Q:

Is it necessary to notify a doctor if you have tarry stools?

A:

Quick Answer

Since tarry stools can indicate a health issue, it would be wise to notify a doctor. Tarry stools are a symptom of bleeding in the GI tract, according to the National Institute of Health.

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Full Answer

Eating certain foods can also cause bloody or tarry stools. This includes licorice, berries and beets. When a person experiences bloody or abnormal stools, they should contact their doctor as soon as possible. Only a doctor can diagnose the reason for the tarry stool. The doctor may order specific tests such as a colonoscopy. They may also request stool samples, do blood work or do a barium scan.

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