
Your stomach or the lower intestinal ulcers might bleed. This blood undergoes chemical processes including oxidation and is eventually removed from the body as black specks in the stool.
vii. Anal Infections
The section between the anus and the rectum is called the anal canal. Anal fissures or any damage to the anal canal can happen. It is due to constipation or passage of hardened stool. In such a condition, the anal canal bleeds and blood is seen as black specks in your stool.
viii. Liver Diseases
Liver diseases like cirrhosis and hepatitis are marked by a disturbance in blood circulation to the liver. Sometimes blood flows in the reverse direction up to the esophagus. This causes the veins in the esophagus to swell up and ultimately rupture.
The blood travels down to the digestive system only to get excreted as black dots in your stool.
ix. Anal Vein Inflammation
Inflammation of the veins of the anal canal can be caused by increased or strenuous bowel movements or pregnancy.
The swollen veins might burst and cause bleeding during defecation. This, in turn, causes black specks in your stool.
Diverticulitis is the inflammation of sac-like structures called diverticula present in the bowel. It forms over a period of time, generally after the age of 40 years.
It happens due to an inactive lifestyle, low-fiber intake, and smoking. The bacterial infection might these pouches to swell, burst, and then bleed. The rectal bleeding then causes black dots in your stool.
3. Parasitic And Bacterial Infections Of The Digestive System
i. Bacterial Infection
Excessive intake of any contaminated foods, water and beverages cause infections of the bowels and other areas of the digestive system.
Such an infection is be marked by black dots in the stool. For instance, Giardiasis caused by Giardia lamblia parasite or amoebiasis caused by the Entamoeba histolytica parasitic. Cholera and other water-borne diseases can also cause changes in the color of your stool.
Natural Treatment for Black Spots in Stool
1. Elimination Diet
As we discussed above, the elimination of possible food and drink from your diet is a wonderful way of determining the cause. For instance, bananas. You will possibly be able to come to a conclusion that bananas have been the cause if you eliminate them from your diet for a week and find no black dots in your stool.
Taking probiotics supplements can help you have “good bacteria” in your system. These supplements are found in all drugstores and health food stores. The bacteria help you in better digestion and an overall well being!
3. Oregano Oil
Oregano oil are said to have strong antibacterial properties. It also helps you in fighting parasites effectively. Make sure you read the instructions on the label with regard to dosage.
4. Garlic And Ginger
Just like oregano oil, garlic is also very effectively fights parasites and bacteria. Adding more garlic to your daily diet can help.
Ginger on the other hand, helps to relax and soothe your digestive system. Additionally, they also assist in the elimination of intestinal gases. Ginger is anti-inflammatory and very rich in antioxidants.
5. Lemon And Honey
Lemons contain coumarin and tetrazine. These compounds effectively fight the pathogens. Lemons also generally helps you in boosting your immunity system. Adding a few drops of lemon juice to a cup of tea each day is healthy.
Honey has anti-microbial properties. Lemon juice and a few teaspoons of honey can be consumed a couple of times daily. Honey can be used as an alternative to sugar syrups.
6. Grapefruit Seed Extract
Having a grapefruit seed extract capsule everyday, helps you fight bacteria and parasites in your digestive system. This also boosts your body’s immunity system. The extract capsules can be found in all health stores.
7. Extra Virgin Coconut Oil
Extra virgin coconut oil is said to have anti-microbial properties. It is also rich in antioxidants. Adding a spoon of coconut oil to your morning coffee can be adopted as a healthy habit.
But, keep in mind to check with your doctor beginning this regimen. Make sure that the consumption of coconut oil doesn’t create a problem.
Oatmeal is absolutely full of anti-inflammatory properties. This is why it works as a topical remedy for the inflamed skin. Eating oatmeal every morning will give your digestion system the required start for the day! The roughage present will also help you avoid constipation.
Salmon will help you deal with inflammatory issues. The omega-3 fatty acid present makes it very effective. You must try and eat salmon as frequently as you can. You can opt for the canned variety, if you fail to find fresh ones.
Now that you know a little more about why you might be getting black specks in your stool. Listed below are some steps that you can to solve this problem:
- Try an “elimination diet” and avoid the foods talked about in this article for a few days. Closely observe if the diet has made any changes to your stool.
- Try not to use products like Pepto-Bismol and aspirin.
- When you are undergoing treatment, you should abstain from eating red meat and stick to a healthy diet.
- Make sure to go to your doctor to rule out any potential causes for the black specks in your stool.
- If you have diarrhea it is advisable that you hydrate yourself and follow a specific diet.