A healthy stool is usually a shade of brown. When your poop turns black, it could be a sign of a serious problem. Sometimes, black poop results when there is blood in your gastrointestinal tract. Other times, it means you just ate something red-colored.
If you notice black poop consistently, it could result from a medical condition fueled by alcohol overuse. We’ll discuss why you may have black poop after drinking and how to cure it.
5 Reasons you have Black Poop After Drinking
Seeing black poop in the toilet bowl can be depressing, but it’s not always a cause for alarm. If you notice your stools are black or tarry, it could be linked to any of these health issues.
1. Gastrointestinal (GI) bleeding
Bleeding in the upper GI tract could be a sign of gastric cancer. Call your doctor if you’re having severe heartburn, indigestion, or feeling nauseous after you drink.
2. Esophageal varices
Long periods of alcohol use cause liver damage, forming swollen veins in the esophagus. These swollen veins, also esophageal varices, can burst and cause severe bleeding. When that happens, your poop could turn black.
If you’re already living with liver disease and start to experience black or tarry stools, it’s ideal to call your doctor. Other symptoms include muscle cramps, stomach upset, and rapid weight loss.
3. Mallory-Weiss tear
Violent coughs or vomiting can rupture the esophagus and make it bleed. This rare condition, termed a Mallory-Weiss tear, occurs in only seven out of 100,000 people in the US. Fortunately, Mallory-Weiss’s tear is completely treatable.
Most symptoms of a Mallory-Weiss tear aren’t easily noticeable. You may experience lightheadedness, shortness of breath, diarrhea, and abdominal pain besides black stool.
4. Iron supplements
People often take iron supplements for anemia, where their red blood cells are lower than normal. Taking these supplements has side effects like nausea, constipation, and black stool.
Some iron supplements may be stronger than others, so consult your doctor. If black poop persists due to these supplements, you should consider milder ones.
A stomach ulcer isn’t a result of stress or spicy food but rather an infection known as Helicobacter pylori. When your body is exposed to long-term use of painkillers, it could also cause stomach ulcers.
Therefore, heavy use of anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen and aspirin can irritate your stomach. Health conditions like ulcers and inflammation of the GI tract could also produce black poop.
Alcoholics may be using medications to treat pain or inflammation. Most often, medicines containing bismuth subsalicylate (like Pepto-Bismol) could turn your poop black. If you ingest a lot of bismuth, you could also get a black tongue or dark-colored teeth over time.
How to Cure Black Poop Due to Drinking
Detecting the root cause of black stool will help you treat it. Treatment options still vary even if you get black poop from drinking too much.
For instance, if you’ve been on a constant diet of blueberries and other dark-colored foods, you must slow down and monitor any changes.
Black poop isn’t always part of a larger health problem; it could be your supplements. Here’s how you can cure black poop caused by drinking.
Your doctor may prescribe new medications to manage stomach ulcers and bacterial infections. Depending on the root cause of the black stool, you can always use medicines to fight back.
For example, antibiotics can combat bacterial infections, while other medications may be used to reduce inflammation in the digestive tract. Whatever you do, don’t self-medicate trying to get rid of black poop.
Another way to treat black poop due to drinking is through blood transfusion. This treatment is necessary if the black stool is caused by GI bleeding.
Doctors may run tests to detect the exact location of the bleeding. Then, you need blood transfusions to replenish lost blood and reduce the chances of anemia.
You may need an endoscopy if you have black poop from drinking. An endoscopy identifies the source of gastrointestinal bleeding or similar issues in the digestive tract.
The doctors would insert a flexible tube with a camera into the digestive tract for this procedure. This allows them to check for bleeding, ruptures, or any issues that could leak blood into your poop.
Stop drinking Alcohol
While this may be difficult for some alcohol users, taking a break from alcohol may restore your normal poop color. Since alcohol is a major cause of GI bleeding and liver disease, alcoholics will most likely release black stool.
When you’re diagnosed with alcohol-related health issues, staying off the bottle and treating yourself is best. Brown poop is a sign of healthy living, so you should fix that tarry stool problem.
Surgery is a more severe option for extreme cases of bleeding ulcers. If you’re diagnosed with upper GI bleeding, the doctors may need to schedule you for surgery immediately.
Other complications due to alcoholism may compel your doctor to book a surgery appointment. When treating black stool, it’s important to deal with the underlying alcohol disorder to eradicate the symptom properly.
Your poop could be black for many reasons – it’s not always a sign of major health problems. If you drink too much or take iron supplements, your stool will likely be dark-colored.
Regardless, black poop because of drinking is treatable. Medical treatments are prescribed based on the diagnosis. So, you must consult your doctor once you excrete black poop consistently.
You should slow down on dark-colored foods, alcohol, or painkillers while you get treated if you’re experiencing other symptoms like nausea, vomiting, and lightheadedness.
I am a passionate beer connoisseur with a deep appreciation for the art and science of brewing. With years of experience tasting and evaluating various beers, I love to share my opinions and insights with others and I am always eager to engage in lively discussions about my favorite beverage.