Q. What do black flakes in my stool indicate?

Answered by
Dr. Mashfika N Alam
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on Dec 15, 2022

Hello doctor,

I am a 38-year-old, I have IBS, and I have had it since I was 15. I had my first colonoscopy at 30 because I wanted to be safer than sorry. I eat healthy food, do not smoke, and do not usually drink. I work out. I started on the paleo diet about six weeks ago, and everything has been fantastic. Usually, my diet is consistent (banana in the morning, yogurt, bacon, hard-boiled egg), tuna with avocado for lunch, and baked chicken thighs with vegetables for dinner. I snack throughout the day. This morning when I had a bowel movement, I saw what I could only describe as black flakes in the stool in a specific piece. It was normal brown, but the specs looked dark brown or black and stood out. Should I be worried? Kindly suggest.



Welcome to

Was it anything in your diet that might explain the flecks? You said you eat bananas every day. Sometimes bananas have black seeds that appear in the stool that way. Similarly, other food particles which are not properly digested come out through the stool and may appear all black. It is not necessarily blood, indicating something serious. However, do you have a family history of colon cancer or polyps? If not, you do not need to be worried based on just one stool sample. Let me know if you have other symptoms, like abdominal pain or tenesmus that do not go away with bowel movement.

Thank you.

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